Will Mayo on the sorry state of New England Ice:
I know how much you like to receive e-mails so I'm sending you another useful and informative letter. I swear, we've got it all back East! Canmore locals: eat your heart out!
The question everybody wants to ask is: "What's going on in the wide world of Northeast ice climbing so far this season?"
Well, let me tell you. The number of ice venues has been reduced due to our (now official) climate shift to subcoastal rainforest. The whole of Northeast ice is now represented exclusively on Mt. Washington and Cannon Mtn. Since the numbers of climbers has not reduced proportionally with the reduced number of formed routes, we have some congestion issues.
Problem? Not anymore! Enter: The Night Shift! Last night between 1am and 3am I climbed the Black Dike by headlamp in 1hr 58mins car-to-car. Consequently, the powers-that-be of Northeast ice climbing (read: me and my multiple personalities) were inspired to hold an emergency decision-making session before dawn on the shores of Echo Lake in Franconia Notch. The result is a complete re-vamping of the ice climbing shift schedules at Cannon Mtn. The first shift now begins promptly at 1:01am. Shifts have been reduced to two hours in duration and run round the clock, tee times are afforded at the sign-in box, and the line forms at the base of the routes. A ranger will be patrolling the route in a flagged golf cart to ensure promptness and that proper etiquette is otherwise observed. Rappelling is permissible only for those climbing both routes in one shift. And, as always, please replace all divots, repair all pick marks and let faster parties play through.
As you now know, we now have 12 shifts available per day on the Dike/Fafnir (a three-fold increase), each beginning at the top of each odd-numbered hour. We have more limited ice now people, so get your jollies and get off the routes, please. With a little cooperation and creativity, there's more than enough ice to go around.
Tip Top! JOLLY good! Offffffwegothen!