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April 29, 2004
One of the quotes you often hear about the weather in New Hampshire
goes something like "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute." My
musician friend Bob Rutherford even wrote a song
this year we've got it in spade. In fact in the 7 1/2 years we've
lived in the Valley, I don't think that I've ever seen the confusion
of weather that we've been having lately. If you think I'm kidding,
check out what it was like today...
I met my buddy Dave over at the Ethereal Buttress
at Whitehorse at 10:30. The plan was to do Loose Lips. The sun
was out and since I had my light Vertex jacket on, I was pretty
warm when I got to the base of the climb. The sun was out & I
imagine it was in the upper 50's. Dave was running laps on Seventh
Seal when I got there, so I took off my jacket, jumped on his rope
and he brought me up. It was a beautiful morning at that time.
A few clouds came in just before I leaned over to clip the first
bolt, but I didn't figure it was anything. By the time I got to
the belay, about 30 minutes later, the temperature had dropped
probably 7-8 degrees and it was starting to lightly spit sleet/hail!
You could see the low clouds blowing through the Valley from both
the North and West. I encouraged Dave to hurry as I thought that
if it got any moisture on the climb, he wouldn't have a change
of getting up it. By the time he got to the belay it was breezy
and I was definitely getting cold.
By the time we rapped off the clouds had blown through and the
sun was coming out again. Another party was t/r-ing Ethereal Crack
and they said they had driven over to Franconia Notch in the early
morning and it had been snowing over there! A few more spits came
down, but then the sun came out and we decided to give Short Order
a shot since Dave had never done it. The weather seemed to be holding
up for the time being and there were an amazing number of climbers
over on the slabs doing things like Sea Of Holes, Standard Route
and the like. Although it had warmed up a lot, I decided to keep
my jacket on while I climbed. Finally a smart move on my part.
By the time I got to the crux of the climb the wind had picked
up significantly and the temp had dropped another 6-7 degrees.
By now you could see the jackets on the people on the slabs whipping
around and a lucky few were even pulling up their hoods. Jacket
notwithstanding, by the time Dave got up to the belay I was cold.
It made me think about ice climbing again. Sheesh...
By now it was after 2 and time to head home. Amazingly enough
after we coiled the ropes, filled the packs and started hiking
out, the sun came out again and it warmed right up. Of course by
then most of the folks on the slabs had rapped off or were gone.
Walking past the ramp up to the Launching Pad I noticed that there
was still snow on the ground and based on today's experience, why
am I not surprised?
As you know, I am putting together a new guidebook for the Mount
Washington Valley. I will hopefully include a significant majority
of the new routes put up in the area since Ed Webster's last release
7 years ago, If you have any NEW routes that you have put up in
that time, especially if they haven't made it into the New Routes
Book at IME, please let me know ASAP. I have data-entered all that
info and a lot more and I am getting ready to start editing. If
you want your opus to be included, you need to get it to me in
the next week or so.
The Access Fund has awarded $19,500 in its first round of grant
funding for 2004. Awarded three times annually, Climbing Preservation
Grants provide financial assistance for local climber activism
and protection of the climbing environment. The grants will be
distributed for trail improvements, education and start-up assistance
for newly formed local climber organizations.
Regionally the Access Fund has donated $250 to the Friends of
Auburn Ice Canyon. Access to one of the only ice climbing venues
in eastern MA is threatened by conflicts with adjacent private
landowner. Funds will help defray the cost of producing informational
signs and brochures directing climbers to parking and access routes.
The Access Fund's Most Endangered Climbing Area Program Request
for Help. We need your help to identify the most endangered climbing
area in your region. (Please respond to this request no later than
May 14, 2004. Send your response to Shawn Tierney at: email@example.com).
What we need: The name and location of the most endangered climbing
area; The reason(s) that the area is endangered, based on one or
more of the following criteria: An area that is facing unreasonable
restrictions or closures due to: Land use planning and policy changes
Presence of cultural/historic resources and/or endangered species
Overuse and impacts to natural resources Development pressure
The Cathedral Ledge peregrine falcons are incubating their eggs
near the upper portion of "Retaliation" and "Youth
Challenge" routes. The nest is located in a very small cave
behind a loose block of rock, the same spot they used in 2002.
For those of you who watch the birds with spotting scopes, the
head of an incubating bird that is sitting on the nest can be seen
if you set up your tripod along the roadside about half-way out
toward West Side Road near the Sanctuary Street intersection.
Maury McKinney from IMCS and I placed the temporary closure signs
on portions of the Barber Wall at Cathedral Ledge on Friday afternoon
4/23. There are 4 signs on top of the cliff, 4 at the base of the
Barber Wall, and 1 at the parking area kiosk at the bottom of the
Incubation started sometime after 4/12, but before 4/22 when Robert
Vallieres first located the nest. With a 35-day incubation period,
the eggs are due to hatch after 5/17, but before 5/27. Late in
the afternoon on Friday 4/23, after posting the signs, I watched
the fireworks when an extra immature female peregrine showed up.
Both of the resident adult falcons eventually chased this interloper
north, at least half-way to Humphrey's Ledge, before returning
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
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 NEClimbs.com, and believe
me - we sincerely appreciate your support.
London: It is one of the world's most famous climbs, but may not
be for much longer. Mountaineers are being warned that the North
Face of the Eiger has become too dangerous to attempt because its
ice fields are melting. More...
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- Eighty years after British climbers George
Mallory and Andrew Irvine vanished on Mount Everest, a search party
is seeking a camera which may prove whether the pair were the first
to reach the summit of the world's highest peak. More...
This week I've raised the Bug Report to a low, but not insignificant
# 1. After getting bit by mosquitoes and no-see-ums the other
evening and picking a couple of ticks off my belly after a climb
on Cathedral, I figure it's that time. If we're lucky we'll have
one good freeze that might knock out the first round of black
flies, but I'm not counting on it and besides...that would kill
off some of my plants. <sigh>
At least one bear came by my yard the other night and ripped apart
my composter. Another got my neighbor's birdfeeders a few days
before and he had a moose in his yard a couple of afternoon's ago.
If you're camping in the woods in the area be aware and don't keep
food in your tent. The wild animals are out & they ARE hungry.
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
|Being out on lead is like having a loaded gun pointed at your head all day !|
|Russ "The Fish" Walling|