NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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April 29, 2004

Hi Folks,

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 about it.Well 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?

Guidebook Info - next-to-last call:
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.

Access Fund Update - from E-News #42:
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:

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

Peregrine Closure on Cathedral - by Chris Martin NH Audubon:
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 cliff.

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 to Cathedral.

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.

Eiger's North Face 'too dangerous to climb' - By Emma Hartley:
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...

Climbers Seek Missing Camera for Answer to Mount Everest Mystery:
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...

Of Bugs & Critters:
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.

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

Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any sport that requires you to change clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers always wear their climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of a machine room.
From: Real programmers don't write specs
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