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February 8, 2007
I've kind of been OFF reading the climbing magazines lately. Part of it is that I am simply too busy to do anything more than scan them briefly every month. Plus I must get 8 software industry magazines and a music one that show up for free every month & feel a bit compelled to scan through those too. But it's more than that... Well, OK...I'll actually admit it! It's mostly because I'm just not all that interested in what other folks are doing these days...at least when it comes to climbing. Or, at least I'm not interested when it comes to which 15 year old is climbing 5.14d these days, or what the results of the latest indoor-comps are, or how many people got led up Everest this season. You get the picture, anything like that.
Now my ears do perk up when I hear how someone I know personally puts up a new route on the Barber Wall, sends a new line next to Widows Walk or finds a nifty new crag off the Kanc. But I know those folks and I know this area. I see them all the time. I wouldn't know Chris Sharma if I met him on the street, or if he sat across from me at The Frontside Grind. The fact that he is "deep water soloing" 5.13 is a little intellectually interesting, but very marginally. To me climbing these days is all about the personal connection. Out with friends and hearing about what other friends are doing. I don't think that it's an ego thing, more of a closer to home thing.
I guess either Climber or Rock & Ice, or both, sell their mailing lists since I got a free copy of Urban Climber in the mail yesterday. Hard for me to understand how people will pay for this. It's not because the pictures aren't kind of cool, they are. There even was a fairly interesting 2 page article on the mental side of climbing by Arno Ilgner, the guy who wrote "The Rock Warrior's Way: Mental Training for Climbers" and has the web site www.warriorsway.com. It's about the mental side of climbing, which I've always agreed with. On top of that the mag is all recycled paper. So, lots of good things. However it just seems like such a narrow slice of the pie. An entire magazine devoted to people who climb, or do extreme things, in urban environments... Seems strange, but it's probably just me.
So anyway, after over 20 years of subscribing to climbing magazines, I'm letting them all go, with possibly the exception of Alpinist. I gotta wonder if I'm the only one who feels this way. I'd be interested in knowing opinion. There is a poll and a thread on NEClimbs in the General Climbing section. Take a minute to vote and maybe respond. It would be interesting to know...
According to reports there were 2 accidents on Wednesday, one at Cathedral and the other at Frankenstein. As I understand it the one Cathedral was at the North End. The victim caught their crampon on a piece of gear or sling hanging off their harness, tripped and fell down one of the little 8' steps on the right side. They were taken to the hospital for observation and released later.
The second was an accident on Pegasus at Frankenstein. According to Fish & Game officer Brian Abrams, the 52 year old climber from Pennsylvania fell while trying to sling a pillar on the climb. He fell 20-30 feet, fracturing both legs in the process. AMGA guide Mark Synnott was right there and managed the rescue. The were taken to Memorial Hospital and then flown to Main Medical.
It's almost time for the 14th annual weekend of climbing, clinics, courses, slideshows and socializing. Always eagerly anticipated by ice climbers in the eastern United States, it's considered one of the premier climbing events in the country. It is a celebration of ice climbing and winter mountaineering and the people that make it a part of their lives and continues to provide a great opportunity for those attending to network, socialize, try new gear and participate in technical clinics and private climbs. Featured visiting climbers and guides attending this year's event include Steve House, Barry Blanchard, Mark Wilford, Zoe Hart, Sean Isaac, Jack Tackle, Andy Selters and Jared Ogden. Don't miss it...
The 10th annual Festiglace in Pont-Rouge is an amazing ice climbing festival that attracts over 7,000 visitors every year. There are competitions, demonstrations, workshops, food, parties and lots more - all in a great location.
There are some other climbs that are more than a bit off the beaten track but well worth the effort. Legendary Lincoln climber Chuck Woodman mentioned Basin Pond, Shell Pond and East Royce as places that all offer plenty of climbing in a setting that's quiet, beautiful, and full of backcountry adventure and exploration. Climbs in those areas are all IN, nothing fat however. Best to ski or snowshoe in to Shell Pond. A high clearance SUV or truck with 4WD may get you in to the gate. Skiing up the road the two miles to East Royce is the preferred method and makes for a quick descent back.
Chuck says "I've been climbing in there a bunch of times over the past 25 years and I've yet to meet anyone else in any of those spots. For such good climbing to exist only 1/2 hour from Conway and be so overlooked besides Brad and a few others still amazes me."
Chuck also suggested the following - Ethan's Escape - "I discovered it about 10 years ago. It's directly across from the start of Shoestring Gully. Hike west up to the tracks, follow the stream up to a wonderful 250' slab of about 2+. Very hidden, can't see it from anywhere- always green and fat. Descend back down to the tracks thru the woods. On a map, it's the same stream that if you follow up, reaches Kendron's Flume. A great climb. About 1/2 mile up the stream from the car."
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
|My best performances often developed out of depression when I used climbing as a tool to forestall suicide rather than a method of achieving it. Dispair inspired three years of 'crazy' soloing.|