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So is honesty really the best policy? If you are talking about business and politics, one would certainly not think that it was. The level of exaggeration, if that's what you want to call it, in both occupations certainly leaves something to be desired. There are laws in place that attempt to keep things in check, but they are difficult to enforce at best. An even cursory look at the major events of the past few years and you would wonder if it's even possible to try & regulate honesty in the world these days. The only thing that seemingly keeps things in some sort of balance is the advent of the popular media - i.e. blogs and the Internet in general. With everyone having the ability to capture events in realtime and post them on the Net almost in real-time it's awfully difficult to hide indiscretions.The same goes for the status of almost anything.
The current state-o-the-ice is a case in point. Someone recently said that they didn't know if they could believe the local climbing schools and area guide services as far as the current conditions went. They were worried that the schools and services may exaggerate the current conditions just to keep bookings. I replied that I felt that I would be very surprised if this was in fact the case. For one thing I know most of these guys, and while we don't always see eye-to-eye I think that they are an honest group. And hey, it really wouldn't do much good to BS when you can get pretty darn current information so easily. In fact it's really in everyone's best interest to be as straight as possible with potential clients. In the guide business trust and reputation is everything. And anyway, if someone comes up to climb ice and there isn't any, they'll KNOW! I mean DUH... I was chatting the other day about this exact thing with with Mark Synnott, a well known local AMGA Certified guide that I've known for years. He said that he would rather cancel a booking that may have netted him several hundred dollars, than have the client go away dissatisfied. That said, some of them just want to climb SOMETHING, and he tried as hard as possible to accommodate them. I had to agree. It's a tough call in a year like this with so little work, but opting on the side of full disclosure is the right one.
We had our annual party for the AMC last Saturday evening. Now this was the Saturday where it snowed in the AM and then turned to slushy rain by the afternoon. Folks were talking about how it had been in the mid-70's on Friday in Cambridge. Obviously with a group like that, ice leaders all, the talked turned to where they could ice climb? Well when I was asked, I just said "Forget it" but if they had brought rock gear they were in good shape. On Sunday there were people all over the cliffs on Fun House, Lost Souls, Last Unicorn and Hotter Than Hell. Truly amazing! I know folks who brought their mountain and road bikes and were in the woods and out on the roads. With a season as unpredictable as this you just gotta be prepared.
Bradford Washburn dead at 96:
Washburn an avid mountaineer and cartographer, made eight first-recorded ascents of North American peaks and authored two-dozen maps, several of the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, and Mount McKinley. As a photographer, he pioneered the high-resolution, large-format aerial picture. He ran the Boston Museum of Science for 41 years and turned it into a highly respected institution.
New MW Webcam Announcement - from MW Observatory Forum:
For the general public, a new webcam on Bretton Woods will offer an amazing view of the western slope of the Presidentials at the conclusion of an online membership drive. The "Bretton Woods Challenge" kicks off in the coming days, and after 250 new members, we'll "flip the switch" and make it live. We estimate that it will take 4-6 weeks, based on similar drives we have done over the last few years. This brings our Webcam Network to five cams, with more to come in the future.
For MWO members (this is the cool part), we'll be launching new "Premium Content" in mid-January. For the Ravines webcam, the North View webcam and the new Presidentials webcam on Bretton Woods, MWO members will have access to four new images from each cam. These cams are pan-tilt-zoom webcams, and can be pre-programmed to capture a number of images. All of these new images will update like the existing webcam images presently do.
We'll also be serving up some beautiful time-lapse videos from those same three cams. We'll be offering a sunrise video from the Ravines cam, a sunset video from the Presidentials cam and (I believe) another video from the North View. We may also offer a panoramic shot from the Presidentials cam as well.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 4, 2016
In spite of the rain and warmup, there is still ice to be climbed in the Valley and Notches. Some additional caution is required after an event like this, but with reasonable care you should have stuff to climb this weekend. All of the larger climbs are still there and by mid-day Friday and Saturday should be good to go. Just place plenty of pro, check for bonding and beware of some of the top-outs and all should be good. For the time being I personally would NOT go under Repentance or Remission!
Looking For Something to do Friday Night? Yup, it's my funky fusion band In House. If you haven't seen this group, you really should. This ain't your daddy's dance music!
Randy Roos is an instructor at Berklee School Of Music and has done film and TV scoring as well as performed in many groundbreaking ensembles over the years, including Orchestra Luna and Club d'Elf. Both Jim Alba and Tim Gilmore teach at Plymouth State. Me, I just kind of hang on for the ride.
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: