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April 15, 2004

Hi Folks,

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...

Peregrine Update - from Chris Martin, Senior Biologist NH Audubon:
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 g
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 up to...

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 routes yourself?

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, and believe me - we sincerely appreciate your support.

Touching The Void - HERE in the Happy Valley:
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 sent ya!

Malcom Daly & Dave Benson Updates:
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 us.

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.

Inferno Race:
This weekend is the annual Inferno Race put on by the Friends Of Tuckerman. You can get more information at the web site. I'll be up helping in the Ravine as a representative of the MRS. Hope to see you there.

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

The rules of the game must be constantly updated to keep up with the expanding technology. Otherwise we overkill the classic climbs and delude ourselves into thinking we are better climbers than the pioneers.
Yvon Chouinard
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