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July 22, 2004

Hi Folks,

I had to watch my son Daz all day on Sunday, so we played a game to see if we could "find" the sometimes elusive Lost Ledge. <grin> Well, someone's done a nice job of flagging the trail and putting up cairns so that's not much of a problem this year. In fact it makes for a nice hike, all in the shade, and absolutely perfect on a hot summer day. In spite of some pretty good elevation gain, it only took us about 45 minutes - and that's with a 4-year old. Almost perfect. The significant down spot being Daz finding 4-5 hypodermic syringes in the woods right next to the trailhead!

I haven't discussed drugs with him yet, and he really doesn't know anything about them other than his grandpa takes medicine and the the fact that he gets shots at the doctor's office. Unfortunately he actually did pick one up, but THANK GOD it was capped and he didn't poke himself with it. Believe me, it scared me to death! I picked them up wearing gloves and took them all to the Saco River Ranger Station after our hike. They said that someone had found 5 more last week by the Albany Covered Bridge. Sheesh! And I thought I left this behind when I left the city. Am I living in another world or what? <sigh> I guess it's everywhere. Keep your eyes open...

That said there was chalk on both slabs, so obviously someone had been up there on Saturday. On top of that there were also a couple of nice shiny new bolts in the middle of the Main Slab. I asked around a bit and it turns out that there actually had been some new route development done the day before. Thanks to Larry Boehmler, Joe Cote and Jean Goldsborough for the following descriptions -

Gawking at the Broad Squad 5.5
Start by a large yellow birch tree which is in front of Four Holes climb on the Carpet Slab.
Pitch 1: Use the same start as Four Holes up to a 1/4" bolt with a homemade hanger (made by Joe Cote in 1973). Climb straight up past two new bolts over dimples and chicken like heads which makes for very pleasant climbing to a two bolt hanger 110' of 5.5 climbing.
Pitch 2: Continue for 75' of low angle 5.2 slab climbing to a tree anchor.
FA: Joe Cote, Larry Boehmler - July 17, 2004
(Note: The name is in reference to three lovely ladies who were doing a FA a few feet away,)

Girls Prefer Batteries 5.5
Pitch 1: Start 20 feet left of Four Holes. Climb the smooth slab (crux) to a bolt. Continue straight up just right of a faint seam to the large, deep pothole on Cover Girl (bolt). Angle slightly right and up the headwall to a comfortable 2 bolt belay. (100’) 5.5
Pitch 2: Trend slightly right up a clean streak, past a left facing flake (optional cam placement) to the top. You can rappel twice with one 60 meter rope or to the bottom with 2 ropes.
FA: Jean Goldsborough, Ellen Moran, Carol Orth – July 17, 2004

(Note: the first bolt was placed free on the lead and the others on top rope. The bolts were placed by hand, hence the tongue-in-cheek reference to the girls desiring a battery-powered drill.)

Both of these climbs look very nice and worth the hike. In fact Lost Ledge is one of those places that's low traffic and has some very moderate climbing in an absolutely wonderful location. A perfect place during fall foliage season!

Your Help Needed:
The annual MRS Cathedral Ledge Cleanup is scheduled for Tuesday July 27, 4:00 PM. This is a great way to help preserve our favorite resource. Please meet at the kiosk at the base of Cathedral. Bags and gloves will be provided. The annual Bar-B-Q (not to be missed) will follow at the Nereledge Inn around 6:00. Be there, or be very SQUARE.

Peregrine Restriction On Cathedral Lifted - from Chris Martin - NH Audubon:
Just wanted you to know that the single fledgling peregrine at Cathedral Ledge is out and about now. All temporary climbing restriction signs have been removed from the top and the bottom of the Barber Wall and from the kiosk at the parking area below.

Fire On Top Of Cathedral Ledge:
For the second year running there was a brushfire at the top of Cathedral Ledge on the night of July 4th! This was obviously caused by people shooting off fireworks. While this year wasn't good, last year was worse when Chief Preece and Kevin Hickey had to hang over a ledge with hoses to put out the fire. Apparently the call went out at around 10:15 and it took until after midnight to get it put out. I really think it would be a good idea to gate the road on holidays to cut down on the possibility of a real tragedy taking place. Even better would be a Tire Mangler like those used in Red Rocks and other areas to keep people from driving up after hours, but allowing them to leave. Of course this is New Hampshire and there is no money for anything like this, so I doubt it will happen. <sigh>

Access Fund Awards - from Access Fund Press Release:
The Access Fund has awarded $9,000 in its second 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.

“The Access Fund is committed to preserving the climbing experience for present and future generations,” said Shawn Tierney, Access and Acquisitions Director. “We’re proud to fund these important initiatives on behalf of our members and the entire climbing community.”

A number of grants were awarded, including one to the Gunks Climbers Coalition for campground improvements at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Multiple Use Area. Improvements will include a new and more detailed campground map, signs and clearer designation of camping sites. The free campground, which has been used by climbers for decades, is located adjacent to the Mohonk Preserve.

Dolomite peaks falling Reuters:
Freak weather has caused the collapse of some of the most famous peaks in the Italian Dolomites, in what some scientists said yesterday was linked to global warming. In little more than a month at least four massive rock formations — including one of the famous Five Towers near Cortina — have fallen away from the northern Italian mountain range, dramatically altering its landscape of jagged, rose-coloured peaks and the routes of tens of thousands of climbers. Scientists say erosion, accelerated by an unseasonably cold winter following the hottest summer in 250 years, was the primary cause behind the falls.

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.

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Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

If you got the f****n' spirit you rock, if you don''re a sport climber
Leonard Coyne
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