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September 15, 2005

Hi Folks,

If anyone had wanted to shake the hornet's nest, they couldn't have picked a better way to do it. Just when we thought it was safe to come in from the bolt wars, something happened that really has certainly set the local community on its ear. An unknown entity, part of me wants to think that it's an alien & not a fellow climber, has put a glue-in eye bolt and an epoxied 3/8" bolt on the bulge at the top of Airation! <sigh>


A number of people would like to get together for an open discussion regarding these bolts being placed.

A meeting will be held at 6pm Friday 9/16/05 at the North Conway Community Center, Schouler Park, North Conway.

Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. All points of view are welcomed.

Please pass on this invitation to anyone that might be interested.

Sorry about the short notice- please attend.

Actually there is a part of me that could almost imagine someone doing this just to "stir the pot." I mean, can anyone REALLY think that if they do something like this that the hard core anti-bolt contingent will do nothing? (That's a rhetorical question, of course.) Or, do they think that by placing a 3/4" glue-in no one will dare do anything about it because it will possibly damage the rock? As of this writing no one has admitted to making these additions so I can't give "credit" where it's due. If anyone knows, I'm all ears tho. At least the "choppers" for the most part have had the gumption to fess up!

One disturbing thing about this is the crack that's right there, IF you needed an anchor. And then of course there is always the very obvious tree that's directly above the bolts. I don't even think that you would possibly hurt the tree if you used it for a T/R anchor for the next 100 years!

I will say that there have been a few interesting suggestions floated over the past few hours, like placing "Wanted Posters" placed at the cliff for info leading to the ID of the responsible party or having an "Airation keg party" at which time climbers are allowed to take 3 swings with a sledgehammer at a bolt for $5. Funds raised going the MRS...

Here are a couple of pictures taken on Wednesday by Bayard Russell:

As you may know I am pretty much a moderate on the topic of bolting. However, just so everyone knows my position on this particular set of bolts I will be perfectly clear. Someone went to quite a bit of work to put these in, and it will take even more effort to remove them. However, they are completely unnecessary, and in my opinion need and deserve to be removed. In fact I will even help with the effort. There are limits to even my moderation.

Now on to (hopefully) better things...

New Biography Out:
I just got a copy of Susan Schwartz's new biography of Gunks pioneer Hans Krause. I've always wanted to know more about him so this book certainly hits the spot. I haven't gotten into his Gunks years yet, but it is very interesting and entertaining. More in a review soon.

It's A Puzzle:
I've been meaning to write something for a while about how climbing is a puzzle, but other things (like this bolting crap) have gotten in the way. So, I figured I would just spit this one out anyway...

A while back I was talking with George Hurley about all the different creative ways to protect climbs. In the process he mentioned stacking nuts. For one reason or another that's one thing that I've never found a place to do, until a few weeks ago. I had done the first pitch of Ladies and Gentlemen under the Echo Roof and decided to climb from that first 2-bolt anchor on up to the anchor right under the roof. As you may know there are a couple of moves out of the little flake on a somewhat steep slab to the anchor. I've always just done the moves, basically unprotected, but this time I noticed a small pocket in the rock. It looked as if it would take gear, but I couldn't get anything to fit. No cam or Tricam I had available would fit and a nut wouldn't do the job 'cause it opened up inside. Hmmm, what to do? Then I remembered my conversation with George. I put one nut in the pocket, pushed it in deep and then a second one. When I weighted them they interlocked perfectly and neither one would let the other come out no matter which way they turned or twisted. It seemed just about perfect to me. Just another trick to have in your back pocket. And of course, if you are up there sometime give it a try.

Ortovox Transceiver Recall:
In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), last week
Ortovox announced a recall for all M1 and M2 model avalanche transceivers.

Ortovox has determined that under certain circumstances, due to variance in
the size of AA (LR6) batteries, there is a chance that the batteries in an
M1 and M2 avalanche transceiver could become dislodged as a result of a
severe blow, resulting in a loss of power. Apparently, the international
standard for AA (LR6) batteries allows for a significant variance in both
the length and diameter of the battery. These variances allow for batteries
that meet the standards, but which may lack a prominent negative terminal,
which could allow the battery to dislodge.

Ortovox is quick to point out that the company's M1 and M2 transceivers have
passed the European EN standard for shock resistance. However, the battery
dislodgment has been observed under testing conditions different from the
European testing standard. According to the company, there have been three
reports of failure in the field - out of the nearly 100,000 beacons
manufactured and sold world-wide. There have been no reports of injuries.

There is no need for consumers to return their transceivers. Ortovox is
offering a free exchange of the battery compartment lid for all M1 and M2
units. The new lid, which is specially marked to easily show that it is the
new lid, reduces the tolerance and movement of the batteries within the
battery compartment.

The recall applies to all M1 and M2 transceivers, regardless of the color
and year of manufacture. The retrofit does not involve the Ortovox X1 or F1
units. Ortovox will send consumers a new battery compartment lid at no
cost. This retrofit battery compartment can be easily installed and
complete instructions for the battery compartment lid retrofit are on the
website - <>

(Thanks to Steve Gosselin from Colorado for passing this one along.)

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 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 and select the link to volunteer information.

New on NEClimbs:
Well NEClimbs has finally joined the 21st century. That's right, by popular request I've added an RSS feed for the main site as well as for several areas including the White Mountain Report, winter Ice Conditions Report, 10 most recent Forum postings and more. RSS is a method of distributing links to content in a web site that the publisher would like others to use. In other words, it's a mechanism to "syndicate" the content.

Depending on your type of RSS Reader, you can simply click the orange RSS link on the Home page and paste that code onto your reader, or use this link. For those of you who are interested, here is a link to a good article about choosing an RSS Reader.

As always - have fun and climb safe,

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:
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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

It is better to retreat off a good climb than to succeed on an indifferent one.
Chris Jones
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