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The column I wrote last week regarding gear recalls has gotten a few responses - mostly positive. While I was researching the subject I was interested to find that there seem to be a lot of references to accidents with cams that actually DON'T have anything to do with the cam actually failing. That is, people seem to be crying gear failure when in most cases the accidents are due to pilot error. Check out the fairly recent postings on the Supertopo forum about Aliens popping out of cracks. Why am I not surprised?
Rick Wilcox from IME mused that he knows of no fatal injuries occurring from recalled climbing gear. Yes, that's anecdotal, so if anyone has hard numbers please let me know. That said, Rick also made another interesting point. While recalls for cams, slings, draws & the like are important, we need to realize that they are for products where there is a likelihood of some level of redundancy. Let's face it, if you fall on a cam or any piece of protection there is at least the "possibility" (hopefully) that you have placed another piece of gear that "could" catch you. Recalls on harnesses & ropes are probably much more serious, due to the fact that they have no possible redundancy. If have a problem with a buckle on your harness you're toast. If your rope runs over a sharp edge and cuts, you're toast. Unless of course you use double ropes...which by the way, I do. BTW, when was the last time you saw a recall on a rope? Interesting...
If you don't tie in properly, you are toast. Oops, that's back to the people thing. Just a little something to think about we you are gearing up at the base of that climb.
John Bachar Severely Injured In Auto Accident:
John Bachar, girlfriend Anastasia, and Acopa International climbing shoe company president Steve Karafa were involved in a single vehicle automobile accident after leaving the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City on Monday the 14th. Karafa was killed in the incident and Bachar sustained significant injuries.
Bachar has been known for his obsession with nutrition and training since the 70's. He put up many very difficult and committing trad climbs including Bachar-Yerian (5.11c) in Tuolumne Meadows with Dave Yerian, but is perhaps best known his free soloing exploits including The Gift (5.12c) at Red Rocks and Enterprise (5.12b) in the Owens River Gorge. Most recently John has been Director of Design of Acopa.
We join the entire climbing community in our sadness in Steve's untimely death and hope that John recovers completely. There are numerous threads on supertopo.com and climbing.com with information, speculation, requests for donations and more.
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.
NEClimbs Photo Contest - Sponsored by Mammut:
Submit your climbing photos to NEClimbs and be eligible to win a pair of Mammut climbing shoes. Each month our esteemed panel of judges will select the three best climbing pictures; rock, ice, or alpine. These winners will win a Mammut coffee mug and a giant Mammut sticker and be eligible for our grand prize - a pair of Mammut climbing shoes of your choice! Special consideration may be made by our judges for pictures of sick moves, crazy costumes (no nudity, please!) and photos capturing the spirit of climbing! Good luck!
* Contest starts the first of the month and ends on the last day. The first contest starts on September 1 and ends on September 30.
* No purchase is necessary to win nor is there any cost to enter.
* Contest is open to US residents only and contestants must have a shipping address in the United States.
* Submitted pictures will be posted in a special gallery on NEClimbs.
* The winning selections will be posted on-line after the close of the judging period. Winners will also be notified via e-mail.
* By submitting an entry, the Contestant is warranting that the Contestant owns the photograph and that it is original, non-professional, neither previously published nor having won any other award whatsoever.
* By submitting the entry, Contestant is granting to NEClimbs the right to use the photograph for commercial purposes for an unlimited time.
* NEClimbs reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject and disqualify any nude photograph or those photographs which are deemed in its sole discretion to be obscene, profane, offensive, lewd, pornographic or otherwise inappropriate.
* By submitting the entry, Contestant agrees and hereby releases NEClimbs, Mammut Sports Group, Inc and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, agents, officers and directors from any and all liability or responsibility arising in connection with Contestant’s participation in the contest or as to any prize(s) which may be awarded.
* This contest is sponsored and by: NEClimbs and Mammut Sports Group, Inc.
* Any Contestant who does not agree with the above terms and conditions should not enter this contest.
How to submit your picture & the format -
1) send each image SEPARATELY via email to email@example.com
2) pictures must be in the standard jpeg (jpg) format
3) We would prefer that pictures are no wider than 800 pixels. Images wider than this will be resized accordingly. If you know how to do this yourself, please do so.
4) If you want a special watermark on your image it would be best if you added it yourself.
NOTE: while nothing in the rules prohibits submitting more than one picture each month, the judges will not appreciate receiving massive numbers of images. Word to the wise...
What? Yet Another New Route at the North End:
It's hard to believe that there can be anything left undone or undiscovered at this most popular of climbing areas, but here it is. Senior guide and prolific new route ascensionist George Hurley has added yet another route to the North End of Cathedral Ledge named "Raising The Roof".
Raising The Roof (5.9 or 5.(+) 12
North End of Cathedral Ledge above The Roof 1
Climb The Roof and continue climbing for about 25' up a moderate corner to a ledge and a 2-ring bolted anchor. Now climb straight up a series of corners and arching grooves, past a horizontal crack to another 2 bolt anchor below a steep slab. Climb the final unprotected slab (crux) for 25-30 feet to the trees at the top of the cliff.
George Hurley and Chris Noonan, August 2006
Bring a normal Cathedral rack. Rap from trees at the top down to the anchor on They Died Laughing, or walk off via the climber's trail. NOTE - be careful of the Poison Ivy above the top of They Died Laughing.
As of this date there has not been a second ascent of the route. If you do the climb please let me know what you think of the grading and quality so I can pass the info back to George. If you take a picture it would be great to get a copy so I can add it to the route description on NEClimbs.
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.