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North Conway Area Conditions April 27-May 5
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By J Watts
Mar 11, 2013
Hey New England Climbers,
I have an opportunity to stay at Attatish Mtn Resort(Bartlet,NH) from April 27-May 5 (dirt cheap). I plan on taking the girlie up her first granite multipitch routes; Cannon, Whitehorse, Cathedral(5.5's - 5.10's). So what kind of weather can i expect... Will it be too hot in may? Still the rainy season? How bout the bugs? Any chance there will still be snow; what about up on Mt. Washington? Do yinz guys think it might be crowded this time of year? Will the easy/mod classics be a gumby-shit-show, like Seneca?

Thanks

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By john strand
From southern colo
Mar 11, 2013
You may wan to hit White's ledge, across the way for a nice 600' 5.7 Endeavor and for sure Mt oscar,, good crag

Lucky bastard, no bugs !!!

The slabs in Crawford Notch should be OK.. long easy 5.6 with great climbing. mt willard has Across the Universe 10a (one move) which is a great "date" route if you get my drift

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By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Mar 12, 2013
J Watts wrote:
Will the easy/mod classics be a gumby-shit-show, like Seneca? Thanks


What, you mean apart from being overrun by dipshits dragging their girlfriends up routes? No, you should be fine...

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Mar 12, 2013
Eiger summit
They have four seasons in NH. Winter, Mud, Blackfly, Autumn. You will be there for blackfly season. Bugs can be a bit nasty anyway near a stream. They can be bad on the approach to White's Ledge. The slabs on Crawford Notch, that John recommends, usually get a breeze keeping the bugs away.

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By bayard russell jr
From Madison, NH
Mar 12, 2013
That can be a great time to be up here. If you catch the black flies at all it will be the earliest part of the season.

April can be really dry or it can rain a bunch. Often things dry out really fast with the dry air. Some years I think its the best time to be here. Unless it really started snowing for the next few weeks there shouldn't be any snow - it's been a low snow year.

Have fun, you'll be in a great spot to hit a lot of different areas.

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By J Watts
Mar 12, 2013
Thanks for the good info John, Brian and Bayard.

Don, way to live up to the reputation, MASSHOLE. Based on your recent ticks it seems as if you are the shit-show I am trying to avoid. I prefer to be the only gumby around :)

Anyone else care to chime in about avoiding bugs and crowds? Rest day activities? Rainy day crags?

Thanks in advance

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Mar 12, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Traditionally the black flies hit around Mother's Day, or first week or two in May.

For rainy or rest days you can go hiking to check out potential climbing when it dries, hang out in a bar and get drunk, hang out in a cafe and get wired, eat or try not to blow your brains out while your GF takes you around shopping in all the outlets all day. Alternatively, you can stop in at IME and ask to borrow the drill to put a new anchor on They Died Laughing. That should elicit conversation and you can while away hours without actually buying anything.

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By J Watts
Mar 12, 2013
Mark-
Does 'They Died Laughing' have a bad anchor or is that an inside joke?(sorry if i missed that thread) I have zero intentions of replacing anchors, but would love climb it safely without having to leave rap tat/gear.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Mar 12, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
a tired inside joke. It currently has no anchor of its own as far as I know, but was a scene of a bolt war. I personally haven't been on it in many years, but believe it is a walk off or rap off a nearby tree deal.

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Mar 12, 2013
Edited since Mark got there first, the tree always has a bunch of slings on it. Walk off does exist but it's kinda sketchy I think, I've never used it.

After you've done your first multi-pitch, if you don't feel like going for a second one, the north end (where They Died Laughing is) has a bunch of fun single pitch routes that you can wile away the afternoon on. Can get crowded on the weekends, but if you're up to it, the Slot (10b?) is usually open, and is fun, and Recluse is almost always open too. Died Laughing is an area classic, and The Nest is pretty good too, both go at 5.9.

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By john strand
From southern colo
Mar 12, 2013
J Watts wrote:
Thanks for the good info John, Brian and Bayard. Don, way to live up to the reputation, MASSHOLE. Based on your recent ticks it seems as if you are the shit-show I am trying to avoid. I prefer to be the only gumby around :) Anyone else care to chime in about avoiding bugs and crowds? Rest day activities? Rainy day crags? Thanks in advance


Not many good rainy day crags.. Sundown is OK but has mostly harder climbs. One problem is that bugs, if they are out will look for the shelter as well.
My go to rain day was always the hiking/drinking/new crags set-up.. of which there are tons of options.. In crawford area/attitash- Sawyer River road leads ,eventually to some great backwoods crags as wellas jericho road goes up to the Stairs area.

look out for m Sprague !!!! he's always looking to drag people out to the outback area.. ha ha

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Mar 12, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Deliverance of the north! Once you cross the Swift River you are on your own, except for the eyes looking through the trees.

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By J Watts
Mar 12, 2013
"What the hell you wanna go fuck around with that river for? "

"Because it's there."

"It's there all right. You get in there and can't get out, you gonna wish it wasn't"

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Mar 12, 2013
Also, check out mountainproject.com/v/diedre/1...

5.10a, I've never seen anyone else on it (the rating seems to keep the crowds at bay), the .10a pitch is about two moves of difficulty, and the route is awesome. There's a huge ledge at the bottom of the last pitch that would probably handle a picnic pretty well. But do it after climbing the last pitch on your way back down. The last pitch is pretty awesome.

It can be seeping down low, but it dries as you get higher I think. The first two pitches can easily be one pitch, and the 3rd pitch doesn't really need to be protected.

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By jim.dangle
Mar 12, 2013
There will still be snow in places in the higher mountains. You won't need technical gear or anything but I would be prepared for some nasty post-holing near treeline. Also, I would be wary of Cannon. It tends to need a period of adjustment following the ice-melt. Unless you want to help adjust it. . .

I love the White Mountains, but can't say the same for N. Conway, which for the most part is just a large traffic jam surrounded by terrible restaurants. But in those early spring days it can almost be nice.

Jim, Masshole

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By john strand
From southern colo
Mar 13, 2013
hey don't leave me out of the MassHole talk... 47 years

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By J Watts
Apr 18, 2013
It is getting close to my trip and I have a few more questions if anyone cares to answer.

  • Are there any closures due to raptors on Whitehorse, Cathedral or White's Ledges?

  • Are either the Saco or the Swift rivers currently cross-able? Safely?

  • Are Sawyer River Rd, Bear Notch Rd or Passaconaway Rd open yet? Are they navigable in an outback?

  • Any snow drifts still around areas such as Whitehorse, Cathedral or White's Ledge, Shell pond, rainbow slabs?

  • How are the bugs this year, so far?

  • Seems like a fairly dry spring, so far. Whats the seepage like on the trade routes/crags?

  • Is Crack In The Woods really that hard to find?

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By jim.dangle
Apr 18, 2013
You should check neclimbs.com for the most up to date conditions.

As of the weekend, the climbing was really opening up but there is still lot of snow at the higher elevations and as result a lot of seepage. The main faces of the Cathedral and Whitehorse still look pretty wet. Humphrey's, the North End, White's Ledge (Bartlett) are definitely open and dry. I have heard the south wall is open. Probably some of the Kanc crags are good. Some snow at the base of the crags but not too bad. There was even some bugs in the air but not biters yet. The Saco and the Swift certainly won't be easy to cross but don't look especially swollen-- yet.

As long as there is no huge storms I would expect the climbing on the main faces to open up within a week or two.

Jim

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Apr 18, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Check the forum on neclimbs.com. It is a local site with many who live in the area who use it. There are conditions sections and you can always ask for an update if there isn't a recent one. It is supposed to be 68 at Greens tomorrow, so I am guessing any snow left is disappearing quickly except for the higher elevations like Washington, and any remaining falling ice in NC should be coming down. I may hike into a Owls (off the Kancamagus HWY) this weekend. It is fairly near North Conway. I'll post an update if I do.

I'd stick with the idea of Cathedral and Whitehorse and forget about Cannon this time of year, particularly if it is your girl's first multi-pitch.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Apr 18, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
You beat me, Jim

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