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July 18, 2014
I wanted to write about the stormy weather we've been having, all the fun climbing and guiding I've been doing lately - one of the rare periods that I've gotten out on rock 3 consecutive days, the precipitous decline in the bug population, the cool MTB rides I've been doing, the really cool music gigs I've done (5 last week alone), the fabulous strawberries that are coming out of the farm on West Side Road, the amazing super-moon over Ossipee Lake last Saturday night and all the other fun stuff that's been going on here in the Valley this summer. Instead I have to collect my thoughts and try to write about a tragic accident that took place last Saturday - one that claimed the life of local climber Brian Delaney.
I don't want to rehash everything so here are links to several articles about Brian and the accident:
I've talked with a number of people about what could have taken place, and at this time it is all educated guesses. All anyone really knows is that Brian was top-rope-soloing by himself on the Barber Wall in the vicinity of Double Vee. Prior to the accident he had done Jolt and from what I understand he had a static line attached at the top of the cliff. When he was found he had on his harness, the harness was intact, his belay/rappel device was on the rope and the rope was intact. Due to the fact that he was alone, and that the rope he was using was taken down and used as a part of the rescue system before it was examined in detail, it is highly unlikely that we will ever know exactly what took place. Unless he had a medical event (unlikely), the best guess is that he made some sort of mistake in his rappel setup. Whatever took place, the result was that he fell ~50' to the ground. There were people nearby who immediately came to his assistance. Conway Rescue showed up and a team from the local MRS arrived quickly. Although he was conscious at first, he succumbed to his serious injuries on the carry-out.
Brian was very involved in the North Conway rock scene in the 70's. He partnered with many of the well known climbers of the day, including Ed Webster and others. He and Ed did the first linkup of Women In Love and The Book Of Solemnity (5.11d) in 1975. Legendary New England climber Jimmy Dunn said "…Brian was perhaps the most talented climber in the NE, BITD." I only knew Brian in passing. He was living in Maine and wasn't around here all that much, or at least not on the days or routes that I do. Not that surprising as I don't climb all that hard. Over the past 10 years I don't think I saw him more than 6 or 8 times. I think that people who didn't know him well, kind of assumed that he wasn't climbing much - tho from what I've heard that is not the case. Even at 56 years old, Brian was a very strong climber and was our fairly often. He also climbed often at the Maine Rock Gym, where he had a number of friends. He is survived by his wife and 14 year old daughter.
There is talk of a memorial service here at Cathedral Ledge:
Saturday, August 16th 2014
North Conway, NH.
I will try to post more information and a time as I get it.
R.I.P. Brian. It is very clear that you will be missed.
The blackfly population has tanked, the mosquitoes aren't too bad exempt in the deep deep woods and I haven't seen a tick in a month! HOWEVER the deerflys are brutal, if you're at a place where they are! Your Milage May Vary, but that's how it's been for me. Sure, I'm still carrying the bug dope, but I have rarely put it on over the past week. That means I'm dropping the BUGCon rating to a 2, at least for now. Enjoy it folks.
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.
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Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
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