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Have you been paying any attention to the Tour
de France? In the
past I haven't paid all that much attention to bike racing, but
this year it really caught my attention. Now of course this just
might have something to do with the fact that I got a new road
bike this season and Lance shooting for his 6th straight win. Ya
think? The ads with regular people daydreaming about racing against
Lance are really compelling. OLN (The Outdoor Life Network) has
been really playing it up this month. Couple that with 4 good commentators,
generally excellent videography, a compelling back-story (Lance)
and it's easy to get caught up. I gotta tell you, for a lot of
folks including me it's inspiring.
So, why isn't there a contest for climbing that's like the Tour
De France? Of course I know that there are sport and ice climbing
comps in Europe, but they just don't seem to have the cachet of
the Tour. There were a series of interesting comps in the 90's
with competitors like Lynn Hill and the like, but for a variety
of reasons they didn't catch on. Recently I've seen video of the
World Cup comps for both rock & ice and they just aren't compelling.
It's surprising, considering the quality of the climbing videos
that are out these days. Maybe it's the fact that (for the rock
at least) it's indoors, on plastic and at most 60-80' off the ground
instead of 2000' off the deck in the mountains. Of course the informed
and lucid commentary of Liggett and Sherwen, and (thank God) the
lack of techno-music certainly adds something to the presentation.
Hey, I'd just like to see our favorite sport get some of the attention
and respect that it deserves. The Tour inspires even the most average
rider, and helps to draw new ones into the world of road-bike riding.
From what I hear and read it's the segment of the industry that
has been noticeably expanding over the past few years. I can tell
just by the number of riders I've seen on the road this summer.
I'm not sure what it would take to do, but I'd love to see it happen
for climbing. We need some inspiration that can trickle down to
Rain, Rain... Go the Heck Away:
You may have noticed that it's been raining a lot lately. It seems
as if we've moved into a pattern of a couple of days of rain
and a nice day - rinse, repeat. This reminds me of the first
summer the wife and I moved up here, in '97. It rained pretty
much every day for the entire month of July. Since I couldn't
climb I started riding my mountain bike every day just to get
out. My clothes never dried out the entire month. Then magically,
at the end of the month, it cleared and we had a spectacular
fall. Hopefully it won't take that long. Let's hope...
Nice Work, If You Can Get It - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Rock climbers are chipping away at dangerous outcroppings on a
rock face high above a busy road in Beaver County, knocking down
rocks before gravity frees them -- with perhaps deadly results.
The climbers are employed by Janod Contractors, which is based
in Vermont and Canada. The state Department of Transportation
hired Janod as part of a $14.6 million project to rebuild Route
51, which has been closed several times in recent years because
of slides. If you think that the bolting around here is something,
check out this
Speaking Of Missing Fixed Gear:
It has been confirmed that the pins are gone from the upper section
of Arno's Corner (5.10) on Whitehorse. Needless to say, this
climb becomes a very different outing without the pins, as you
can't protect it with your own gear. Whoever has been taking
pins in the area has now done something that puts people at direct
risk. In this case you simply can't tell they're gone until you're
up there & I don't think that most people can downclimb the
moves. While you can argue that it's one thing to pull the pins
from the anchor on Black Lung, in my opinion this is a different
matter. It certainly does not appear to be a part of any "ethical
statement." All in all it's a really bad business and I
can only hope that the culprit is found or comes to his or her
senses before someone is seriously injured!
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:
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.