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January 29, 2004

Hi Folks,

Last Sunday, January 25th, was the 22nd anniversary of the death of Albert Dow. Albert was a member of the local Mountain Rescue Service who was killed in an avalanche at night in Huntington Ravine while searching for 2 lost climbers, Jeffrey Batzer and Hugh Herr. A number of local climbers made the trip up to the rescue cache in Huntington Ravine that bears his name to rededicate the cache and honor him with a new plaque. The inscription on the new plaque reads:

Albert Dow
Climber* Rescuer * Friend
Killed in an avalanche while on
a search for a fellow climber.
January 25, 1982.

unveiling the plaque
the gathered group

I won't go into who Albert was, and the details of what took place that night in this newsletter. You can look through the Webster guidebook and get a sense of the kind of climber that Albert was, and hunt down the copy of Accidents in North American Mountaineering that details the events of that night.

Several of the ten who had gathered spoke about the Albert the man, about friendship, about what he did and about what he meant to them. Even after 22 years it was obvious that he has not been forgotten. I would say that the thoughts came down to something like this...

Albert Dow was a man, a climber, and a person who loved the mountains. He was a member of the local Mountain Rescue Service. The MRS is about climbers, helping people in the mountains. Why, because as one person said; "Quite frankly it might just as easily be one of us up there." We all make decisions, and those decisions may not always, in hindsight, be the right ones. But, when it comes doing what needs to be done, the members of the MRS (and all of the local and regional rescue organizations for that matter) step up to the plate. Albert understood what all this meant and he took it seriously. That's why he was out there in the middle of the night searching for those 2 lost climbers. Searching for 2 of our own! Albert died in the service of the ideals that he believed in. There are many around here who also feel the same way and several of them took the time to remember Albert that day. I believe that they will never stop remembering.

Special thanks to Joe Lentini for devising the wording and arranging for the plaque.

CHICKS WITH PICKS 2004 - North Conway, New Hampshire Events:
Chicks with Picks is an all woman's ice climbing clinic that promotes "women climbing with women, for women". To date, we have raised $43,000 for local women's shelters for domestic violence. Clinics are open to women of all abilities and are designed to teach self-reliance through the development of skills in a safe, non-competitive environment. The majority of time is spent on the ice in a three-to-one participant to guide ratio. The focus of the clinic is to learn new techniques, improve current skills, and provide the unique opportunity to learn from the world's top female climbers.

Price includes: lodging, breakfasts, dinners, a four-to-one ratio with world-class female guides, a public slide show given by one our our guides (proceeds from the live auction go to a women's shelter), a "welcome packet" (complete with cool freebees from various gear companies) demo gear (use of soft wear, ice axes, boots, crampons etc.), and a sassy Chicks with Picks T-shirt (one of a kind)! For more details and application click here

I hadn't looked at the web statistics for NEClimbs for several months. I don't usually pay a whole lot of attention to statistics, it's too easy to get caught up in them, but a potential advertiser asked me for some information and I had to supply it. Actually that information, and some other that I also looked into, was quite interesting.

Since last May, the average daily unique visits for the site has increased from 364 to 451. That's almost a 24% increase in 8 months! And although I don't put much into it as a statistic, we're averaging over 660,000 "hits" a month. In fact over the last 8 months we've had over 6 MILLION hits! In addition the Forum has gone from around 300 registered members to 486 and the White Mountain Report email subscriber list has increased to over 460. Not too shabby for a little old regional web site. <grin> Thanks to all of you who are participating and making it happen.


"...good highball bouldering footage, a shot of Alexander Huber
catching massive air off Black Power, one of his 5.14c's at Austria's
Schleierwasserfall,awe-inspiring arial footage of Ceuse, and some
nice wide-angle shots of the French countryside.
Autoroute is certainly worth your time..."

Dave Schmidt
Climbing Magazine

Robert Frost's new video, AutoRoute, is now available. Autoroute captures the full-throttle climbing odyssey of Americans Dave Graham, Luke Parady and Joe Kinder as they test themselves on the most difficult boulders and cliffs in Switzerland and France. Witness Graham make the second ascent of Passion (14d), third ascent of Speed (14d), first ascent of la Foon (14d) and first ascent of Bah Bah Black Sheep (14c/d).

In addition, Autoroute profiles Swiss native Stephan Siegrist, climbing his amazing 26 pitch sport route, La Vida el Silbar on the Eiger's 6,000' North Face, Alex Huber on his unrepeated creation Black Power in Austria, and Lisa Rands sending hard boulder problems in Tralenta, France. Join these gifted and driven athletes as they travel along Europe's autoroute, in search of their next test-piece.
Check out the trailer by clicking here. It's well worth a look. (Broadband connection required!) We're also finalizing the DVD version of Robert's initial movie, Uncommon Ground. It should be out soon. Profits from sales through the web site go to support Thanks for your support.

Cautionary Tale:
I suppose you could consider this a prologue to the State-O-The-Ice... Remember the episode at the hanging Garden a few weeks ago? Well, when it is as cold as it has been, the quality of the ice becomes substantially harder and even more brittle than you might think. Of course that means that it is really fragile, even the really big stuff. Widows Walk at Frankenstein has finally touched down. This is one of those things that many people wait anxiously for every year, and it doesn't always happen. Well this year, there also was a drip to the right that didn't quite touch, but looked pretty reasonable. Several of the locals have been eyeing it for the past week or so and drooling a bit. So on Saturday, when it was really cold and there was almost no one out climbing, a couple of parties decided to have a look. One went up to Widow's and decided it wasn't for them, and then checked out the big column just to the right of Cave Route. While messing with it, it cracked across! They immediately decided it wasn't for them. A second party rapped down over the right hand drip, looking it over closely. Then the leader went up behind it and tapped on it prior to launching up. The entire drip cracked off near the top, and toppled to the ground. You can see the place where it was in this week's pictures. Fortunately the belayer was out of the way and very fortunately the huge piece of ice fell outward, and not in. Hmmm... Word to the wise!

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 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:

Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

There is no difference between religion and politics. Both involve lies and fanatical beliefs that generaly defy logic... Just like rock climbing.
Dave Schuller
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