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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
Climber* Rescuer * Friend
Killed in an avalanche while on
a search for a fellow climber.
January 25, 1982.
I won't go into who Albert was, and the details
of what took place that night in this newsletter. You can look
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
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
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
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
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.
A U T O R O U T E
"...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..."
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
Huber on his unrepeated creation Black Power in Austria, and Lisa Rands
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
required!) We're also finalizing the DVD version of Robert's initial movie,
Ground. It should be out soon. Profits from sales through the web site
go to support NEClimbs.com. Thanks for your support.
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!
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 23, 2017
The warmup has really hit us hard everywhere but in the higher elevations. Anywhere in the direct sun is dam close to toast right now. The Amphitheater at Frankenstein is off the radar, or certainly should be. You can probably do the Pegasus rock finish, but that's all. And I would be VERY careful walking under anything over in that area. As of today, Thursday Feb 23, Standard Route still looks OK. I also spotted someone climbing on Waterfall, tho I'm sure that the normally funky top outs are worse. The bottom of Dropline fell down, but Dracula still looks good. I was pleased to see that Willies still looks good. The snow has compacted and I saw what looked to be blue ice. The left side of Willard is basically gone, but Hitchcock, The Cleft, Left Hand Wrench, the far right slab and Elephant Head are still climbable. Other than the Barking Dog and North End I would write off Cathedral Ledge. I know people are going to ask about Repentance, etc and frankly I would caution away from it. In fact anything that is supposed to be attached to rock is suspect. Not to mention the fact that there is a LOT of stuff hanging around above you on Cathedral at this time.
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
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.