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October 16, 2003
So what about those Red Sox hey? Oops, wrong report... <grin> So,
moving right along, and back on topic - the one good thing that's come
out of this whole bolting thing, is that it's gotten people talking.
Climbers who rarely converse, are calling back in forth discussing the
pros and cons of the action. Ad-hoc meetings are taking place out in
front of the climbing shops at 8 AM, on the road at the base of the cliffs,
and in the bars at the end of the day. Two weeks later, it's still the
main buzz in the community, and amazingly enough the tone is civil!
The Forum topic "Debolting Thin Air" in
the Rock Climbing Section on NEClimbs has seen over 3300 views over the
past 10 days. People whom
I hardly expected to weigh-in on the topic have posted messages, both
pro and con. That's a pretty amazing level of interest in something like
Bob Seymour, a Boston area climber from the 70's who
used to climb a lot at Cathedral, was one of those hard-core type who
soloed Thin Air for fun. Of course he knew Henry Barber, Joe Cote, et
al. Now living in Tucson, he climbs much less but still has an interest
in what goes on here. He passed along his take on the meeting and "debolting" issues
through a mutual friend. With his permission we both thought it might
be fun to include them in this week's Report.
" It's great to see the other old farts
look a lot like me. Way back when -- when the Eastern Mountain Sports
first placed a bolt on the
Thin Air traverse to protect their clients I chopped it. That was
the only bolt I've ever chopped. It was quickly replaced. I just ignored
it after that. I always traversed below it anyway. The more things
the more they stay the same."
One of the other routes where a newly
added bolt was targeted as "offending" was
addressed last weekend. A bolt had been added on the first pitch of Bill
Lowther's classic, Lost Souls. Last Saturday I was surprised to see the
person who had put in the bolt, taking
it out. It would have been an
entirely different thing for someone else to have gone over and chopped
it, and this bodes well for community spirit.
The topic, the fury and the angst over this issue
will likely dissipate over the winter. That said, it will most likely
come back a bit in the
people get out there and do Thin Air again. If we're lucky it won't initiate
a new spate of chopping and drilling. What I hope will continue is the discussion
that has begun. I truly believe that we are not all that far apart on most issues.
Many of the things that divide us can actually bring us together if we participate
in the process of open dialog.
Third Annual Kickin' Access Benefit:
The Third Annual Kickin' Access to benefit the Access Fund will be on
Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Primo's Cafe on Main Street, North
This year's event features the premiere of Kurt Smith's video, "Friction
Addiction - Black Hills Gold". This video features daring runouts and highball
first ascents from the sharp end of South Dakota's Black Hills. Also features
historical insights from John Gill and climbing footage of John "The Verm" Sherman
(and others) testing their mettle on South Dakota Granite.
Join the party with Kurt Smith spinning records and win some cool gear donated
by sponsors. Admission is free, but you will be asked to make a donation, or
better yet, join the Access Fund.
For more information, contact Craggers at 603.356.8877
We had the drawing for the NEClimbs and White Mountain Report raffle.
No high-technology used here... An interested
kiddo and an appropriate
baseball cap is all that's
So, here's the list of winners of this year's raffle
$20-34 category winner - Francis Callahan
$35-49 category winner - Michael Lohmiller
$50+ category winner - Brian Gollwitzer
Another BIG thanks goes out to everyone who
participated in this year's fundraiser. The response in the last 5 days
was great, and we actually
ended up 105% over
last year. We simply wouldn't be able to do NEClimbs and the White Mountain
Report without YOUR help. We get the support we need to keep things going,
you get the
information you need, and a few of you even get some cool SWAG. What
more can everyone ask for?
It's been a busy several days from the standpoint of accidents
in the area. A climber had a problem on Lakeview on Canon and
ended up spending the nite
the ledge below the Old Man. An MRS group went over on Saturday morning
to help out. On Saturday a climber took a fall leading the last
breaking their wrist in several places, but managing a self rescue.
On Tuesday a hiker fell about 80' on the headwall at Tuckerman's,
injured and requiring rescue and litter evacuation by an MRS team.
10-year old child missing near Lincoln and you have an extremely busy
weekend for search and rescue personnel.
It's pretty darn clear that Fall is rapidly winding down and
Winter is on the way. We've had snow in the higher elevations
and hard freezes
the Valley. That said, in the sun on South facing crags the conditions
for rock climbing. Although we're past peak for foliage, everywhere
you turn the views are still magnificent and there's something
the light and the smell in the air that makes a trip up a great bet
for a fun time.
Here's a couple of images taken last weekend...
Brian Johnson on Inferno
Gyrocopter from the South Buttress
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
|The solitary ascent of the Dru had the immediate effect of expanding the horizons of my ideas about mountaineering. It made me aware of possibilities well in advance of the times, which were characterized by very restricted mothods. This was how the suberb pyramid of K2 surfaced once more in the list of my projects. But I chose K2 as a way for giving concrete form to my new concept of mountaineering: to climb the second highest montain in the world solo, alpine style, and without oxygen.|