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April 1, 2004

Hi Folks,

So what are YOU afraid of? Is it the 10b crux bulge on Tranquility, seconding the traverse on the pitch 2 of The Book, first pitch of Children's Crusade, or maybe that little 5.6 slab start to Bombardment? I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that everyone has some climb or part of a climb that they're afraid of. It goes with the territory, right? We're all climbers here, and part of the deal is that we work through these things.

Well there are definitely some things in my life other than climbing that hold a certain amount of fear for me, and recently I had to confront one of my deep ones. As you may, or may not, know I turned 56 this year. As both of my parents had colon cancer, I am definitely at risk. Well, at my annual physical this summer my doctor said that he wanted me to have the dreaded colonoscopy!!!! There wasn't any indication that I have a problem, but screening for people over 50 is a smart idea, especially with my family history. I've known that this was coming and wasn't surprised, but believe you me I still wasn't very happy about it.

Now I'm not going to go into a full blown description of the procedure here other than to say that it consists of having a device inserted in a dark place and it goes way the heck up inside of you. You can read about it in detail here:

The reason I'm bringing this up is because, as with many things in life, the fear of something is very often worse than the actual thing. THis is one of those situations. These days they use an anesthesia that knocks you out for a very short period of time and has little or no side effects. An hour after the procedure I went home, ate some lunch and did some work. I was just a little tired and expelled a LOT of gas. My son thought that was hysterical. I went out climbing the next day. Turns out that the worst part of the whole thing was the prep. The clean-out procedure was uncomfortable and just generally nasty - like a bad case of the runs. That said, it is very manageable.

So why am I sharing this with you 595 folks? One reason and one reason only, reassurance. If you are in the target group that should be screened and are putting it off because you are afraid of it for one reason or another, DON'T. It is absolutely not that bad and frankly the downside if you don't do it and have a problem is potentially waaaay worse. Hey, getting the screening is far easier than any of the climbing that I mentioned above. You still don't want to fall off of that 5.6 slab. <grin>

PS - They found a couple of polyps in my exam, which the doctor removed on the way out. Everything else was clean (so to speak), but that means that I have to have another one next year. Still, my odds are very good, and I like to stack the odds, and nuts, in my favor as much as possible.

Strange Sighting:
A weird episode took place at the Lost Horizon Cliff this weekend. A party of 9 was toproping "When Dad's Run Free" when the an individual wearing a mask and cape appeared from nowhere, pushed past them shouting something to the effect of "Betaman lives" and according to reports "levitated up the route and disappeared." One of the party snapped this picture.

Everest Challenge A Success:
Looks as if the "Everest Challenge" to benefit restoring access to Petra Cliffs was a success, raising more than $6,000 for CRAG-VT (Climbing Resource Access Group). Crag-VT is a nonprofit formed to work with landowners and climbers to attain access of areas that are on private land. For more information, go here or call Petra Cliffs (866) 657-3872. To see photos of the events, see the Living section, Page 1C in Thursday's Free Press. An article, sans pix, is on line here.

And Yet Another Good Cause:
Looking for a good cause to support but don't have any cash? Well here's a way you can do it. As people switch to DVD’s and you are wondering what to do with those old videos that you or your kids don’t watch any more, send them to dZi. DZI is looking for any educational videos for their two girls homes in Kathmandu, Nepal and Gangtok Sikkim. If you have any National Geographic or documentary videos that are collecting dust send them to the address below. We have girls of all ages so if your kids have outgrown a toddlers video we can use it. If you want a tax credit for the donation you need to enclose a note with the value of the video’s.

The dZi Foundation
P. O. Box 632
546 Hyde St.
Ridgway Co. 81432

For more info about DZI, go here -

Mal Daly Update:
You may remember that Mal Daly, president of the Trango gear company, suffered a massive heart attack a few weeks ago. A few days ago I received an email from him with a complete blow-by-blow description of the incident. It is great to hear that things aren't as bad as it seemed and it looks as if he will be making a full recovery. Mal is one of those guys that you simply can't imagine having a heart attack. I guess it's a wake up call that it can happen to anyone and you damn sure better be happy right NOW! Get well soon Mal, We miss you dude.

Darwin in Hong Kong:
A mountain climber in Shanghai fell to his death when he tried to abseil into his apartment after arriving home without his keys, it was reported. The experienced climber tied a rope to his waist and tried to lower himself from the 11th floor of the block of flats where he lived onto the balcony of his 10th floor flat. However, the rope snapped as he began his descent and he plummeted to his death, the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily reported.

State O The Rock:
The weekend was beautiful, but I wasn't able to climb at all. <sigh> Fortunately I was able to get in a couple of good road-bike rides, couched in the disguise of running into town on errands. <grin> Monday was gorgeous, but of course I had too much work to do and was stuck on the computer. Yes I DO actually have to work for a living. I was able to get out in the nice weather on Tuesday with George Hurley and Dave Powers, my buddy who lives up by Lake Willoughby. We met here at 9 AM and I was convinced that we weren't going to be able to climb at all. The temp was below freezing and there were little snow flurries. But, the prediction was for it to burn off so off we went to Cathedral. I drew the first lead on a nice 5.9 crack and I must say that the cold really made my hands cry out in pain. George got the second just as the sun started coming out and it really warmed up quick. By the time Dave's turn came up it was in the mid-40's in the sun and beautiful. Here are some pix:

Al climbing Mona L'Hereux's, No Guts No Glory (5.8?)
George on his Mighty Mite (5.7)
Dave doing Peg Immel's Aretably Short (5.10a)

Unfortunately the weather since Tuesday hasn't been good at all. we haven't had all that much rain, but it's been a steady drizzle for 2 days. Basically it's been pretty darn obnoxious. I suppose that the only good thing is that it's washing the ice & snow away. That said, there will still be some ice in the nooks and crannies for a couple of weeks to come.

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

I was damn glad I was with George. He was solid. I told him of my confidence, and he replied that he felt the same way. I might be lousy on 5.10, but he reckoned I had a high survival potential.
Chris Jones
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