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In early February, Richard Doucette, one of the participants in that rescue
undertook the effort to acquire money and (more importantly) the permissions
needed to place rescue litters along the cliff band at the Lake. Following
a few well placed requests to the climbing community, money started flowing
in. Richard's experience in dealing with government agencies paid off with
the State of Vermont agreeing to allow the litters and storage containers to
be placed near the cliff in at least 2 locations. Now, over 6 months later,
it looks as if the effort is finally going to come to fruition.
I dropped Richard an email a few days ago, just to check and see what was
up. Here is his status report.
"Both rescue litters will be in place at Lake Willoughby before the
ice season. I took Rick Wilcox (owner of International Mountain Equipment
in North Conway) up on his offer to purchase a litter wholesale from him.
That order was placed earlier this week. Rick was away, then impossible to
reach, but the deal was done a few days ago. I have been in touch with Dave
Powers (Willoughby area native and carpenter) who will build two shelters.
One for the Skedco Rollup Litter (that will be placed near the middle of
the cliff) and one for the Cascade 200 Rigid Litter (that will be placed
near the right side of the cliffs). The Cascade is being shipped direct to
Dave. He will scout out locations for installation. I will see if we can
get some signs posted at the parking areas indicating the locations of the
litters, as well as the location of the nearest land-line phones. I will
meet up with Dave before Thanksgiving and a bunch of people will hump the
equipment up to the cliff. We may need volunteer assistance for that, and
I will let you know."
This is a great example of the New England climbing community actually coming
together and getting something positive accomplished. If you read some of the
postings on the NEClimbs forum, or hang out with climbers in the bars around
town, you might think that there is no way any of us can agree on anything.
Much less truly come together to get something like this accomplished. But
there are times, just like on rescues, when everyone pulls together for the
common good. This is one of those times.
Of course Richard deserves our appreciation for organizing and making this
happen, as do the individuals who have contributed the necessary cash and to
Sam Morton of Sterling Rope who arranged for donation of the Skedko collapsable
litter. Congrats to all. Let's hope none of this stuff ever needs to be used,
but if it is, it will be there.
Stay In Touch:
When you're guiding maintaining sight and hearing contact with your client
is critical. However it's just as important when you're out cragging with
friends. George Hurley has written an excellent article on various methods
to Stay In Touch with your "second". Here's what he has to say
about the subject.
"Most of us get more satisfaction from a climb if we can see and talk
to our partner while we are climbing. Experts tell us how to move faster by
being more efficient in our rope handling and by using longer ropes. But
I, and maybe you, climb mainly on cliffs where speed is not important. What
IS important is having a good day in the company of one or two friends. One
reason sport climbing is popular is because it is so social, with wit and repartee
from helpers and friendly rivals.
Bob McCluskey 1951 - 2005:
On Friday, August 19th Bob McCluskey passed away following a short but courageous
bout with bladder cancer. Although their permanent residence was in Boston,
Bob and his wife Donna had a second house a block away from our place here
in North Conway. Avid climbers and outdoors enthusiasts, they spent as much
time as they could up here. They contributed to NEClimbs and Donna is a board
member of the Kismet Rock Foundation. Amazingly enough I never climbed with
Bob, though I would run into one or the other of them on the cliff from time
to time and we shared a number of friends. A solid rock and ice climber,
Bob had a great enthusiasm for the sport and a joy of being alive and outdoors
that was infectious.
Gifts in his memory may be made in his memory to Bladder
Cancer Research at Mass General; care of Mass General Development Office; 165 Cambridge Street,
Boston, MA, 02114. In addition, a fund is being established in his name at
the Boston Architectural Center. Donations can be sent to Boston
Architectural Center; 320 Newbury Street; Boston, Mass 02115.
Bob, you will be missed...
Access Fund Awards $25,757 in Climbing Preservation Grants:
August 25, 2005, Boulder, CO. The Access Fund has awarded $25,757 in its second
round of grant funding for 2005 bringing total for the year to $68,757 across
15 grants. 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 assistance for a newly formed local climber organization.
“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.” Grants included:
Mohonk Preserve, NY - The Mohonk Preserve received a grant for a multi-faceted
outreach project designed to reach novice climbers in the Gunks, educate them
about the fragile life on the cliffs, and instill in them a low-impact climbing
ethic that will ensure the long-term survival of the Preserve ecosystem.
Yosemite National Park, CA - Yosemite National Park received a grant to pay
for the purchase and installation of bear box food storage lockers at the base
of popular Yosemite Valley climbing areas. Climbers currently do not have convenient
and effective locations to store food while on multi-day climbs, and in recent
years the number of bear incidents in climbing areas around the Valley has
Quincy Quarries Climbfest Coming Soon:
ClimbFest presents an outdoor climbing competition and festival for any age
and ability at the newly resurrected Quincy quarries, Saturday, Sept. 24,
2005 (rain date: Sun. Sept. 25).
For climbers ClimbFest has a speed climbing comp. gear demos, and technical
clinics and lots of prizes and giveaways. For the general public ClimbFest
will feature a climbing wall, a long and exciting Tyrolean traverse across
the quarry, climbing for the whole family, food, raffles, and more. Come on
down for a fun filled day! Support your climbing community!
The ClimbFest Committee is looking for a people to help. For information on
joining the ClimbFest Committee and getting involved in putting on a cool event
go to http://www.ClimbFest.com and select the link for the ClimbFest Committee.
The ClimbFest needs volunteers on the day of the event too. Volunteering is
a lot of fun and ClimbFest will reward your efforts with goodies, not to mention
that warm fuzzy feeling you get when by helping your climbing community. For
more info, go to http://www.ClimbFest.com and select the link to volunteer
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 23, 2017
The warmup has really hit us hard everywhere but in the higher elevations. Anywhere in the direct sun is dam close to toast right now. The Amphitheater at Frankenstein is off the radar, or certainly should be. You can probably do the Pegasus rock finish, but that's all. And I would be VERY careful walking under anything over in that area. As of today, Thursday Feb 23, Standard Route still looks OK. I also spotted someone climbing on Waterfall, tho I'm sure that the normally funky top outs are worse. The bottom of Dropline fell down, but Dracula still looks good. I was pleased to see that Willies still looks good. The snow has compacted and I saw what looked to be blue ice. The left side of Willard is basically gone, but Hitchcock, The Cleft, Left Hand Wrench, the far right slab and Elephant Head are still climbable. Other than the Barking Dog and North End I would write off Cathedral Ledge. I know people are going to ask about Repentance, etc and frankly I would caution away from it. In fact anything that is supposed to be attached to rock is suspect. Not to mention the fact that there is a LOT of stuff hanging around above you on Cathedral at this time.
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:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
Climbing for speed records will probably become more popular, a mania which has just begun. Climbers climb not just to see how fast and efficiently they can do it, but far worse, to see how much faster and more efficiently they are than a party which did the same climb a few days before. The climb becomes secondary, no more important than a racetrack. Man is pitted against man.