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"Days go by and still I dream of youth..." Nah,
of course that's not really what the song says - I just have been
hearing it that way. But, fifty-six frelling years OLD/YOUNG, what
in the world? Where did it go? Where is it going? The youth, the
life, the loves, the climbs... Questions, questions, questions,
flooding into the mind of the concerned (soon to be) elderly climber.
So, obviously the big the deal is that I had my birthday this week.
I was going to use that to write a whole treatise on growing older,
that unavoidable condition that strikes all of us. But, the more
I thought about it, the more I felt it's a state of mind that I
simply don't want to explore yet. I feel good, can do most everything
I want, and heck - that's all that matters. I look at folks like
George Hurley, who I think is about 66 this year, and figure that
as long as I KEEP doing things, I'll be able to DO things. And
maybe that's all the state of mind I need to have. <grin>
Friday was as nice a day as you get this time
of year. My bud Mason called at 8 AM and we agreed to head over
to Humphrey's in the middle of the day. Of course there was no
one else on the cliff when we got there, in spite of the clear
day and 65 degree temps. I'd been wanting to do Mr. Moto (5.9)
again before the season ended and this seemed like the time to
jump on it. Just before we started, Fred Keith walked up and joined
in the fun. I led the first pitch and Mason the second pitch of
Run Don't Walk. All in all a couple of hours with good friends
doing what entertains us the most.
While Sunday turned into pretty much of a washout,
Saturday was really special. Tho somewhat more cloudy that the
day before, temps were in the low 70's. I had a lot of work to
do in the morning, but by early afternoon I was chomping at the
bit to get outside. Rob Frost has been here working on his new
video, and he was just as anxious to get out as I was. With his
partner Jack Tracy we headed down to Humphrey's again, this time
to Castaways. I love the first 2/3 of the climb - the crack is
really great. I've never been able to get the upper part tho. It
took Rob a couple of tries to get the crux, but he finally unlocked
it and it looked easy. Well of course that certainly isn't the
case. But it was a good workout and we also played a bit on Robinson
Crusoe. There was this warm breeze blowing that felt more like
late summer than late fall and it was hard to head back to the
house, knowing that the weather was going to change soon.
I was too busy enjoying myself to take any shots
on Friday, but here are a couple of pix from the weekend. The first
is of Rob
at the crux of Castaways on Saturday. The other was sent by
Jay Briscoe of some of his posse at
Pawtuckaway on Sunday. Looks like Jay didn't get nearly as
much rain down there as we did. <sigh>
Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England
you've been thinking ice, and making your season hit-list
as we all are now, you'll need your copy of the new ice
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. Peter Lewis and Rick
Wilcox have assembled a great new book, and while it doesn't
have EVERY drip and runnel in northern New England, it
does have a lot. All the major areas are covered,including
Lake Willoughby, Smuggler's Notch, Cathedral Ledge, Frankenstein
Cliff, Tuckerman & Huntington Ravines, and Katahdin. It's
the only comprehensive guide to ice climbing in New England!
INFORMATION 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, Express 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 amount.
click the link off the home page of NEClimbs, or go
- All prices are for shipping in the continental US only.
Please contact us directly for shipping costs to all
remember, every purchase helps support NEClimbs.
Alpinist Scott Backes will be giving a slideshow at Plymouth State college
in Plymouth, NH. The show will be held upstairs in the H.U.B. student union
building and will start at 7:00 on Wednsday, November 12th. The show is about
his climbs with Mark Twight and friends in North America. Sounds like it will
be a good one. I sure wish he was doing one over here in North Conway. Scott's
also got a new web
site. He's got an interesting concept for a guide service, the gallery
has some very cool pictures and the stories in the Tales section are really
neat. Check it out...
After the MRS meeting on Tuesday I spoke to Chris Joozen about the state of
the ice on Mt. Washington. According to him, the snow and ice that was in
the ravines as of a week ago has been pretty much decimated by the recent
rains and warm temps. The same observation was made by the Observatory meteorologist.
There may be some ice deep in the ravines, but with all the warm temps and
rain the thought is that it wouldn't be enough to justify the effort. Temps
are due to drop significantly starting Friday nite, so that should trigger
some good formation with all the water in the system.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective March 6, 2014
While the ice is going through a bit of a change, what with the weather being so cold, it's still very good in most places. With the longer days and more intense sunlight we should start to see some refreshing going on, as soon as the temps moderate. Most climbs in the direct sun are starting to see a little water during the day, in spite of the cold. The stuff in the shade that's looking a bit beat up and that in the direct sun is a little pinky. That said, it looks as if this weekend things are going to moderate, so it should be a good one.
BTW I am aware that some of today's pix are of a decidedly poorer quality than we all are used to. This is because my main camera's battery pack died and I had to use my cell phone camera - sorry about that.
Mobile Version Of 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.
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
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:
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.
Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself.