10+ it is John. I think I am going to rate everything 10+ from now on unless it is easier. There is nothing harder than 10+
I was out at Owls the last two days. It was absolutely gorgeous, perfect climbing weather. There were definitely wet spots and water running down in streaks, but things were drier than I expected, with plenty climbable. There was some snow patches to navigate on the way in, but they were disappearing quickly. I am guessing they will be pretty much gone by next weekend. The trail in from the forest road (at least to the left cliff) was easily followable, with good cairns marking the start. There were absolutely no bugs. Hopefully we will get another week or maybe two before they come in and get hideous.
I was working on putting the two bolts I wanted on the second pitch of Lady of the Lake and rescrubbing for finally doing the lead. That pitch is so wild, a little easy off-width to hands then fingercrack to an airy stance, then work you way out the overhangs at the top. For a 200 foot climb it is wicked exposed. I was getting the
factor even climbing it on TR self belay. Old school 10+. The first pitch has gotten pretty dirty and the climbing is not as great. I'll re-clean it, but a better link up is to do the Unnamed Corner 10a for the first pitch since it brings you to the same belay ledge. NH 4 stars for sure. Of course I found another wild 2 pitch line to the left past Sporty Owl, with the final pitch following a crack up the side of a jutting prow, so started cleaning that. It looks like it may go all trad.
People ask me which is better, Owl's or Greens. Coming from climbing mostly at Greens the last few years, they are both about the same height at their tallest, but with the steep jutting features, Owls gives more sense of exposure. The rock is usually good, but courser grained and not as hard as some of that at Green's. My verdict is that they are both great with classic routes at both. Owls lends its self to more closely packed routes and it is more developed. Green's routes are more spaced apart, following clean, obvious lines.
Speaking of Greens, I ran in to David Powers and Matt Elliott at the parking lot. They had just come from Greens and said somebody had left a bunch of toilet paper clumps around the bivy area and had randomly cut some fir trees down at hip height and left them, probably over the winter. It was really disappointing to hear. I'm guessing it was some idiotic kids, but I have been surprised at the stupidity of some climbers before. Please don't shit around the bivy area and where you do, bury it well, and if you can't do that because it is winter, carefully burn or carry out the paper. Some people should be taken out of the gene pool before they breed. There is not exactly a shortage of trees in NE, so it doesn't bother me if a tree gets cut for good reason, but randomly cutting them off and leaving a mess
Rob Brook Rd is still a little soft for riding efficiently but should harden up quickly. As usual in the spring, per Matt and David, the road up along Birch Hill to get to Green's is a sloppy mess..better to freeze you legs for a few minutes and do the Swift River fording way in.