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I never really mind when the family stuff gets
in the way of my climbing. After all I love my wife and son, and
frankly they are just as important, make that far more important,
to me than climbing. (Hear that sweetheart?) But when work gets
in the way, shall we say it's a bit more on the frustrating side.
I've been pretty lucky over the past 8 years to be able to live
up here in the North Country and still make a living without having
to go through the almost hand-to-mouth existence that many my my
neighbors and friends do. That said, the last couple of years with
the downturn in the technology market, things haven't been quite
what I would have liked. So, when I got an offer that required
me to go down to Boston and train for 3 days last week and then
work like a dog over the weekend - hey, it was a no-brainer. In
spite of last week being Ice Festival, when you get a great opportunity
like that, you just don't pass it up. And of course there was some
tactful prodding by my better-half. <grin> After all there
aren't exactly a ton of opportunities to do enterprise-level coding
while only working 3 days a week from home (VPN) up here in the
mountains and making good bucks. Like I said, no-brainer!
Of course there was still some frustration with not being involved
in the festivities. From what I hear from all involved, it was
a great time. Good climbing, lots of people, but not a zoo. Superb
slideshows and networking. It really doesn't get a whole lot better
than that, does it? I think that Maury, Brad, Rick and all the
folks at IMCS and IME deserve a huge CONGRATULATIONS for
a job well done. It's hard to believe that this was the 12th year
of the Ice Festival. Let's hope that we have 12 more.
Annual SAR Dinner and Meeting:
Last night was the annual Search and Rescue meeting and dinner
at the AMC Highland House in Crawford Notch. It is always a great
time to meet all the people involved with the search and rescue
work in the area. There were members from all the area teams
including representatives from our own MRS, AVSAR, NH Fish and
Game and our favorite Forest Service snow rangers. It's always
great when these folks get together to actually socialize. And
hey, sometimes you get to see a new face...like ranger Justin's
new baby. Congrats to he and his wife. What a cutie, the baby
that is! <grin>
There also was a very good slideshow put on by Chris Joosen of
the Forest Service. He assembled a show with accompanying music
from over 1000 images sent to him by all the local team members
over the past weeks. They gave an amazing overview of rescues from
WAAAAY back, right through today. Kudos to Chris for a job well
Rick Wilcox, local MRS President, gave a short talk about a rescue
he was on in 1974 on the Pamola Cliffs at Kathadin. In that episode
6 climbers from this area got in trouble and one of the party died.
Rick pointed out:
1) they started late
2) didn't check the weather
3) exceeded their abilities, in this case they had someone with
them who was totally inexperienced
4) were unprepared to stay out - no bivy gear
5) had no preset turnaround time and pressed on when they should
6) had little or no knowledge of the descent route
MRS VP Joe Lentini did a short talk about the incident several
weeks ago on Damnation Gully. In the course of his discussion he
made a comment that I thought was right on the money. He said 2
1) The good news is that quality of the rescue teams in the area
has gone up exponentially over the years. The expertise is some
of the best and the way that people work together in the field
2) The bad news is that we are still rescuing the same person
we were rescuing 30 years ago. While we have gotten better, they
are still the same.
The exact same reasons for disaster were present in this episode
as in the 1974 incident. Let's all make sure that we aren't the
same ones that Joe & Rick are talking about.
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.