Author Topic: Is it bug season yet?  (Read 472 times)

Offline slacker

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Is it bug season yet?
« on: June 04, 2013, 10:00:06 AM »
On Saturday my partner and I decided with all of the options in NH that Owl's cliff off the kank would be the place to go, and we were right.  After many maddening trips of hiking threw the woods and getting lost(pre new guide) I finally made it and had a chance to climb.  The cliff is not as big as it seems from the distance but it packs a punch.  I must say that just looking at some of the lines out there got my forearms pumped.  Crack of the future(wow) and the Ward line to the right!!! It is hard to believe that that line even goes (good on ya Ward)

After scoping the cliff to choose our perfect starting point we decided on starting far right and working back to the left.  Once you stopped hiking even for a moment the black cloud of madding, flying, evildoers would engulf you. This was to be easily solved by the 99% Deet I brought. 3 squirts later we ran out of that precious resource. The first climb went ok, and the climbing was fantastic but trying to concentrate on anything other than bugs was not happening. By the 3rd climb lonesome owl( great pitch) is when we hit our wall and could not handle it anymore.  As much as I hated the idea of packing up it was truly the only option that would save our sanity. So it was not the 2.5 mile bike and 2.5 mile hike in 93 degrees temps with the slight humidity we had over the weekend that shut us down.  It was those darn bugs :P

I am looking forward to a return trip and hope to be better prepared for the elements. It is truly a comical first trip climbing out there after all the effort I spent even trying to find the cliff over the past years.  Yes it is that good and worth all the effort!!!

Thanks all that took the effort to make this place so special.

I wish I had pics but probably wouldn't be able to even see the cliff threw the swarm. :-\

Matt Barker


Offline strandman

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Re: Is it bug season yet?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 10:15:19 AM »
Matt- you should try greens next.. the trees at the base may be even more dense and buggy  :)

Offline M_Sprague

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Re: Is it bug season yet?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 04:01:52 PM »
Ha! The bugs did their job perfectly. I asked them to not let anyone get on that slab that I bolted just left of Lonesome Owl before I got back to lead it. I think Owls is worse than Greens for getting bug fucked, though a bug suit and a little masochism is needed to go to either this time of year. So which were the other two you were able to get on before you got bugged out?

I was out at the right cliff last Tuesday for the day and it was gloriously bug free until the end of the day. Unfortunately I spent the day thrashing around to the top with gear and a 250 foot static rope to look for new route potential instead of being able to climb. I had never been to the top of that cliff and only half remembered Dave and Ward's description of the best way. I found a cool looking dike that ran  the height of the cliff on the left and thought it was the way, but after ascending 100 feet of loose rock running with water it got too steep and sketchy so I had to retreat. I finally made it around to some gross gullies and to the top, but it was a thrash.

After a couple false drops I found where I wanted to be, over on the right hand side of the 5.10 wall. Unfortunately it wasn't nearly as inspiring there as it looked from below, with a ton of loose rock at the top that I had to kick down so it wouldn't kill me. The features that looked cool from below were loose and crumbly. With a lot of work there may be a few good lines, but I'd rather put the effort in to the left cliff and Green's. Since I wasn't sure if my roped doubled would be able to get me to the ground and not wanting to hike back around, I rapped into an anchor that was right in a waterfall and pulled my rope.  ???

For a first time visitor to Owl's I would definitely recommend the left cliff. The right one is kind of harsh. There are a few very nice slab routes and the face climbs on the 5.10 wall are excellent if you like long technical tweaking, but there is no getting around the fact that they are "ripping". There are no good warm-ups plus the slog up death gully is a little demoralizing before you get to the 5.10 face. I haven't been on WiZe Owl yet, but it does look very cool and I thought Conway Crack was good. Go to the right  cliff when you are feeling tough and want to test your self.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 08:29:02 PM by M_Sprague »
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Is it bug season yet?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 08:29:31 AM »
the bugs have finally hit their stride this season. I was out at Humphrey's yesterday, Tuesday, and they were terrible. just back from walking the dog over to Cathedral at 8am and they were swarming all around me and the B/F were biting something fierce! DEET is required out there right now, unless you are in a constant breeze.
Al Hospers
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