/ Winter climbing in New Hampshire USA
Thanks for any replies
judging by a friends photos who lives there, good conditions are likely from October to march, so don't think you will struggle to find good ice over xmas somehow!
I went out there at the start of December 2007 for a few days. I didn't have transport so got the Greyhound to Pinkham Notch and stayed in the vicinity of Mount Washington, mostly doing gullies in Huntington Ravine. Tuckerman Ravine is close by, and also has good routes in a similar style and difficulty range. These were all well formed by the start of December and give pleasant gully routes around Scottish 3. O'dell's Gully, North Gully and Pinnacle Gully (all in Huntington) were all well worth doing. A lot like Scotland but with more reliable conditions and longer routes. On the downside it is significantly colder and windier.
The lodge at Pinkham Notch is nice, bunk rooms for 4-8 people, good value (I think it was about $15 per night for a bed, and only $6 or $8 more for breakfast and dinner, which were well worth it) and was empty apart from staff when I stayed there. Be aware that you will need to buy food, any gear you forgot etc. before you get there, as there's only really the lodge.
I also stayed at the Harvard cabin, owned by the Harvard University Mountaineering Club, but open to all. It's a log cabin in the woods on (one) of the walk ins to Huntington ravine from Pinkham Notch. Pretty basic (woodburner downstairs, water butt outside, outside toilet, large floor to sleep on upstairs, blankets), self catered but had a custodian (nice guy called Jeremy) at the time I was there. Think that was about $5 per night.
For routes on Mount Washington, there are avalanche info boards with regularly updated conditions posted by the rangers on the walk ins. Rangers were very friendly and always happy to pass on advice about conditions, weather, avalanche forecast etc.. There's a weather station on top with a webcam that updates every few minutes, which can be fun to stand in front of and wave to check in with people at home.
There's a lot of other stuff in the area, but you'd need a car to get to it. There is a guidebook (ice climbers guide to northern New England I think?) but this was getting out of date when I was there, there may have been a newer version published since.
www.NEice.com is a really useful site, with up to date conditions, trip reports etc. I posted there before I went and got some useful info, and a friendly local (Alfonzo on there) kindly volunteered to show me around.
I hope that's of some use, have a good trip.
While I can't give any particularly practical advice, I will say that my gf has been in Danbury Connecticut for the last 3 weeks which is a bit further south and the last week has seen an awful lot of snow and its been very cold for a good few weeks. I'd say that you'll not struggle to find things in condition when you figure out where to go!
Warming up this weekend though 63F in Connecticut where my wife is.
I'm going to be around there over xmas/new years, might be able to wrangle a day.
Check this site: http://neice.com
and the condition forums: http://www.iceclimbingforums.com/showthread.php?9741-Frankenstein-12-15
Here's the guidebook: http://www.amazon.com/Climbers-Guide-Northern-England-Edition/dp/0972030719
As said above: there is a thaw due this weekend (try Mount Washington) but there was a big dump of snow a week ago and it has been freezing for a while.
Try Lake Willoughby, Vermont if you can
Try Frankenstein Cliff
The all-time classic Black Dike at Cannon (and Fafners) - I did them a long time ago
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