NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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July 15, 2004

Hi Folks,

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 the masses.

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 stuff.

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!



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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


There is no difference between religion and politics. Both involve lies and fanatical beliefs that generaly defy logic... Just like rock climbing.
Dave Schuller
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