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SMOKIN'....... Jim Carey's line from The Mask notwithstanding, it sure looked like we were smoking something here in the Valley earlier this week. After a surprisingly sunny and dry Sunday, Monday morning dawned with a distinct haze in the air. The slightest breeze touched off plumes of yellowish "smoke" that flowed across the Valley. As the day progressed it got even worse, leaving a thick coating on every surface. Too bad we had just done out Spring Cleaning 'cause it is now on every surface of the house, inside and out.
It doesn't seem to happen every year, I've only seen this 2-3 times in the 10 years I've lived here. While it may actually happen every year, the combination of conditions that make it this "bad" clearly don't take place every year. The first time I observed it was about 8 years ago when I was climbing on the South Buttress one morning. When we got to the top of Inferno around noon and looked out across the Valley it looked as if there were forest fires over the entire area. You could actually see how a breeze would flow down Valley from the north, touching off the release of pollen as it shook the tops of the trees.
My wife asked her allergist about it a couple of years ago and they said that nobody was allergic to pine pollen because it was so big. hard to believe, but I don't hear folks sneezing when this happens. It's more like cursing 'cause it covers everything. Even now there is a layer of yellow on everything, including the cliff.
On another topic, the other day I had a first-hand view of one thing that happens to road kill! Well of course I already knew what happened to a lot of it, but this time I saw Mother Nature in action. I was riding my bike up Passaconaway Road the other day when I saw what looked like a dog in the road ahead. As we got closer we could see that it was a large fox standing over something in the middle of the road, worrying it with it's teeth. As I got within about 50 feet, the fox picked up the obviously flattened squirrel and trotted away. Nice... Fox is fed and road kill is cleaned up. This same day we saw a deer on the side of the road on West Side Road just south of Cedar Creek. Lots of animals out there if you are looking for them.
Robert Frost Interview:
For those of you who you don't know, Rob Frost is a local filmmaker and climber who lives in Jackson, NH. Rob created the two very popular videos Uncommon Ground and Autoroute. I've known Rob for quite a few years and helped create both of these DVD's. Last March he previewed his upcoming film "Harvest Moon" at Colby Sawyer College. At that time Jean Goldsborough interviewed Rob for the college radio station. The interview is now available for listening on your computer or downloadable as a podcast. Here is the link:
Thanks to Jean for letting us know about this.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 26, 2015
Yet another great week of ice pretty much everywhere. Surprisingly we haven’t had any snow to speak of in the lower elevations, so the trails are packed out and it’s easy to get around. It would be nice if things warmed up a bit during the day to refresh the ice tho. Just be aware that things are getting a bit beat up and brittle. That said there is a lot of stuff to climb. Enjoy…
15th Annual Women's Rock Weekend:
IMCS and EMS are working together to provide a great weekend for ladies and New England climbers!
JUNE 23rd &24th - NORTH CONWAY, NH
This weekend is designed for women of ALL abilities at a great price. Climb for you first time, learn rock rescue, refine your crack skills, or get on the sharp end!
* Free goodies to our ladies from our sponsors!
* DJ, FREE BEER, and slideshow ($5) for EVERYONE! We want to bring New England climbers together for a really fun night! Yes, FREE BEER for EVERYONE! @ IME 4-7!
Slideshow: Caroline George- on first ascents ice climbing in iceland and first ascents crack climbing in Ethiopia!
Sat. night @ 7:30 next to Flatbread Pizzeria.
* Silent auction filled with goods to help a local women's shelter!
* EMS Pancake Breakfast on Sunday! $5 or free to participants! @ Flatbread!
So, everyone come up and ladies sign up to kick-start your climbing summer! It's THE weekend to be up here!
Conrad Anker Plan to Recreate Mallory's Everest Attempt - Follow Up:
Apparently the team decided that it was too cold and would be unsafe to attempt the climb in the period clothing as was planned. That said Anker and his partner Leo Houlding did successfully free climb the Second Step at 7am this morning. From there they continued to the summit. This season over 514 people have climbed Everest, a record!
The black fly population seems to have taken a drop over this past week. Maybe it's the cooler temps we've been experienceing. However the mosquitoes are out in full force. I went over to Cathedral near Bombardment the other day sans bug dope. Big mistake friends! I almost got drained of blood in a couple of hours. And they get worse in the late afternoon / early evening.
Ed Viesturs Everest Game:
There have been a couple of video games that attempted to incorporate climbing in them, never very successfully. I haven't heard great things about this game, but it's interesting that Ed would lend his name to it. Here's the blurb...
Fresh from a successful exploration of the wreck of the Titanic, the Hidden Expedition Club will pit one of its stellar members against a formidable group of opponents in a race to the summit of Everest. Other groups will battle you to be the first to summit Mount Everest. Expert Everest climber Ed Viesturs will assist you along the way. Explore mysteries of the world as you find hidden clues. Race to the Roof of the World!
You can check it out & even download a free trial version here
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:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any sport that requires you to change clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers always wear their climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of a machine room.