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Last summer I mentioned that I had ridden by the Owls Head cliff in Glenciff, New Hampshire and was surprised to see a For Sale sign indicating that the entire 360 acre property, including the cliff itself, was on the market. Owl's Head is a large cliff which looks a bit like a mini-Cannon. Due to access issues, it has not seen as much attention as it deserves, tho there has been some route development over the years. Fortunately through the efforts of Tom Richardson, the Trust For Public Land, the Access Fund and others this priceless resource has been purchased by the TPL and is in the process of being converted to "public property." Here is the latest information...
Update on Owls Head Cliff in Benton, New Hampshire - From Tom Richardson:
Owls Head Cliff "For Sale" signs removed! I am pleased to be able to inform all of you that the 360 acre Owls Head Cliff property on Route 25 in Benton, NH was purchased by the Trust For Public Land on August 31, 2007. This is a major step toward adding this unique property to the White Mountains National Forrest. At this time the WMNF purchase proposal is undergoing its required 30 day "Congressional Oversight". During this time period the proposal may be reviewed by any member of the US Congress. OHC is the 24th property acquisition for the WMNF that has been facilitated by the TPL.
At this time OHC is owned by the TPL. It is not yet public property. It is hoped that the property will be re-purchased and become part of the WMNF in a few months. The TPL is a non profit organization that facilitates the purchase of land for public use. Due to the often slow and cumbersome procedures required for property purchase with public funds the TPL steps in to assist in this process. On many occasions the TPL purchases and holds these properties until the governmental agency can obtain the necessary public funds and complete the required procedures. At Owls Head Cliff the TPL has hired contractors to remove buildings, mitigated a small haz-mat site, survey the boundary's, title search the deeds and generally do what is referred to as "due diligence" work to create a neat, organized package for government purchase. This work is funded by TPL members and donations. At the TPL the primary person working on this purchase for the past year has been Josh Kelly.
On a related note, our contact person at the Access Fund, Deanne Buck, has sent me an email stating that she is leaving that organization. Deanne arranged for the Access Fund to contribute funds to the TPL to help with the OHC due diligence work. I would like to thank Deanne for her assistance with this project.
A Note Of Sadness:
Tragically local resident Rand McNally died unexpectedly at his home in Bartlett last week. He was a well known member of the community and was an enthusiastic climber, skier, kayaker, hiker and cyclist. I had the very good fortune to spend time with him in a number of these activities over the past 5 years. A memorial service at Echo Lake last Sunday was attended by many friends and his family. His infectious smile and enthusiastic pursuit of anything that caught his interest will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife and 3 children.
Some time in 2002 I got this phone call out of the blue from some guy in Florida. He had seen the web site or maybe just gotten my name from someone & wanted to talk about what it was like to live up here. It was of course Rand and he was over the top enthusiastic, as he always was about everything. I spent about an hour on the phone with him & told him to call me any time & we would hook up when he arrived. Not all that much later he & the family moved up, he called and we went climbing. He was so strong & so energetic & it was always fun. Over the hours we would babble away all the time about anything & everything. We did a lot of different stuff on Cathedral & Whitehorse. I took him up all my favorite climbs and a bunch of things that I had always wanted to do. I knew that he would always be there on the other end of the rope and paying attention to my whines & triumphs. I remember him laughing at me as I screamed curses after spilling all the medium nuts off my biner on the crux of the 4th pitch of Lost Souls. They tinkled down the wall twirling like pinwheels as our voices echoed off the cliff in perfect contrast.
We took many road bike rides over the past few years, probably on the order of a couple a month. One of my first rides over Pinkham to Gorahm & back was with him & Eric Sifer. Now these guys were so strong that I couldn't really keep up, tho I wasn't about to give up. On the way back they stuck with me to the top of the notch, we all screamed down to Dana Place. Then of course they ramped it up. I tried to hang on but they were into the full-tilt-boogie thing. Rand looked back and said "Just jump on & we'll pull you" but I just couldn't manage it at the time & they disappeared up the road. When I pulled into the As You Like It cafe in Jackson & Rand had a glass of iced tea & big grin waiting for me.
Those were very very good times, and needless to say there were more. He will most certainly be missed by me and by many others.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 25, 2015
Potentially big snow on the way, good ice almost everywhere, Ice Fest in a couple of weeks...what's not to like folks? Get out there and go climbing!
RECALL - Petzl Charlet Sarken Crampon:
From Eric Wynn, Communications Manager, Petzl America
Petzl just formally posted a recall on their website for all Petzl Charlet Sarken crampons. This is specific to the Sarken model only -- no other Petzl Charlet crampons are affected. For more information, please go to: http://en.petzl.com/petzl/SportNews?News=193 Distributor contact information for your specific country is available in the notice on our website. We will happily discuss any concerns and your replacement options with you personally.
For all practical purposes "there ain't no bugs, no where".
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:
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The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains. I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months.