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November 4, 2004
In the latest poll on NEClimbs I asked if people had met their
goals for this rock season. I've come to realize that this may
be a harder question to answer than I'd expected. 10% of respondents
said that they met their goals, 13% exceeded them and 45% said
that they had not. (For what it's worth, the remaining 32% said "who
cares?") I suppose those numbers are not really all that surprising.
Shoot, when it comes right down to it I never meet my personal
goals this year. Of course that's probably because I set them so
high that I'd only meet them if I climbed Everest, and that's not
It also might have something to do with my personal view of myself.
Recently I've come to realize that I still perceive of myself as
the young man I was. I'm not saying that's all bad, mind you. It's
just a fact that I feel more like I'm in my 40's, when that's not
at all the case. It came into focus last night on my 57th birthday.
Yeow, that's right - 57! I do try & keep these things pretty
low key ever since I had one of those "moments of truth" when
I turned 25. Now-a-days I'd prefer to just let those anniversaries
roll past pretty much unnoticed, tho my 5 year old won't usually
let that happen. This year was perfect, a well cooked dinner, well
chilled beer and a few nice presents from the family. It doesn't
get a whole lot better. Of course the presents were all outdoor
related. A nice vest and pair of riding booties from Pearl Izumi
from my son and a bike trainer from my wife. Perhaps the latter
contained just a bit of a hint, aye? No climbing gear this year
as I already have pretty much everything that I need, much less
I have a couple of folks that I look up to these days when it
comes to staying young while you're getting older. I've said this
before, but my main idol is George Hurley. I know I've mentioned
him before, but he really is an amazing individual. He is turning
70 this January and shows little signs of slowing down, other than
limiting his hiking due to a bit of arthritis. I climbed with him
this spring and he is still strong, sharp and bold; still putting
up challenging routes in the area. I don't exactly for sure what
keeps people like George active while others fall apart, but I
hope that interest and enthusiasm for life counts for a lot of
it. George has that in spades and I'm definitely trying to follow
I do think that setting higher goals than are attainable, isn't
all that bad an idea. Maybe you won't always manage to meet or
exceed them, but at least you have set the bar and you always have
something to work toward. For me 3 years ago it was leading Ego
Trip. I never got it clean, but the effort made me a solid 5.10+
leader on face climbs. 2 years ago it was climbing Dropline. Attaining
that goal was a big boost to my ice climbing. This year it was
riding 2000 miles and a Century on the road bike plus getting totally
solid on 5.10 cracks. I managed all but the latter, tho I did get
a lot better on my crack climbing. I haven't decided what it will
be for this winter, but I'm sure I can come up with something that
will be hard and fun. Besides, it gives me a perfect excuse for
how I HAVE to get out and do things, and that's not bad at all.
Just when I think that the weather is making a run for the cold,
we get a nice day. Today is one of those mid-40's and clear.
That said it's been cold in the upper elevations. Temps on the
summit have been below or close to freezing for the past few
days. 2.6 inches of snow has fallen and the average wind speed
has been a whopping 66 mph over the last 24 hours. It may be
nice here in the Valley, but it's winter up there. If this keeps
up I would say that ice is already forming up there.
The AccuWeather folks are predicting a cold winter this year.
Here's a quote:
"The average temperatures are expected to be at least
two degrees below normal in an area that extends from southern
Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire south to the Florida Panhandle,
and as far west as southeast Ohio and eastern areas of Kentucky,
Tennessee and Alabama."
While that's great for those of us interested in winter sports,
it will sure have an impact on all of our heating bills. I'm sure
glad that I put in 2 more cord of wood this fall before the oil
prices went through the roof. You can read more here.
With any luck it won't be quite as bitter a winter as we had last
year. That was a little much, even for me.
As usual, have fun and climb safe,
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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Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|This is a group of people I used to go walking with. (long pause) That's me on the left. (even longer pause) On the right is the woman I married, Audrey. (very long pause, speaker looks at shoes) Which just goes to show that danger lurks where you least expect it.|
|Don Whillans commenting on a B&W slide showing a group of smiling hikers|