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November 16, 2006
Even living up here in the North Country it is really hard to keep focused when the weather is as crappy as it has been. Day after day of warm drizzly rain is not my ideal of a good time! I was talking with my friend Ben the other day, one of the owner's of a local restaurant. In the course of our usual exchange of pleasantries he asked me how I was doing. I replied OK, but that I just wish that the weather was better. He then proceeded to tick off a laundry-list of every single day over the past 3 weeks when that day, or some significant portion of thereof, was nice. Then he asked me what I did on those days!
I was pressed, but fortunately was able to respond that I had done something fun outside on at least half of those days - bouldering, climbing, riding my bike, etc. Whew... I dodged that bullet, but then he took me to task for not doing more. He asked why I didn't go out for a hike on the rainy days. Knowing full well that I'm into outdoor activities and have almost all the weatherproof gear known to man and beast, he pushed me on why I wasn't out on the marginal days. Didn't I like the feel of rain on my face? What was wrong with it? Was I going to melt? Whew again!
Of course his pointed message was very well taken. I can sit inside and bitch and moan about the weather, waiting for some "perfect day", or I can simply go out and enjoy life as it is. There will always be something interesting I can do and see in the rain, snow, cold or heat. For example I remember a couple of years ago on a very very cold and snowy winter day when going outside was probably the last thing that I wanted to do. Daz, the kiddo, however was bored being inside and kept pushing on me to go out for a walk. I finally gave in and bundled up and headed down to Echo Lake, muttering to myself and really not very happy at all. He, on the other hand, was happily skipping along through the snow singing to himself. At the lake's edge I leaned against a convenient tree, watching him putter along the shore, moving out a little onto the thickly frozen pond and then back to the shore. All of a sudden he plopped down on his belly & pulled out a magnifying glass that he had stashed in his snowsuit pocket. He laughed to himself as he used the glass to examine all kinds of things on frozen in the ice. His laughter was contagious and I finally had to go down and lay there as well. There was a wonderful world there that I had never noticed before and amazingly enough it was warmer down there out of the bitter North wind. I had my little Canon digital camera with me and snapped a few pictures of what he was looking at:
No "art" here, but you can get the idea... Daz glanced over at me and flashed his quirky smile as if to say, "See dad, I told you it would be fun." He was so very right. Glass half full, or half empty. Ben and Daz think it's half full. I happen to think they're right. Rainy day walk here we come!
I've been seeing some Reports coming back to the dead-letter box with notes about how I would need to reply to some message to get the Report through a SPAM filter. This is not going to happen so if you have a SPAM filter that requires some kind of acknowledgment from the Report so you can get it, I suggest that you get some other email address for the Report. In addition, if a Report gets kicked back more than 3 times, the recipient is removed from the list automatically. If you stop getting the Report and you don't understand why, check your SPAM filter!
So the 2006/2007 NEClimbs and White Mountain Report fundraiser has would to a close. Thanks to every one of you who have participated. I sincerely appreciate all of your support this year. This year 135 individuals felt that NEClimbs and the report were worth supporting. While it is surprising that donations were down by 58 compared to last year, I still appreciate every one! Although I have paid for the new webcam out of pocket, your donations still allow me to continue the site and Report for another season.
I'm sure you are wondering about the webcam. I had to fabricate a special mount, make up a new pressure treated wooden mount for the tree and run some new cable. I also realized that I needed to get a weatherproof box to protect the connections. That box has been ordered and I hope to have the cam up and running in about 1 week - weather permitting. Believe me it's coming and it should be great.
As promised, last night I randomly drew the names for the raffle from those individuals who contributed to the fundraiser. Here are this year's winners:
Michael Janson: Patagonia men's Super Guide Jacket
Eric Winters: 3' Coyote Snow Picket
Jeff Findlen: Komperdell Avalanche Probe
Barry Rusnock: "The Villain, A Portrait of Don Whillans" by Jim Perrin
Simon Kozin: Robert Frost's acclaimed climbing video, "Auto Road"
Larry Boehmler: "An Ice Climbers Guide to Northern New England"
David Curry: Tim Kemple's "New England Bouldering" guidebook
Steve Gabis: Accidents In North American Mountaineering 2006
Tyler Donaldson: plastic water bottle
Neil Soice: plastic water bottle
Jon Shuttle: plastic water bottle
John Shortt: "Boston Rocks" 2nd Edition guidebook
Robert Clark: "Ways To The Sky" - North American Mountaineering
Congratulations to all this year's winners. If your name is on this list please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to get your prize. Obviously it would be best if you simply dropped by the house here by Cathedral Ledge to pick it up at your convenience, or I can arrange to leave it somewhere for you to save the shipping costs.
Although this year's fundraiser is over, donations are always welcome at any time of the year. You can make a donation at any time by using the link below or by clicking the link on the Home page of NEClimbs.com.
Make A Donation Now
I want to repeat that I am always open to your ideas. If there is something that you would like to see on NEClimbs or in the White Mountain report, just drop me a line or post a note in the Forum. I'm always interested in suggestions, criticisms and even offers of help. My email address is at the bottom of every Report.
The Contributors' Donations List is update and contains the names of all of
those individuals and organizations who have contributed as a part of the
2006/2007 fundraiser. You can see it here:
IS YOUR NAME ON THIS LIST?
Thanks again for helping keep the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs available for the climbing community and growing.
We're half way through the final month of our Mammut photo contest. There are some fun images in this gallery. If you haven't checked them out, you should. At the end of this contest we'll be selecting the grand prize winner of a new pair of climbing shoes. Good luck to all.
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.
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:
Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|Winter alpinism is hard enough without the added dilemma of free-climbing ethics.|