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N Conway ice guidebooks/internet resources/best routes
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By Hamik Mukelyan
From Pasadena, CA
Jan 28, 2014
El Cap Tower, The Nose, Spring 2013

I'm going to do a quick trip to the N Conway area this week. What's the best stuff in the WI4-5, M3-5 range? I have never climbed on, let alone visited, that coast. Thanks!


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By Joe C
From Boston, MA
Jan 28, 2014

Assuming you're talking about North Conway. The definitive (only really) guidebook for ice in New England is by Rick Wilcox, owner of IME (the local climbing shop) /local legend. On your way into town I'd highly recommend stopping by and reading over a copy. Also the guys there are always up for giving beta.

ime-usa.com/ime/index.html

Basically, you'll need to hit up Frankenstein: www.mountainproject.com/v/frankenstein-ice-climbs/105890751

Once you get a feel for the place I'd really recommend Dracula (awesome WI4):

www.mountainproject.com/v/dracula/106099877

And Dropline (even more awesome WI5):

www.mountainproject.com/v/dropline/106110106


Check neclimbs.com and neice.com for conditions.

Have fun,

- Joe


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By Joe C
From Boston, MA
Jan 28, 2014

BTW here is a link to the guidebook: www.amazon.com/Ice-Climbers-Guide-Northern-England/dp/188606>>>

Not sure you can get it (at a reasonable price) anywhere but IME these days.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Jan 28, 2014
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Oh man, those Amazon prices are ridiculous. Would sell my copy for $60 but I'd still feel bad about gouging someone even thought they got a deal.

For the OP: Note sure what your partner availability/solo interest is, but Huntington Ravine might be worth checking out. It's a hallowed and storied landscape, the classic routes range from WI 1-3. Nothing cutting edge by today's standards but they are impressive for pre-WWII era stuff and the location is just spectacular.


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By Hamik Mukelyan
From Pasadena, CA
Jan 28, 2014
El Cap Tower, The Nose, Spring 2013

Joe and Lucander, thanks for the advice! Everyone says that Huntington Ravine is cool, so your heads up about the place pushed me over the edge and now I'm going there Friday instead of cragging :-). Psyched! It's great to know where to get the guidebook too--I'll pick it up for the rest of the weekend. The Amazon prices are stupid.


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By Kirby1013
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 28, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Cragging is probably not a good idea Friday as MWV Ice Fest is this weekend.


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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Jan 29, 2014

Don't forget the Black Dike, Hamik.


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By john strand
From southern colo
Jan 29, 2014

Not trying to be dramatic, but Mt Washington dcan be way dangerous with weather and avvies...

Frank's is always crowded....Some of the more mixed things on Cathedral may have good conditions..avoid the north end


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By Joe C
From Boston, MA
Jan 29, 2014

Yea but Kirby is right, everything in the North Conway area will be slammed will ice fest folks.

Last year I went to the ice fest but climbed in the flume/ on cannon day of to avoid the festival people, that could be a possibility if you're willing to travel a bit afield from north conway.


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By Hamik Mukelyan
From Pasadena, CA
Jan 29, 2014
El Cap Tower, The Nose, Spring 2013

Black Dike would be awesome... some people I met in Joshua Tree were gushing about how great it is. Anyone know if it's in? Should I just ask at the shop? The avy forecast is apparently moderate but almost low, so I think I'll beacon up and take a rope to Mount Washington. So psyched!!! It's been friggin' eighty degrees here in Los Angeles since the winter solstice.


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By Kirby1013
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 29, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Black Dike is right up your alley considering the experience level you posted. That doesn't mean there won't be a line unless you get there first.


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By Mike Willig
Jan 29, 2014
Ouray

Just a word of caution, don't consider Black Dike only on grade. It can be really thin....and unless conditions are really fat, you will be run out dozens of feet at a time. Getting any kind of semi-reliable pro in certain sections is relatively impossible. LOTS of fragmented rock. Great route, but it can get stout pretty quick.


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By Kirby1013
From Baltimore Maryland
Jan 29, 2014
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Mike Willig wrote:
Just a word of caution, don't consider Black Dike only on grade. It can be really thin....and unless conditions are really fat, you will be run out dozens of feet at a time. Getting any kind of semi-reliable pro in certain sections is relatively impossible. LOTS of fragmented rock. Great route, but it can get stout pretty quick.


And I hear theres no ice on the second pitch right now. Should be a breeze!


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By Mike Willig
Jan 29, 2014
Ouray

It was thin the year I did it,.... I was spooked...everything you touched would fracture and the rock would move if you tried to place any rock gear!


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By Hamik Mukelyan
From Pasadena, CA
Jan 29, 2014
El Cap Tower, The Nose, Spring 2013

Anyone know how in Revelation is? That thing looks psycho awesome.


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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Jan 29, 2014

Check NEclimbs, someone there will know for sure.


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By Dan Felix
Jan 30, 2014

Joe C wrote:
BTW here is a link to the guidebook: www.amazon.com/Ice-Climbers-Guide-Northern-England/dp/188606>>> Not sure you can get it (at a reasonable price) anywhere but IME these days.

Wow. I picked up a copy in December at IME, Rick even signed it. Think it was less than $30...


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By john strand
From southern colo
Jan 31, 2014

By all means check neclimbs..up to date stuff

Also bayard Russell's site-cathedralstyle..for some harder things just done


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By Kari Post
From Keene, NH
Feb 3, 2014

When you pick up your copy of Rick's ice guide at IME, ask him what conditions are like. The folks at IME are wonderfully helpful and can give you an update on how the ice is currently looking before you head out. I was at the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest this weekend and Rick was saying the ice is really good this year. I'm still new to ice climbing, so only have one prior season to compare this year's ice to, but we had plenty of good fat climbing to keep us happy this weekend.


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