Called On Account of Rains

Shawn Bunnell and Phil Schuld climbing “Called On Account Of Rains” IV 5+ (M4 R) on a bluebird day at Lake Willoughby VT

Conditions Update! 11.10.17

New Hampshire

We had some eyes on the condition of two early season prizes in on Wednesday the 8th!  A close look at Pinnacle Gully revealed some unconsolidated and thin, but hopeful, frost and ice.  No rock pro options that morning led to a ‘No Go’, but with temperatures remaining frigid, it may be climbable soon!  I’m sure the motivated will head into Huntington Ravine this weekend.

Conditions - Pinnacle From Afar (11.8.17) . Photo: Brady

Pinnacle From Afar (11.8.17) . Photo: Gary Reuters

 

Conditions - Pinnacle Up Close (11.8.17) . Photo: Brady

Pinnacle Up Close (11.8.17) . Photo: Gary Reuters

No doubt Cannon Cliff will get a close inspection as well.  We have a ‘from-the-road zoom in’ to the dike area and Fafnir. Who will be enticed to take a walk up and peer around the corner?

Conditions - Fafnir (11.8.17) . Photo: John Mallery

Fafnir (11.8.17) . Photo: John Mallery

 

The Black Dike 11-10-17

The second follows the runnel pitch on an early season ascent of the Black Dike. 11-10-17 / www.facebook.com/CannonCliffFranconia/

Vermont

In Vermont, it’s currently snowing on the higher peaks and I know a few climbers who only need a millimeter of ice on the cliffs of Smuggler’s Notch to make it go.

New York

A look at our Instagram feed shows crampons to ice!  @willclimbz posted a sweet pic of Slide 1 on Whiteface in ‘Thin But In’ conditions.  Right on!

Slide 1, Whiteface. Photo: Will Roth

We certainly had some warm temperatures in October and my usual Halloween ice was far from happening this year. Now temperatures are remaining below freezing up high for a few days leading into the weekend.  Finally!  Hope to see some great photos and reports of ascents coming in.  Have a great weekend!

Unprecedented February in The Northeast

Where are we and what’s next?

Remind me? What month was that?

February or April? The month started off great! Plenty of snow and ice to climb. But, right after some epic snowfalls and great skiing, things went south. It started to feel more like April than February. A day or two of warmth is normal, but a week and a half of record warmth and rain took its toll. Spring came early and devastated the ice climbing in many areas. Winter temperatures are returning this weekend but it may be too late for most climbs to recover. Keep an eye open for the rare visitors. “Omega” on Cannon cliff has been found in great shape even in April. It’s time to follow the weather, look in the shaded gullies and up high. Be ready! This is the Northeast, and we are not done yet!

Damage Report!

Adirondacks:

Tendonitis - Feb. 26, 2017 - Uploaded By Brandonian / NEice Photos

Tendonitis – Feb. 26, 2017 – Uploaded By Brandonian / NEice Photos

Ian Osteyee, owner of Adirondack Mountain Guides says, “Everything is so fat; it’s all still there.” The back side of Chapel Pond and the North Face of Pitchoff are both areas that still have ice to climb. Routes like “Chouinard’s Gully”, “Crystal Ice Tower”, and “Tendonitis” are still in. Osteyee did caution climbers about crossing Chapel Pond though, after this warm spell, saying, “areas next to the shoreline may be open or have thin ice where you could break through.” So, even if temps drop to zero, people should check ice thickness before just walking across to climbs on the other side of the pond.

Catskills:

Mountain guide and owner of Alpine Logic, Silas Rossi – “I’m as close to 100% as I can possibly be that there won’t be any ice to climb in the Catskills for the rest of the season. Time to rock climb in the Gunks!”

The White Mountains:

Mountain guide at Northeast Mountaineering, Matty Bowman – “I’m finding ice quality to be very mixed. In places it’s building, like early season, and other spots, it’s dry, brittle and rotten. The bottom of Parasol ice was plastic, while the top was brittle, with lots of channeling from the thaw.”

“Huntington was in good condition. We found good ice on the first pitch of Pinnacle and great snow climbing up higher. Lots of water channeling on the upper pitches, including some thin eggshell sections over running water and large holes from the thaw. Other gullies looked good. We saw parties in Damnation, Odell’s, etc.”

Frankenstine2

The Frankenstein Amphitheater last weekend. – Matty Bowman

“”Frankenstein” is pretty much out. I guided there last Saturday and we canceled Sunday. The ice was undermined and top-outs were horrendous. We could not see anything on the walk in, but walking out the amphitheater was completely falling apart. Pretty grim.”

IMCS – International Mountain Climbing School – “We’re getting into my favorite month on Mount Washington: March! Lots of snow up high, milder temperatures, and longer days transforms the little cirque into a skier or alpine climber’s paradise. It seems like March goes quickly and we only get a month of prime conditions. IMCSWe had a great mountaineering course this week; here are daughter Brandi and mother Melissa descending the East Face snowfields. We glissaded to treeline. I’ve got some BIG plans for the rockpile these few fleeting weeks: how’s about you?” – IMCS, Facebook

“This was unlike any other Feb thaws in that it was a full re-set in most areas,” said Doucette, owner of MountainSense Guides in New Hampshire, who described the damage done due to the prolonged warm spell. ““Dracula” and “Standard,” some of the last to go, were not what I would call a safe bet these last few days.” But, he added, “Now it’s cooling off again, I’d go for supported features at elevation on cooler aspects – north and east-facing.” Now that it’s March, the sun will have increasing effect and that‘s something climbers need to keep in mind, emphasized Doucette.

Doucette encouraged people to look at Mount Washington, Smuggs and Cannon as probably the best bets aside from a few north-facing crags for a while. “If folks are mixed climbing, I’d bring a full rock rack and expect to anchor with that, or gun for the trees! There may also be a lot of verglas in cracks, so favoring stoppers, pins, and hexes over cams for their reliability. Any times conditions change rapidlym you have to be that much more prepared for the unexpected.”

Vermont:

Conditions were rough last weekend in Smuggler’s Notch. The rain and 50 degree temperatures this week has that area basically starting over, and it will mostly be dependent on whatever forms in the coming cold snap.

Lake Willoughby flows are hurting, to say the least. Parts of “Mindbender,” WI5+, lay in the ditch by the road Sunday morning.  But, surprisingly by early Tuesday morning, things were starting to look exciting as a couple lines that rarely form, like “Five Musketeers” and “Aurora,” had come in overnight with the cooler temps and lots of water flow.  Unfortunately, they fell down just as quickly as the strong morning sun came over Mount Pisgah, and baked the dark rock.  By that afternoon, the thermometer was at 42F, and I listened to ice and rockfall echoing loudly as I safely skied the woods on Mt. Hor across the valley.

While there is some ice hanging around still on upper parts of Willoughby routes, it’s all detached and dangerous.  After temps drop in the next day or two, who knows? Some cool stuff could form quickly again. If you decide to head there, bring your rock rack, all of your stubbies and a good dose of courage. – Alden Pellett

Quebec:

Newfoundland:

It may well be worth the drive up if you have time, and are still in the ice-climbing mode. There is still plenty of ice up there to climb. Check out “Climbing a Dream in Newfoundland,” Joe Terravecchia, Will Mayo and Anna Pfaffs’ new mega-ice route.

Also, check out “The Unseen Sun” by Nick Bullock, where he and the b’ys find adventure, friendship, and hospitality in Newfoundland.

Weather Forecast:

Cold weather is headed our way. So cold, it’s going to hurt after these 50 degree days. It may bring in some rare visitors if you can brave the chill. Running water is everywhere, but it may be too late for a lot of climbs. The sun is high and warm this time of year.

d87c7661-72a0-46b2-6a7a-f8eb8f1a1c92

March 2017 temperature outlook. Areas not shaded have an equal chance of above- or below-average temperatures. (The Weather Company, an IBM Business)

March 2017 temperature outlook. Areas not shaded have an equal chance of above- or below-average temperatures. (The Weather Company, an IBM Business)

Some Information from Around the Web:


Be careful out there – February 24, 2017


February 27, 2017


February 28, 2017


When all else fails, get ready for rock climbing. Jon Sykes new guide book is out. Pick up a copy and get ready for some rock climbing adventures.


Mike Pelchat on the wet and thin Black Dike Traverse. 2-23-17

Featured image: Matty Bowman finding wet rock and just enough ice on the traverse of the Black Dike, Franconia Notch NH – Photo: Mike Pelchat

Have you been Naughty or Nice?

Merry Christmas to All

This has been the best start to an Ice Climbing Season in recent memory. Seems like most climbers have been “nice” this year. Thank you Santa!

@zacst.julesclimbing Started the day getting shut down by Omega. Finished the day on Fafnir. All around good day with @pgcooke. Thought Id share this fantastic photo of the sun lighting up Omega. .

@zacst.julesclimbing – Started the day getting shut down by Omega. Finished the day on Fafnir. All around good day with @pgcooke. Thought Id share this fantastic photo of the sun lighting up Omega. 12-20-16
.

Cathedral Mountain Guides December 21 · Ice climbing is back! It's looking pretty good up in Crawford Notch - Frankenstein, Mt Willard and Mt Webster are all pretty icey right now. Here is CMG's Jake Job on a pretty steep, early season Dracula. Yeah!

Cathedral Mountain Guides – December 21, 2016
Ice climbing is back! It’s looking pretty good up in Crawford Notch – Frankenstein, Mt Willard and Mt Webster are all pretty icey right now. Here is CMG’s Jake Job on a pretty steep, early season Dracula. Yeah!

The Amphitheater ice in Grafton Notch is in well. Even the steep curtain is touching down. Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School #maineiceclimbing #neice.

The Amphitheater ice in Grafton Notch is in well. Even the steep curtain is touching down. Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School #maineiceclimbing #northeastice.

Scott Lovell leading Crazy Diamond up to the cave. The finish pillar wasn't in. The roof system beside the pillar on the right now sits on the ground. Maybe 20 tons of rock cut loose this fall. It's the same roof that many climbers have thought a wild mixed finish might go through. Well I thought it would go, and it did.Then we did Twenty Below Gully. It didn't rain over there like it did here. The lake is not going off yet.

Scott Lovell leading Crazy Diamond up to the cave. The finish pillar wasn’t in. The roof system beside the pillar on the right now sits on the ground. Maybe 20 tons of rock cut loose this fall. It’s the same roof that many climbers have thought a wild mixed finish might go through. Well I thought it would go, and it did.Then we did Twenty Below Gully. It didn’t rain over there like it did here. The lake is not going off yet. – Jon Sykes

@adventurespiritguides@zebblais keeping things straight on Mindbender. @mammutna @mammut_absolute_alpine #runatribe #neclimbs #northeastice #lakewilloughby

Adventure spirit guides@zebblais keeping things straight on Mindbender, Lake Willoughby VT.
@mammutna @mammut_absolute_alpine #runatribe #neclimbs #northeastice #lakewilloughby

Here it is. Poster for the 11th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash! Psyched for a great weekend climbing and celebrating with you all.

Here it is. Poster for the 11th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash! Psyched for a great weekend of climbing and celebrating with you all.

Warm temps and soft ice in the Catskills right now! A fair bit of water running but plenty to climb right now in Devil's Kitchen. #alpinelogic #catskills #iceclimbing @arcteryx @sterlingrope @petzl_official @julbousa - Silas Rossi

Warm temps and soft ice in the Catskills right now! A fair bit of water running but plenty to climb right now in Devil’s Kitchen. #alpinelogic #catskills #iceclimbing @arcteryx @sterlingrope @petzl_official @julbousa – Silas Rossi – alpine-logic

EMS guide @dmarshallphoto chasing the sunshine on the classic route Fafnir at Cannon Cliff. #emsguides #shreddingthegnar #northeastice @petzl_official @scarpana @lasportivana 📷 @80percenter

EMS guide @dmarshallphoto chasing the sunshine on the classic route Fafnir at Cannon Cliff. #emsguides #shreddingthegnar #northeastice @petzl_official @scarpana @lasportivana 📷 @80percenter

Doug Ferguson - Martin enjoying the type 2 fun with the perpetual calf burn of NFOP — at Pitchoff Mountain.

Doug Ferguson – Martin enjoying the type 2 fun with the perpetual calf burn of NFOP — at Pitchoff Mountain, Adirondacks NY – Mountain Skills Climbing Guides

Matthew Horner With Bill Schneider at Chapel Pond.

Matthew Horner With Bill Schneider on “Power Play”, Chapel Pond, Adirondacks NY

#skadidog test fitting her new Rex Specs!!! Bring on the blower pow!!!! #chistmascameearly #rexspecs #skidog — at Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School.

#skadidog test fitting her new Rex Specs!!! Bring on the blower pow!!!! #chistmascameearly #rexspecs #skidog — at Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School.

The business on Notched in Stone. A Tom Yandon and Joe Szot route, up and left of Moss cliff. #adirondacks #iceclimbing #northeast #winterfun — in Wilmington, New York.

The business on “Notched in Stone”. A Tom Yandon and Joe Szot route, up and left of Moss cliff. #adirondacks #iceclimbing #northeast #winterfun — in Wilmington, New York. – Matthew Horner

Doug Ferguson shared Stephen Pucci's photo — with James Matalvin Tullos. Yesterday at 5:30am · Pucci tang scored this nice shot of me yesterday in Cascade Pass. Thanks Pucci!

Doug Ferguson shared Stephen Pucci’s photo — with James Matalvin Tullos. Pucci tang scored this nice shot of me yesterday in Cascade Pass. Thanks Pucci! – Mountain Skills Climbing Guides

Joe Vitti at Catskill Mountains. December 21 at 5:11pm · Instagram · Here's a beautiful route on the west side of Stony Clove called Spiral Staircase. Troy climbing strongly through the steep crux. The ice was a bit delicate today, not perfectly bonded to the rock, there were some hollow thuds and some missiles, but the climbing was so cool! #catskilliceclimbing #frozenwaterislife #blackdiamondequipment #vittimtguides

Joe Vitti at Catskill Mountains. December 21, 2016 
Here’s a beautiful route on the west side of Stony Clove called Spiral Staircase. Troy climbing strongly through the steep crux. The ice was a bit delicate today, not perfectly bonded to the rock, there were some hollow thuds and some missiles, but the climbing was so cool! – Vitti mountain guides

@inphinitelyripped Gettin the goods on Mt. Cannon today with @kob6... Third pitch of the Black Dike 📷 @kob6

@inphinitelyripped Gettin the goods on The Black Dike, Cannon Cliff. NH today with @kob6…Third pitch of the Black Dike 📷 @kob6

Ice Revolution

Ice Revolution from Granite Films ~ Jim Surette on Vimeo.

“My main climbing partners were John Bragg, John Bouchard and Henry Barber…” Rick Wilcox narrates the ice climbing revolution of the Northeast in the 1960s and 1970s.

Conditions 12-15-16

Winter is HERE! Big Time.

A few photos that caught my eye this week.

CMG guide Alexa Siegel digging deep

Cathedral Mountain Guide Alexa Siegel digging deep for an early season glimpse at the Mt Washington snow pack. We’re already miles ahead of last year. — Bayard Russell Jr. and Alexa Siegel.

No Parasol, and very little ice, in Parasol Gully. - Matty Bowman 12-14-16

No Parasol, and very little ice, in Parasol Gully. – Matty Bowman 12-14-16

Black Dike 12-13-16

New crux on the Black Dike, Silas Rossi plowing up the last 200′ to the base. We used the rope and rock gear to mitigate the avalanche hazard on that last 200 feet. – Marc Chauvin / Chauvin Guides 12-13-16

Roaring Brook 12-15-16

First blood and first trip of the season, up the not so “in” classic, Roaring Brook falls today. -12f temps tonight and cold temps tomorrow should help. Lots of running water and chandeliers on the first pitch, and shell over most of the route. Still fun only different:) Matt Horner 12-15-16

 

Karen handles -40 wind chills at tree line on Mount Washington today - David Lottmann 12-15-16

Karen handles -40 wind chills at tree line on Mount Washington today –  Northeast Mountaineering Guide David Lottmann 12-14-16

DEC Ranger ADK

Two lost hikers found just below the summit of Algonquin Peak in the Adirondacks this week. Photo: A DEC Forest Ranger hikes through three-foot deep snow on Algonquin Peak during the search. Wright Peak can be seen in the background. – NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Yeah, the powder isn't too bad in the Vermont backcountry right now. ;) #petracliffs,

Yeah, the powder isn’t too bad in the Vermont back country right now. 😉 Alden Pellett with Stephen Charest of Petra Cliffs 12-14-16

The 2017 Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest poster is complete!

The 2017 Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest poster is complete!

 

 

 

 

It’s about Time, Where have you Been?

Winter is finally headed our way

Last weeks warm weather took it’s toll. On Saturday conditions looked worse than the week before. But on Sunday, with a night of below freezing temps the ice is starting to form again. There is plenty of water flowing and a dusting of snow to feed it. The forecast calls for below freezing temps all week and mostly cloudy weather with snow showers. The perfect conditions for forming ice. The water is cold and the climbs should build fast. This next weekend should provide some of the best conditions to date. Not fat by any means, but it should be better than anything we have seen so far this season.

The Forecast

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610temp.new.gif

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Mount+Washington+NH+USNH0154:1:US

7 Day Forecast for Latitude 44.15°N and Longitude 71.69°W Elev. 3720 ft

More Weather links here: https://www.neice.com/weather/

Crawford Notch NH – 12-4-16

It does not look like much now, but give it a week! Nothing builds ice like Cloudy, Snowy weather below freezing.

[supsystic-gallery id=1 position=center]

Photos by Doug Millen

“The Dike”, She GO! 10-26-16

The Black Dike

Cannon Cliff, Franconia State Park NH

October 26, 2016

Peter Doucette and Keith Sidle found just enough winter on Cannon cliff today to climb “The Black Dike”. They found thin, wet and bonded ice with just enough gear to get up the climb. Peter always seems to be in the right place, at the right time. October ascents are so sweet. Great work guys!

This is believed to be the first ascent of the season, and Pinnacle was climbed yesterday. Let the games begin!

*Photos by Doug Millen – Click to enlarge

The Black Dike 10-26-16

Peter approaching the 2nd belay

The Black Dike 2

Keith belays Peter on the 2nd pitch

The 1st pitch

The 1st pitch

The Dike 3

Keith leaving the 1st belay

Approaching the 2nd belay

Keith approaching the 2nd belay

Keith on the last pitch of the dike

Keith leading the last pitch

More on Peter Doucette, and The Black Dike

Peter Doucette
AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide
Mountain-Sense-logo-300x95mountainsenseguides.com
[email protected]
603-616-7455

Pinnacle – 10-25-16

And here we go!

Pinnacle Gully 10-25-16

“Thin ice, delicate climbing, and the nastiest spin drift I’ve ever experienced made for a decent October solo of Pinnacle. Have at it folks. Just bring some fancy footwork.”

– Zac St. Jules

Source: Facebook,  Instagram