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April 15, 2004
t's easy to put of going climbing these days.
Yes the weather has been getting better, and we certainly have
nice days here and there. Heck, we can even have strings of beautiful
days like last week. But I know a lot of folks who for whatever
reasons would rather wait until spring climbing is in full-bore
before getting out there on the crag.
I've been having a problem getting out as much as I would like,
mainly because my schedule these days is just so weird. When I
can go, no one else is available. So I've been taking the opportunity
to ride my road bike and pump some iron at the Cranmore gym. I
have been putting together my tick-list for rock season and it's
going to take some extra work to make it happen. I figure that
putting on a little muscle certainly can't hurt.
"Good To Go," my friend remarked
the other day as we stood at the base of Whitehorse Ledge. He
was commenting on the fact that there was pretty much no visible
ice high on the upper slabs. I nodded in response, but now the
question is whether I am! We'll see...
On 4/12/2004, I confirmed that the peregrine falcons at Painted
Walls on the WMNF in Albany, NH are incubating eggs. They are
using the wide grassy ledge in the middle of the cliff that they
have used in most previous nesting seasons (but not in 2003).
This ledge is located near the "Northwest Passage" climbing
route. Hatch is due on or about 5/17.
While the signs have not yet been placed in the field, based on
discussions today with Kathy Starke from the WMNF Saco District,
it is safe to assume that Painted Walls cliff will be temporarily
closed to climbing through the falcon nesting season. Rainbow Slabs
will not be included in this closure. Adherence to the conditions
of the closure is most important during the next 5 weeks of incubation
and in the the following 6 weeks when we hope there will be young
falcons on the ledge.
N e w E n g l a n d B o u l d e r i n
Tim Kemple's HOT new guidebook
The long-awaited guidebook for bouldering
in New England is finally out. This is the only comprehensive
bouldering guide covering New England's best areas. Written
by renowned climber and action photographer Tim Kemple, New
England Bouldering has the ALL the beta on all the problems
at Lincoln Woods, Pawtuckaway and Blair Woods, Hammond Pond,
Rumney, Smugglers' Notch, Western Mass, and McKenzie Pond.
Collaborator Pete Ward illuminates each area with insightful
and humorous historical sections and scores of Tim's killer
action photographs will pump you up to get out and climb!
Here's some excerpts from an interview
with Tim we did recently about the book and what's he's been
NEC - So how long have you been working
on this guide?
TK - I had a head start because I had already
done a Pawtuckaway Bouldering guide. So it was quick to update
that with Blair Woods and other new problems. All told it
took 2 months of me dragging my feet and 6 months of Dave
(Pegg the publisher) kicking me in the butt every morning
NEC - Have you done or attempted all these
TK - I think this might be a rarity, but
I have done all but a handful of problems in the guide and
attempted them all.
You can read more from Tim here.
New England Bouldering is NOW
AVAILABLE. If you
want to be the first to get yours CLICK
HERE. You can see
lots more pictures, a sample from the book and read the full
interview with Tim. Remember, if you purchase the book through
us you support the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs.com,
and believe me - we sincerely appreciate your support.
For those of you who live in the Valley, or visit often... the
movie "Touching the Void", based on Joe Simpson's book,
will have a short run at the Majestic Theatre in Conway starting
this Friday April 16, 7:00pm nightly. I can't believe it. Touching
the Void is actually coming to Happy Valley, and to boot it's
playing at the one really good theater in town - The Majestic
in Conway Village. I'd heard about it from Dave Kelly at EMS
and I just got an email from Joe Quirk, the owner, telling me
about it as well. So, if you live here or you are in town visiting
over the weekend & looking for something to do PLEASE support
Joe & the Majestic & go see it there. Tell 'em NEClimbs
As you remember a few weeks ago two friends were involved in life
threatening and life altering incidents. Trango president Malcom
Daly had a heart attack and David Benson, a climber friend from
Boston, was caught in an avalanche while back-country skiing
in Colorado. It was an emotionally draining week for many of
The long and the short of it is that Malcom
is doing amazingly well considering the initial gloomy prognosis.
As long as he gets consistent exercise and takes care of himself
he has a significant chance of not having any further problems.
I had a conversation with him a few days ago and he sounded like
the same old Mal - upbeat, positive and thinking ahead to the
next thing. Hell, he was talking about buying a bass guitar and
getting back into playing again. Heck, that's about as forward
looking as I can imagine. <grin>
David is doing much better than he was, tho the prognosis is not
at all what we had hoped for. From reading some postings and a
letter he wrote that was forwarded to me apparently he is quadriplegic!
It's not clear from what I have read just how much hope there is
for a significant recovery. That said, the letter had a surprisingly
positive tone and I feel confident that if there is anything that
he can do to get himself better, he will do it. This is one strong
and positive dude. There is a Yahoo group, friendsfordavid, set
up to communicate with and about him.
Both of these guys are very special people. The climbing community
is surprisingly small, but I am finding it amazing how many know
them. You tend to cruise along every day and take people's comings
and goings for granted, but it pays to stop for a second and look
around at the people you speak with. Every person whose path you
cross has an effect on your life, some good, some bad and some
that are just irreplaceable. Tho I don't see either of these guys
that often, they are definitely in the latter category.
This weekend is the annual Inferno Race put on by the Friends Of
Tuckerman. You can get more information at the web
be up helping in the Ravine as a representative of the MRS. Hope
to see you there.
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
|if your going to solo, fall early|