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November 10, 2005

Hi Folks,

We are now in the FOURTH and final week of "Fundraiser Month" at NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report. Only 7 days to go and to date we have a grand total of 90 individual donations. Out of 780+ subscribers to the White Mountain Report, 1,100+ NEClimbs Forum members, and 600+ unique visits to NEClimbs every day only 90 individuals have decided that it's worth contributing. That means that only 90 individuals are entered in the raffle for 15 very cool prizes, including a 60 meter 8 mm Sterling Rope tag-line, a Petzl headlamp and more. To say that I'm surprised, is an understatement. I can only hope that will change over the final week. Many thanks to the 11 individuals who sent in their donations on Thursday, after the email report came out.

Look folks, to make this thing work and justify the time & effort I put into it, I figure that I need a minimum of 150 individual annual donors. With only one week left, we're only 1/2 way there! The minimal $20 suggested donation isn't a lot for all the information provided every single week. If you work it out, that's a paltry 38 cents per week. That's right, 38 CENTS a WEEK folks! That minimal contribution is what makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site possible. Without your support I simply can't justifying the effort required to make it happen.

I put out this White Mountain Report weekly, and maintain and enhance the NEClimbs web site all year long. It's what keeps you up to date on the happenings in the White Mountains and the White Mountain climbing community. Yup, it's basically a one-man show. I keep talking about the site and the Report in the "Royal We" tense, but that's not really the case at all. It is just one person who does 98% of the work on the site and writes and puts together the information in the White Mountain Report every week. That's me - Al Hospers. This is a very time-intensive effort, consuming up to a full day a week of my time. Couple that with the price of gas and the cost of just driving up to Frankenstein to check on conditions adds up.

NEClimbs is now logging over 600 UNIQUE visits per day. It's not Google, but it's not bad and I'm proud of it. I keep adding new features to the site to provide you with the best possible online experience. If there is something new that you would like to see on NEClimbs, just drop me a line or post a note in the Forum. I'm always interested in your suggestions.

It's easy to postpone making a donation and there are a lot of justifications why you might not. But it would be a mistake to assume that someone else will pick up the slack. You're the one who subscribed to the White Mountain Report, so please make your contribution NOW.

To allow you to be able to contribute ON-LINE we use PayPal. It's easy & painless and you can use any credit card. And remember, you DON"T need to have a PayPal account to use this service. Use this link. As usual, to make it even more enticing, if you make a contribution you are automatically entered in a raffle for some GREAT prizes like:

Craig Luebben's new book "Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills"
"An Ice Climbers Guide to Northern New England" by Lewis & Wilcox
Tim Kemple's "New England Bouldering" guidebook
Accidents In North American Mountaineering 2005
Boston Rocks 2nd Edition (donated by Richard Doucette)
American Alpine Journal 2005
Petzl Duo LED 5 Headlamp (donated by
6 Nalgene water bottles (donated by
2006 Colorado Fourteeners Calendar from The Mountaineers
Yates Shortie Screamer
8 mm 60-meter tag line (donated by Sterling Rope)

This is our most incredible list of raffle items ever!

The drawing will be held on November 21st, 2005. Winners will be notified via email and announced in that week's White Mountain Report. Your donation must be postmarked or received by PayPal ON OR BEFORE November 17, 2005 to be entered. It's a perfect opportunity to support NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report, and a great chance to win a useful prize. You MUST make a donation to enter the raffle!

PLEASE help us keep the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs available. Make out your check for $20 to NEClimbs or donate online through PayPal. I personally appreciate whatever you can do.

Make out your check or money order to NEClimbs and send it to:

92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

The Contributors' Donations List is now online. It contains the names of all of those individuals and organizations who have contributed as a part of the 2005/2006 fundraiser.


Thank you for your support,

Al Hospers

A horrible noise from outside my front window at 10PM last night rudely wakes me from my doze on the couch and causes me to jerk upright. OUCH! I've been laying there since 7PM nursing a very sore neck, that quite frankly I don't know how I got, and that hurt. It takes me a few minutes to realize what's going on, but once I do I realize that it's a watershed moment. To confirm my suspicions, I wander into the kitchen and flip on the flood lights in the back yard. Yup, suspicions confirmed. It's snowing and that was the sound of the first snowplow of the season. Winter is, well almost, here.

In spite of all the snow and general precip that has fallen 8 miles north and roughly 6,000 feet above us, this is the first snowfall of the year here in the Valley. Hard to believe, but it is most certainly true. I get a celebratory glass of wine and a couple more Advil, turn the lights off in the dining room leaving the floods on and sit at the table to watch the snowflakes fall. It's a heavy wet snow that solidifies as soon as it hits the warm ground but it is a pretty sight. The first snowfall always is. As I sip my wine it starts to turn from snow to rain. By the time I go to bed at midnight we've gotten almost .7" of precipitation. When I wake up at 7 AM the gage shows another .3"+ after midnight. The rain and snow have stopped, but the humidity is over 90% and the wet stuff is still coating the trees and bushes with a very heavy slushy mix.

Of course there is no way that this is gong to stick around, at least in the lower elevations, as current predictions are for much warmer temps over the weekend. Maybe even as high as 60's, who knows. I ran into Marc Chauvin at Cathedral yesterday and he mentioned that the cliff was surprisingly dry. I haven't been climbed on Cathedral the past couple of weeks, I've been bouldering a lot & messing around on the Whitehorse slabs, but I wasn't at all surprised. We've had dry weather and a lot of wind over the past week and that will certainly do the job on drying things out. We'll probably go through that again over the next several days too.

First Avalanche Death In US Says WHAT?
The Valley gets our first snowfall, and Colorado gets the first avalanche death. All in the same week - go figure. You can read about it here. Thanks to my friend Steve for the link. He's a member of one of the local S&R groups out there. He said:

"Funny thing is, the day before that avalanche hapended, we were having a training on a new RECCO detector we had received and had been talking about how prime the conditions were for early season avalanches, especially for those impatient powder hounds out there. Its really too bad, even for the poor pooch that got buried. You don't often hear about animals
getting caught and perishing in avalanches. Wonder why that is..."

Good question. Lots of folks are taking their dogs with them into the backcountry and the animals get caught just like the people. Of course the animals don't have transceivers on so they might never get found.

What does this report say to me? That's besides the obvious that I shouldn't go snowboarding in the backcountry in considerable avalanche danger, assuming of course that I WAS capable of doing such a thing. Hmmm...

Well for one I guess it means that it's time for me to get out my trusty probe, shovel and transceivers. Time to replace the batteries, make sure that the probe is in good shape and generally go through all my winter gear. Oh yeah, that's right... I did say transceiverS. I have 2 of them. Most of the people I know other than the guides & MRS folken only have a transceiver for themselves. I figure that if I go out with someone and they don't have their own, mine is worthless. Except for body retrial, that is.

As an MRS grunt I suppose it also means that I better put my spare pack & winter gear in the back cubby of the truck in case I get The Call -

"Al, this is Rick. This is a rescue!"

Usually this comes at about 4AM or so. Just when I'm in my deepest level of sleep. <sigh>

BTW here is a quote from today's avalanche report on

"The calendar may not say so, but we have mid-winter snow depths in some locations and many avalanche paths are well developed. If you are planning a trip you need to be ready to deal with full winter conditions including avalanche terrain. While traveling in avalanche terrain you need to be mindful of changing conditions. You may travel through snowfields broken by rocks and bushes and quickly enter a larger snow slope. Both should be treated with respect during times of instability. If a snowfield is big enough to recreate on it's big enough to avalanche."


Avalanche Courses:
A list of avalanche courses has been posted on the site here -

If you haven't already done so you should think about signing up for one. At least take the Level I course. Classes fill up quickly so sign up as soon as you can.

Banff Mountain Film Festival:
A film about life, beauty, and death in the mountains won the grand prize at this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival. "Sur le fil des 4000" (France), directed by Gilles Chappez, follows climbers Patrick Berhault and Philippe Magnin as they attempt to climb all 82 summits in the Alps topping 4000 metres.

"This film is about a beautiful adventure shared by two friends," festival jury member Laurence Gouault said yesterday. "It shows their passion, love, and respect for the mountains and allows us to share the last journey of a great climber."

The 30th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival screened 56 finalist films from Oct. 27 to Nov. 6, chosen from 319 entries from 39 countries.

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 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:

Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains. I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months.
Yvon Chouinard
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