There are no pictures to speak of today (it was way too wet to have a camera out). However, I do want to put up a quick post just to say that attitude is everything.
When I woke up this morning, it was a bit warmer than usual (probably about 25 degrees, which is warm for the coldest part of the day in New Hampshire this time of year). Unfortunately, despite being that warm, the stove was exceptionally finicky this morning, taking a solid 20 minutes to finally get properly lit. This extra time resulted in me getting caught out in freezing rain trying to cook breakfast and brew up hot drinks for the day. Once we finally got ourselves fed, we also had to shovel out a path for and then push our car out to get started on the day's drive to the climbing. (Thankfully the road was plowed; it was just the un-parking that required some muscle.)
To top it off, today's forecast called for 12 hours of sleet and freezing rain, at temperatures a bit below freezing. There is little more miserable than conditions like those, pretty much guaranteeing not only cold,but also sopping wetness. Wet and warm is bearable. Cold and snowing is great. Cold and rain is just a suck-fest.
As we drove to the crag, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as the precipitation grew steadily heavier, the wind increased, and the thermometer read 27F. When we arrived at the trailhead, Susan and I spent some time debating whether we even wanted to get out of the car. I did not relish the idea of two days in a row with no climbing, but it seemed that wisdom might be the better part of valor in this situation. We looked around the recently plowed parking lot, noting only two other parties of climbers, both from out of state. Clearly, the locals weren't crazy enough to climb in such conditions.
We decided to give it a whirl anyway. At the very least, we could figure out the approach hike and know where the climbs were. We also reasoned that if the weather did cooperate, we could always take advantage of it.
By the time we reached the base of the climbs, we were cracking jokes and maybe even smiling. The rain was rapidly changing to snow and was not getting any worse. I spent a good deal of climbing time just brushing snow off so I could see the ice, but ultimately, we had a pretty good day out. Things certainly did not go the way I expected, and I was psyched that we could maintain a positive attitude in order to put ourselves in a position to be lucky.