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October 10, 2014
Very busy week which has included finally finishing a big software project, some great climbing at a place I've been many times over the years and just revisited, some great riding in the woods behind Whitehorse Ledge and a very fun night of music at McGrath's Tavern last night. I always feel so warm and fuzzy this time of the year; because of all the fall colors I suppose. It's tough to stay inside when it's like this, and I do everything I can to avoid it. We did have a full day of rain earlier in the week that prompted me to finish my web project, which allowed be the time to get out and play. To paraphrase an old canard, I just gotta make software while it the sun don't shine! [wry grin]
I did get out climbing twice this week - woo woo! The first was with Brad White of IMCS over at Jockey Cap in Fryeburg ME. I was actually hoping to get out on Whitehorse with my buddy Ian, but he had to go to a political rally, so I rung up Brad. Brad's a lot like me, in that he always has some work to do, but he's usually good for a couple of hours - especially when the weather's like it has been for the most part. I suggested doing something Like Loose Lips, but he brought up Jockey Cap in Fryeburg. I'd heard that he had been doing some interesting new things over there, so I said OK.
Jockey Cap is a very cool place that generations of climbers have played on. There is some great bouldering on freestanding blocks in the front area, some very difficult overhanging sport routes on the front nose, and a beautiful sunny west-facing wall that is great for bouldering and top roping. I've had it in NEClimbs for years, and here's what I said:
Description: Jockey Cap is a very cool 160' high rock dome. On the left, west, side it has a beautiful sunny wall that is a popular top rope area. Many people also use it to traverse back and forth on very good holds, plus there is a near-perfect 5.6 finger/hand crack in its middle. The middle, south, side has some difficult overhanging climbs as well. There is also great bouldering on the left and right sides of the Cap. On the summit there is an interesting monument to the famous Polar explorer Admiral Peary, who lived in Fryeburg.
Directions: From the traffic light in Fryeburg drive northeast on Rt 302/5. Bear right on 302 and look for the Jockey Cap Motel on your left. Follow a trail between the motel and the small store and follow the trail right to the crag. The left side of the crag is to the West.
What Brad's been doing is to add some actual routes to the upper slab/face area. You can't really see what's up there from the ground, but it's quite extensive. I've only climbed up there once many years ago when I was kind of on a soloing jag. I traversed in from the right, climbed the 5.8 (actually 5.9) flake and then followed an easyish corner to the top. It was one of the few times I've soloed anything significant on rock, and I remember being a bit gripped on the flake.
Brad wanted to check out the ratings on the things he's done and some other older routes, so he let me lead everything so that was very nice! we started on the left side of the front of the cap. I climbed up to a slab, stepped left around the corner to a flake and continued up to a second slab. From there I followed a groove to a nice 2 bolt anchor. There was gear pretty much everywhere you wanted it and the climbing was enjoyable on near-perfect rock. This is called The Barge Variation - 5.6 trad.
From there we rapped down and right to a bolt anchor above the copout to the 5.9 flake. There are 2 bolted climbs here that go up to 2 different anchors. The left is The Peary Gates and is 5.7. It requites a red Camelot and has a couple of bolts. The right is The Solo That Was and is 5.7+ with 4 bolts. Both are quite nice. One has a well protected and entertaining pull over an overlap. We finished with 2 routes put up by local climber Paul Prouty, Peary Slab Left (5.7) and Peary Slab Right (5.6). Both are sport routes and again go to separate anchors. Getting off requites 2 rappels, double ropes or an easy walk off. We rapped, but it's worth noting that the second rap has an awkward start over a lip to a short free-hanging section.
I'd forgotten how nice it is over there. I used to spend a lot of time there in the early spring and late fall bouldering on the left wall and doing laps on the 5.6 crack. It is sunny and warm there, especially with the leaves off the trees and can also be nice in the summer when the left wall is shaded. It's one of those little gems in the area that gets a surprising amount of traffic. If you go there please park your car on the far right side of the Jockey Cap Store parking lot. One other note - there is now a port-potty at the trailhead, which is a nice addition.
Here's Brad's hand-drawn topo. When I get a chance I'll clean it up and post it on NEClimbs as well.
Here's a picture of Brad coming around the corner on The Barge Variation:
I also got out on Thursday for a couple of hours with the Perez's. We wanted to check out how Tree keys climbed since Brad and I did the trundle & cleaning a few weeks ago. We all agreed that it seemed a lot cleaner and more solid that before. THAT SAID - it is important to remember that this is Humphrey's and the rock is never going to be as solid as that on Cathedral of Whitehorse - especially on the left side of the cliff. Just a word to the wise. We also climbed the new-ish route between Yellow Jacket and Easy as Pudding Pie. It's a nice addition to the area and worth doing. The lower part to the anchor is easy, but the upper section is about 5.9.
All in all a nice week of climbing. I'm guiding on Sunday and looking forward to a great day on the rock as we wind our way out of the foliage season. There are still many weeks of nice rock climbing before winter comes and I'm going to savor is as much as possible.
Although winter seems like such a long way off I suspect we’ll see frozen
precipitation in the high country before we know it. As crystals pile up
the peril of avalanches won’t be far behind so I’m happy to announce the
upcoming *ESAW 2014 on Friday night November 7th and Saturday November 8th* *in North Conway, NH*. *This year we have a new venue at “Theatre in the
Wood”, a few miles from IME and last year’s elementary school location.*
*Registration and up to date information is online at www.esaw.org.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Our social networking will
be active on facebook and our new Twitter feed ESAW@ESAWavalanche. The
registration fee will again be 75.00 which includes all the talks, several
raffles throughout the day, coffee, donuts/fruit and social at IME with
hops and barley. We will stretch ourselves thin, but the registration will
also include Friday’s fun evening social, beverages, music, and a slide
show soon to be announced highlighting climbing big snowy mountains. If
you can’t make it Friday night that’s ok, but you will be missing out on a
Our Agenda is coming together quickly. As we have done before we will
bring a number of western professionals to our weekend. So far this year
we have *Karl Birkeland, Director of the National Avalanche Center,* a
prolific avalanche researcher focused on field applications and stability
understanding. He will speak about the National Avalanche Center and the
Forest Service Avalanche Forecasting System, as well as Stability Tests and
how they correlate with one another. I'm sure we'll also hear about some
of his most recent work with the Propagation Saw Test (PST). I’m looking
forward to his headline talk “Recent advances in understanding avalanche
release and stability tests”. *Toby and/or Paige Weed from the Utah
Avalanche Center* will also be with us filling us in on their programs and
observations from the Utah mountains. *Sam Colebeck* will be back with
thought provoking concepts he worked on through a career as a physicist
with the Army's Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). We
are also partnering up with the *American Alpine Club (AAC)* over the next
3 years to help bring more avalanche education to climbers. Unfortunately,
in the Northeast climbers lead our avalanche fatalities and accidents so we
are partnering to change this trend. The AAC’s “Live your Dream Grant” now
has an additional ESAW Award and Friday night will in part be a fundraiser
to raise awareness about all the AAC is doing.
Any remaining funds will go to The White Mountain Avalanche Education Fund
set up to educate kids of the northeast about avalanches. For more
information follow this link to the MWAC website.
If you are a teacher or a coach of High School students please let me
know if you are interested in your young adults coming to ESAW at no
charge. We look forward to seeing all of you at ESAW 2014 in North Conway NH on November 7th and 8th! Please forward this to anyone you feel may be
Chris Joosen- Director Mount Washington Avalanche Center, White Mountain
I'll be shifting over to Ice Report eventually, but in the meantime just enjoy it folks.
IMPORTANT NOTE - there was a case of a local person contracting EE, which is gotten through mosquito bite. The local paper reported today that she DIED! It is not clear that they got it here, but it's worth knowing. Wear bug spray in the woods, and at twilight and early morning.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 25, 2014. It’s time for our annual Fall BBQ in New Hampshire As always it’s BYOB and a grille item. The club will provide the grille, and side salads.
When: Saturday October 25, 5pm till 9pm
Where: Base of Cathedral – picnic area opposite kisok
Contact: New England Section Co-Chair Nancy Savickas
Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:
Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.
Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post some interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out:
Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|009 had a crux dyno on it that will, by its very nature, eliminate 98% of the old ice climbers.|