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OK, OK, I admit it. I simply don't enjoy crack climbing yet. There,
I admit it and you can yell it from the tops of the cliffs. HE
DOESN'T LIKE CRACKS! While the security is nice, I'm simply not
someone who enjoys pain. And, any way you cut it in my book
crack climbing = pain
Pain in the toes sure, but mainly for me, it's the pain in the
fingers. Maybe it's just the musician in me - doing something that
hurts my fingers, makes me very nervous. Hey, when I was really
playing a lot in the 70's & 80's I was one of those people
who wouldn't even wash dishes because I was afraid of loosing my
calluses. I wouldn't take a shower within 6 hours of a performance!
Anyway, so what do you do when you don't like something? You do
a lot of it of course... <wry grin> On Tuesday I went over
to the North End with Maury McKinney of IMCS and climbed cracks.
And I really mean we climbed cracks. We did Birdnest, Bailsafe,
They Died Laughing and The Slot, plus the direct finish to the
Maury just cruisin' Birdnest. The first one was a bit of a
pain, but I have to admit by the time we were done I was getting
my crack-legs under me.
Last nite Jeff C and I had an hour after
an early dinner so we whipped up to the top of Cathedral, walked
around to the Lookout Crack ledge and I did the last pitch of the
Prow. I forget how much I like that climb until I do it again.
It's such an exposed position, the gear is sooo good and the climbing
is truly wonderful... Hey, it makes me forget about the fact that
it's actually a crack, even tho I try & jam the whole thing
just as an exercise. Here's a shot
of Jeff coming up for the first time. You notice that he isn't
looking down! <grin>
Now I have to confess that this is the scene of my ever first
leader-fall many years ago. I was doing it for the first time after
having led Fun House, Black Lung and Upper Refuse. I wasn't climbing
10's at that time, but I had heard that the gear was good so I
figured, "why not give it a try?" The step down off the
ledge and into the climb was a bit entertaining, but once in the
crack out on the slab the climbing was superb. I did turn around
to look out from a stance, probably not the best thing to do, and
the exposure was breathtaking. It looks like you were right at
the edge of the world. Placing good gear all the way (yes I sewed
it up folks) I got to the little headwall, somehow found the good
stem and fiddled in a purple Metolius under the bulge. (This was
before I had the right RP that fits in the slot above the bulge.)
Anyway, as I was jerking on the cam to make sure it was good, it
pulled and ba-ba-bing...off I went. The medium nut I had placed
in the crack about 2' below was perfect-o so even with the rope
stretch all I did was take about a 6' fall back onto my feet. No
harm done, but it certainly did get my attention. Now I was embarrassed,
but the really cool thing about taking that fall was that it solidified
something that I already knew intellectually - THE SYSTEM WORKS!
I don't think that you really know that unless actually you do
So, of course whenever I go up & do that climb I can't help
but remember this little episode. Mind you it doesn't inspire any
fear, only the memory. And actually, considering that it ended
well and I learned a good lesson, it's actually a pretty reassuring
Oh yeah, one other thing... I wonder if everyone else is as happy
as I am to have the root-handle right there in the niche? Makes
ya wonder if the climb should go up a grade when the root is gone? <grin> How
many other places are there around here where nature helps out
on the climb in this manner. The tree at the top of the Pegasus
Rock Finish comes quickly to mind. Can you think of any others?
More About Pins:
There is more to pins than just someone stealing them. Really...
This just in -
"...last weekend we rapped off p3 of Pathfinder on those
two fixed pins at the top of the pitch. As I lowered over
the edge I had the pleasure of seeing the right pin shift a good
quarter inch. The pins seemed totally solid for a body weight
rap, so I was definitely surprised. Slowest, smoothest rap
I've ever done. If you need to bail off this pitch, back
it up with a nut! Unless, of course, you like that spicy
feel while you're rapping."
Is it just me, or does this sound an ideal place for a (heaven
forbid) 2-bolt anchor? Those pins have been problematic forever
and probably should have been bolts in the beginning. I don't believe
that you can back them either. Hmmm.... Is this retrobolting?
Don't Forget to Dress for Dinner - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????
Reuters - Tue 11 May, 2004 21:13
Seven men who enjoyed duck and caviar at more than 22,000 feet
in the Himalayas pitched a claim Tuesday for the record highest
altitude formal dinner. One Australian and six British men made
it to the top of the 23,113-feet Tibetan peak Lhakpa Ri near Mount
Everest carrying tables, chairs and white tie dinner suits earlier
this month. Gales forced them back to 22,326 feet for the sumptuous
"Great party," team leader Henry Shelford said by telephone
after returning to Britain. "Shame about the atmosphere."
The Guinness World Records said it was verifying the claim that
the team, who did not have previous mountaineering experience,
had broken the previous record of 22,204 feet for the highest formal
dinner, set by Australian climbers in 1989.
NEW ENGLAND AAC SECTION SUMMER OUTING - From AAC E-News
On Saturday, June 12, at 5 p.m., the New England Section of the
AAC will host a barbecue in the heart of the White Mountains
in Albany, New Hampshire. Bring slides, fishing gear and something
to grill. The event is at 17 Bridge St. in Albany, rain or shine.
Directions: http://www.atkinsopht.com. For more information,
contact Nancy Savickas at mailto:nj_Savickas_28@hotmail.com.
AAC MEMBER WINS SECOND PULITZER - From AAC E-News
Former AAC director Bill Stall, an editorial writer for the "Los
Angeles Times," has won his second Pulitzer Prize. Stall won
the Pulitzer for editorial writing for his commentaries on California’s
state government. In 1994, Stall was part of a "Los Angeles
Times" team that won a Pulitzer for spot news coverage of
the Northridge, Calif., earthquake. Stall served on the board from
1992 to 1998 and is a member of the AAC’s Policy Committee.
He has written editorials on the Forest Service fixed-anchor ban
and about solo climbing.
APE EXHIBIT NOT CLIMBER-PROOF - From AAC E-News
Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo invited five climbers to test
out its new ape house and discovered that the “escape-proof” exhibit
was not as secure as they’d hoped. The 12,000-square-foot
outdoor yard of the exhibit is guarded by a 12-foot overhanging
wall. Five climbers volunteered to test the wall and, with bouldering
pads at its base, they quickly found six routes to the top, ranging
in difficulty from V0 to V4. The zoo now will go back to the drawing
board and try to eliminate the small holds on the wall; they’ve
promised to invite the climbers back in June for another round
of testing before the apes move in.
Swiss Climbing Champion Killed in Afghanistan:
The Australian - May 11, 2004
A Swiss passport found with two men who were beaten to death in
an Afghan park belonged to a former world-class competitive climber,
police said today. The passport was in the name of Geneva native
Elie Chevieux, 30, cantonal (state) police spokesman Christophe
Zawadzki said, confirming reports in local media. Chevieux was
second in the world competitive climbing championships in 1995
and Swiss champion in 1996 and 1997. His body was found in a Kabul
park on Sunday. Police said the men, who were wearing baggy Afghan
dress and woolen hats, had been beaten over the head with stones
or bricks. An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said they had
also been stabbed and that one also showed signs of strangulation.
Nothing to Do With Climbing:
Like most of you I am plagued with the emails containing viruses
and the like as attachments. Most of these are things that there
is no possible reason for someone to be sending anyone else,
unless they are a virus. These are attachments with extensions
like SCR, PIF, EXE, COM and the like. Recently I created a rule
in for my wife in Outlook and one for me in Entourage that looks
at the name of and attachments that some in, and automatically
deletes them if they have an offending extension. It's easy to
do and seems to be pretty foolproof. Here is the list of attachments
to toss that I came up with:
In my experience absolutely no legitimate emails ever come through
having an attachment of these types. You should also be careful
of ZIP files as they may well contain one of these other files.
I hope that this helps...
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective March 6, 2014
While the ice is going through a bit of a change, what with the weather being so cold, it's still very good in most places. With the longer days and more intense sunlight we should start to see some refreshing going on, as soon as the temps moderate. Most climbs in the direct sun are starting to see a little water during the day, in spite of the cold. The stuff in the shade that's looking a bit beat up and that in the direct sun is a little pinky. That said, it looks as if this weekend things are going to moderate, so it should be a good one.
BTW I am aware that some of today's pix are of a decidedly poorer quality than we all are used to. This is because my main camera's battery pack died and I had to use my cell phone camera - sorry about that.
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 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:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was.
Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself.