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October 7, 2004
Well the north-country has passed it's big annual milestone this
week. That's right, we've had the first hard-freeze of the season.
It was 26 degrees here at Cathedral Ledge this Wednesday morning!
While we aren't a full peak here in the Valley for the leaf-peeping
community, we will be in a matter of days. An inviting whiteness
of rime-ice has been spotted in Franconia Notch & on top of
Canon. If that doesn't get your juices flowing, I don't know what
will. Of course it won't be there for very long at this time of
year, but it certainly is a precursor to things to come.
No matter what anyone says, I've come to the conclusion that it's
pretty much impossible to predict the quality of any given ice
season. I've heard all kinds of theories as to what makes a good
season happen. Some seem to make a lot of sense, but only once
we're already IN the season. No one I know has come up with a way
to predict how it's going to be. That said, it really doesn't matter.
Unless we have some sort of major global warming that totally keeps
the ice from forming at all, there will be plenty of ice to do.
If you look at the history of ice climbing in New England, the
fact is that there hasn't been ice forming for the last 30 years
like it did in the 70's. Look at the pictures of Fang, Repentance
and The Myth in Peter Lewis' guidebook. When was the last time
you saw those climbs in those kind of conditions? Not in the 20
years that I've been hanging out around here, that's for sure!
Of course that hasn't kept folks from doing any of those climbs,
and a lot more. Standards have risen with new tools and better
protection, and there is plenty of stuff to climb at almost any
There was an accident on Standard Route on the Whitehorse slabs
Wednesday afternoon. Apparently leader Mike Grumbach from Westford,
Mass. fell on the Brown Spot and broke or seriously sprained
his ankle. According to Brian Abrams of NH Fish & Game, Grumbach
fell about 15' above his last piece, taking a 30' fall. 5 members
of the local Mountain Rescue Service including Dave Kelly and
Craig Taylor of EMS and Brad White and Zeb Jakub of IMCS aided
in bringing the injured climber and his partner down. The accident
took place at about 4:15 and the rescue was completed by 6:45.
The folks from our local Mountain Rescue Service R U L E !!!!!
There is no one like them. Great work guys.
Once again we have ADDED another prize to out donor-raffle. This
time it's a copy of the latest Accidents In North American Mountaineering.
Get your contribution in BY OCTOBER 15th and be automatically
entered in a raffle for these GREAT PRIZES:
A brand new Charlet Moser ice screw
Three brand new snow pickets from an anonymous donor
Robert Frost's acclaimed climbing DVD, "Auto Road"
"An Ice Climbers Guide to Northern New England" by Lewis & Wilcox
Tim Kemple's "New England Bouldering" guidebook
Anderl Heckmair's climbing autobiography "My Life"
A copy of the latest issue of Accidents In North American Mountaineering
Peter Lewis' great topo map/guide to Whitehorse Ledge
This collection value is over $250 folks!!!!
The drawing will be held on October 21st, 2004 and winners will
be notified in that week's Report. Your donation must be postmarked
or received by PayPal before October 15, 2004 to be entered. It's
a perfect opportunity to support NEClimbs, and a great chance to
win a useful prize.
This is the last week of the annual fundraiser that keeps NEClimbs
and the White Mountain Report crankin'. To date we've had a total
of 75 individual contributions to our efforts. I want to thank
each and every one of you who has made the effort to support us.
Without your support there would simply be no way to justify the
expense and effort required to make this work.
The White Mountain Report subscriber list totals over 660 members.
The NEClimbs web site gets over 500 UNIQUE VISITS per day. 11%
of the White Mountain Report subscribers have made a contribution.
Whie that's not terrible by non-profit standards, we had hoped
for more from a dedicated and highly-motivated small base such
Your $20 contribution, actually only 38 CENTS per WEEK, helps
assure that the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs are there when
you want them. While we COULD send the Report to only those who
pay, or restrict access to NEClimbs so that only paid subscribers
could access the Route database, the Weather Station, the Forum
and the Webcam we would prefer not to do that. Of course there
are lots of models to help ensure we get compensated for the effort
that goes into all of this. But all of it smacks too much like
copy-protection on software, and we rejected that 10 years ago
when we were running a software company! since December of 2000
we've provided the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs.com as a
FREE service to the New England climbing community. Your contribution
to this fundraiser can ensure that we can continue to do so, AND
that we continue to enhance and develop it's offerings.
Please don't wait to make your contribution and please DON'T assume
that someone else will pick up the slack. YOU'RE on the mailing
list! YOU'RE reading it right now! Sit down today and send us a
check or money order for at least $20. Or make your contribution
ON-LINE via PayPal by clicking here.
It's easy & painless and you can use your credit card. Remember,
you DON"T need to have a PayPal account to use this service.
We aren't asking for a lot. A minimal $20 donation isn't a lot
for all the great information provided every single week.
Make out a check for $20 to NEClimbs or donate via PayPal. We'll
appreciate WHATEVER you can afford. Make out your check or money
order to NEClimbs and send it to:
92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS go out to all of those who have already
contributed. The Donations list contains the names of all of those
who have contributed as a part of the 2004/2005 fundraiser as well
as the up to date corporate sponsors.
IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST?
If you are planning on climbing up here over the upcoming Columbus
Day holiday, be aware that there is significant road work going
on in the area. A large ongoing project is taking place on the
Kanc just below Bear Notch Road that is requiring stops, sometimes
for as long as 10 minutes. In addition, the 2nd Bridge on River
Road in North Conway remains under construction. One or the other
lanes is always being stopped and at times traffic is backed
up 30-40 cars in either direction. Couple that with the leaf
peepers and traffic is pretty intense right now. If you need
to meet someone or are planning things with a schedule, be sure
to factor in some extra time for these bottlenecks or avoid them
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.
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:
Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|Ice climbing is similarly pure. I hike to the base of a waterfall. It is in or out of condition. I am in or out condition. I choose whether I can deal with the riddle that nature presents or not. There's no way to frig it. |