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October 23, 2003
So what haven't you got done yet that's on your list
to do before the snows fall? I'm not talking about the storm windows,
winterizing the motorcycle or taking down the trampoline in the back
yard here. Of course you'll notice that I didn't include putting away
the gas grill, 'cause I leave that puppy out until there is a good foot
of snow on the deck!
No folks, I'm talking about all those rock season
projects and goals that you've had on your list but didn't get to. You
know what I mean...that
boulder problem that you kept putting off, or the crack climb that
was on the list but was wet every time you went up there to send. If
got in all your to-do's you're a better man/woman/person than I. Either
that, or you had a very short list. I managed to get all but 2 of the
things that I had on my list. The main one that just never seemed to
happen was Tranquility. Now, unless we have a spate of Indian Summer,
it will have to wait for another year. Too bad. That said, it was a
great season and the fall was very very good to me. Hopefully it was
you as well.
The climbing community, such as it is, is once again split over the issue
of bolting. I suppose that in many ways it's never going to get resolved.
With hundreds of postings on the web site and a myriad of phone calls
and emails, all I can say is yeoooow! The box was opened and the beast
slithered out. While there are a lot of folks who are silent or at least
ambivalent regarding the bolts on the Thin Air traverse, there seem to
be more who are wound about the removal of the anchors at the top of
the pedestal. I have pretty much the same feelings on the issue. I can
live without any of the bolts, but I really think that the anchors are
necessary for a variety of reasons.
So I've made a new poll question on NEClimbs for the
next few weeks, starting on Friday (tomorrow). The question is "Do
you think that the bolts on the belay on the third pitch of Thin Air
should be replaced?" Weigh
in on the question in the Climber's Poll at NEClimbs.
Thanks to the support of Mountain Gear and diligent work of Shawn Tierney,
access and acquisitions director for the Access Fund, the updated Endangered
Climbing page has been launched with added information and pictures here.
The Access Fund launched the Endangered Climbing Areas campaign to illuminate
the issues and problems facing these special places and highlight the areas most
in need of immediate attention. Just the names of these important climbing areas
are enough to inspire any climber. All of these climbing areas are classic
and face access restrictions due to land
planning, policy changes, cultural resources/endangered species issues, and private
development. Many of these concerns could be remedied by increased climber involvement
and stewardship. The Access Fund and local climbers have been actively working
to preserve or restore access to all of these areas, in some cases for
years. We have identified
these areas in this new format to elevate the sense of urgency and commitment
among climbers to support our climbing opportunities and protect the aesthetic
and natural values of these areas.
Mal Daley of Trango sent me an email after the last Outdoor Retailer
Show that contained a poem about the indomitable Pink Tricam. He said
he first saw it on
a shirt that CAMP had been giving away at the show. The poem was hysterical,
and right on the money. I contacted CAMP about it and Tommy Knoll said it had
been done by Charles Danforth and gave me his email address. Tommy was also nice
enough to send me a couple of the t-shirts, which I wear ALL THE TIME! (Thanks
Tommy.) I contacted Charles and he was kind enough to allow me to reprint his
Ode on NEClimbs. Here's the first line:
Oh Pink's the one I love to place
when I'm alone way up in space
on some exposed and airy face.
You can see the poem in it's entirity here.
The Pink Tricam has been one of the mainstays of my rack for over 10
I am constantly finding new places where it will fit and on more
than one occasion
I've felt totally comfortable where it's been the only thing between me & the
ground. Many of us feel strongly about all Tricams...
Tricams, don't leave the
ground without 'em!
Friends don't let friends climb without Tricams.
While there have been a new crop of mosquitoes in the woods for the past
few weeks, all you had to do was to look at the Kiddo's legs last weekend
it, this latest cold has finally done them in. At last it's time for the Instant
Ice Conditions to take it's place. Stay tuned for the latest info on our favorite
ephemeral medium! Word has it that Pinnacle has been done a couple of times,
first by the Vermont Photographer, Alden Pellett, and partner Dave Furman, and
then by at least one other party. With minimal ice gear and lots of running water,
it's hard to say that this signals the beginning of ice season. That said, I
would only give us a week or so before a pilgrimage into the Dike or Ravines
will be in order.
An Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England
been thinking ice, and making your season hit-list as we all
are now, you need your copy of the new guidebook. It's been
ten years since the last edition of An Ice Climber's Guide to Northern
New England was published and things have definitely changed. Ice
climbing is hot stuff now, and you can watch people compete on
mixed routes on ESPN.
and Rick Wilcox have assembled a great new book. While it doesn't
have EVERY drip and runnel in northern New England,
it does have a lot. Couple
that with a wealth of vintage pictures, over 900 routes at every grade -
from NEI 2 to M 8 - and you've got a great book. All the major
areas are covered,including
Lake Willoughby, Smuggler's Notch, Cathedral Ledge, Frankenstein Cliff, Tuckerman & Huntington
Ravines, and even Katahdin. There's even a history of ice climbing in the
region. It's the only comprehensive guide to ice climbing in New England.
The Ice Climber's Guide costs $29.95 per unit. Shipping
via Media Mail (3-4 weeks) is free, First Class US Mail is $2.50,
Mail is an additional charge of
$4.50. You can purchase using a credit card over the Internet (we use PayPay
which accepts all major cards) or by sending us a check for the appropriate
Either click the link off the home page of NEClimbs, or go
NOTE - All prices are for shipping in the continental US only.
Please contact us directly for shipping costs to all other
And remember, every purchase helps support NEClimbs.
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
|As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was.|