In mid-December I embarked on my 4th ice climbing trip to New Hampshire. It began with a long drive from Charlottesville to Boston where I met Mike and Katie. We spent the night there before heading up to North Conway. The weather leading up to the trip had been warm and rainy, not good for ice climbs. We were happy to find a cold morning for the drive up to North Conway. Upon arrival there we scouted out some of the areas (Frankenstein and Cathedral Ledge). The warm weather had certainly taken a toll on them, but the cool temps were promising.
We found a cheap hotel in town, picked up some much needed gear (I had no poofy jacket!), and called it a night. The next three days we spent climbing around North Conway. We’d hoped to get on Mt. Washington, but the conditions were quite brutal so we stayed away. Real temps between -12C and -18C with windchills down to almost -40C. Conditions were more reasonable in the valley and notches.
We ended up spending a lot of time at Frankenstein (in Crawford Notch) as it seemed to hit the sweet spot in terms of available ice (even though not all the climbs were in good condition), and temperature. We did manage to get a morning in at Cathedral Ledge as well, once once those climbs had re-formed.
The week was characterized by somewhat tricky ice (either wet or brittle) and somewhat thin conditions. But we certainly got some good climbing in, particularly top-rope laps on some steeper ice. But, without further ado, enjoy the video I’ve put together from the week:
A few days of ice climbing around North Conway, NH in December 2010.