Ice Climbing, Skiing and Hiking over the weekend in the White Mountains!

View of unknown climbers on Arethusa Falls this winter
Arethusa in the spring
This past week has been great for ice
climbing with the recent arctic blast of cold weather. For hiking the snow pack has been well consolidated in heavily used areas making for the use of microspikes perfect traction for hiking. I recently hiked the Arethusa Falls trail early Saturday morning with a climbing partner as this was the first time I had been in the winter.
The picture to the left is of last spring on the trail, it is a very popular hiking trail, and was one of the first hikes I did as a child. It is an easy 1.3 mile hike over a well-constructed footway, following an old logging road.

The picture to the right is of the route we chose to climb, Main Flow which is rated 3/3+. This grade means that the water ice have 50-60 degree angle along with short 70 to 90 degree bulges, as you can easily see on the left side of this picture. A great resource for routes in the Whites as well as New England is An Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England by S. Peter Lewis and Rick Wilcox.

As you can see in the picture below the trail is well packed down. Currently many of the trails have snow and ice on them and traction devices such as  microspikes are highly recommended, on trails not so heavily used snowshoes are recommended.
Over the weekend I got mixed reviews about the backcountry skiing conditions so I decided to ski the John Sherburne "Sherbie" here in Pinkham Notch this morning. I was quite happy with the conditions, has a great base, some parts were a little scoured, but overall very good!

With the snow in the forecast over the next few days stay tuned as we will post new trail updates and hopefully some backcountry skiing condition reports as well!

As always you can check AMC Conditions for the latest report from the snow stakes and/or call us here at Pinkham to see what we're seeing out our windows and for the best trail advice we can give you!

For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM or by email at To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm. We also offer ski and stay packages at our Joe Dodge Lodge and the Highland Center


Happy winter adventuring!

Danielle J.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116

Labels: , , , , , , , ,