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We're finally back into a more typical Spring weather pattern up here. Some beautiful days, some rainy days, some in between. Over the past 7 days we've had a mix of both. Last weekend was pretty wet, but Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and it's stayed that way for a couple of days. Looks like it may deteriorate over the weekend, but who knows. The weather pundits have been wrong before.
All the young guides have been away so I was out working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week and the rock has been great. Monday was mostly spent at the Echo Roof area playing on all the basic routes that you can set up using the two anchors in the middle. Great fun and totally dry. There was water pouring down the right side of the main roof, but it had no impact on the more popular climbs. At the end of the day we went over and did Short Order, one of my favorite 5.9's. It was in great shape tho the rap anchor on the second tree at the top is in real need of replacement. If anyone gets up there soon please take along some sling or rope to replace it. If you need any supplies please let me know or ask at IME so we can arrange to get you what you need. It will be appreciated.
Tuesday was a day for old favorites Fun House and Upper Refuse. Everything was totally dry and wonderful except for the usual drool at the start of Upper Refuse which was easily avoided. Temps couldn't have been more perfect and we had a wonderful time. We had planned to rap back down over The Book but there were people climbing it so we opted to continue to the top and barefoot it down the road. There was a lot of natural and snowmobile debris on the road, but it was a nice finish to a perfect day. There were numerous other parties on the cliff doing Three Birches, Bombardment, The Book and Recompense.
Wednesday was a late start going to Whitehorse with a school group. There were 3 guides and 9 kids so we broke them up with 3 kids to 1 guide. I opted for Beginner's Route on the far right side of the slabs. It's one of my faves for kids because the climbing is moderate and there's generally not a lot of traffic over there. The kids climbed great and although we didn't actually start climbing until 1:30 about we managed to get all the way to the Smile belay (5 pitches) and rap down by 6:45. I did notice that there was a place where a rock must have fallen onto the slab near the crux area by the bolts. Made that section a little easier, tho it's certainly not hard to begin with.
The really cool thing was that everyone rapped the route themselves with the exception of one young man who had never rapped and who I spidered for the first rap. After that he did it himself. Setting up the first rappel took almost 15 minutes, the second 10, and by the last rappel they had the whole thing dialed and I'll bet it only took about 3 minutes. They threaded the rope, pulled it, set up their belay devices in order of descent (on extensions of course), and were totally focused on what they had to do. They totally bought into the concept of thinking about what the next thing they had to do, rather than just standing around. Of course I was watching everything with an eagle-eye, but it was totally cool how well they checked each other. By the time we were on the ground they were actually functioning as a team. That's one of the things I really enjoy about guiding with kids...observing how they can rise up to an occasion, learn what they need to do and figure out how to work together. It is a very rewarding thing.
And along those lines...the Kismet Rock Foundation works with kids to do the same kind of thing. Check out the Fundraiser Event listed below and be sure to go their web site. It's a very worthwhile organization and the event is a lot of fun. I'd be there myself if I wasn't playing music that night
PS - Apology to the guy who asked me if he could get from the ground up to the tree belay on Beginner's Easy in a single pitch. It's been a while since I've done it and I guess my wife simul-climed a bit when we did it.
Kismet Rock Foundation Jubilee - May 17th:
Kismet Rock Foundation Jubilee - May 17:
Join them for their annual fundraising Jubilee at Cranmore Resort in North Conway
on May 17. Features a catered dinner by White Mountain Cider Company and a Silent Auction including weekend packages, gift certificates, furniture, art, climbing gear and more.
Live music by the Kismet Rock Stars: Mary Bastoni, Molly Campbell, Chelsea Laguerre (Kismet Student), Zebulon Jakub, Mike Jewell, Alain Comeau, Tony Iorfino and Mitch Scher
The Kismet Rock Foundation enhances the physical, intellectual and emotional development of well-functioning but economically disadvantaged children by providing access to the immense value of a comprehensive education in technical rock climbing.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective March 6, 2014
While the ice is going through a bit of a change, what with the weather being so cold, it's still very good in most places. With the longer days and more intense sunlight we should start to see some refreshing going on, as soon as the temps moderate. Most climbs in the direct sun are starting to see a little water during the day, in spite of the cold. The stuff in the shade that's looking a bit beat up and that in the direct sun is a little pinky. That said, it looks as if this weekend things are going to moderate, so it should be a good one.
BTW I am aware that some of today's pix are of a decidedly poorer quality than we all are used to. This is because my main camera's battery pack died and I had to use my cell phone camera - sorry about that.
Elemental - Life as a Mountain Junkie - A slideshow by Janet Bergman:
'Why climb?' Over her ten-year tenure as a self-admitted 'mountain junkie', Janet Bergman's answers to that question have ranged from adventure to escapism to feminism to romance. But perhaps at the end it is George Mallory who answered best...simply 'because it is there'. Join Janet Bergman, a local climber, writer and Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School guide for a slideshow about her efforts to satiate the obsession. Includes images and stories from recent climbing excursions to Argentina, Nepal, Peru and throughout New England.
This Saturday May 10, 7pm at the Legends Room in the Eastern Slope Inn, North Conway
Admission is $5, free with a receipt from EMS
IMPORTANT NOTE On Your White Mountain Report Subscription:
Thanks to each of you 1000 subscribers (that's right, I did say ONE THOUSAND) for your support. A couple of times recently I have received some blanket bounce back messages from some of you with Yahoo accounts. I have been in communication with Yahoo about this and they said that they have gotten some complaints about this emailing being SPAM. I was rather surprised since this is a subscription based emailing that you actually have to sign up for. But perhaps some of you got on the list and now want off and can't figure out how to do it.
It's really simple. The Subscribe/Unsubscribe information is at the bottom of EVERY White Mountain Report mailing, but let's just go through it here again... Just go to this link -
Put in your email address, the one you subscribed with, then click the Unsubscribe radio button and click the Please Subscribe button. You will get a confirmation & will be removed from the list. Simple and Easy, yes?
If you change you email address it would be appreciated if you could Unsubscribe and then re-Subscribe again with your new one. If I get more than a couple of weeks of bounce back messages I will automatically remove that account, but it saves time and hassle.
The mosquitoes are out in force in the early morning and around dusk. Blackflies are also out, but not biting yet. That will come soon. There are most definitely ticks in the woods. I suggest you put on some DEET, at least around your ankles and socks. I haven't gotten bitten but I know people who have and the dog and cat are bringing them into the house. One of my kid clients reported that they had found a Deer Tick in Wolfboro last week so BE AWARE!!!!!
ATTENTION Peregrine Closures:
Seasonal climbing closures for spring/summer 2008 have now been established at the following cliffs in New Hampshire:
Rattlesnake Mtn (Rumney) - only "Main Cliff" at Rumney Rocks closed
Cathedral Ledge (Bartlett) - only right (north) end near "Repentence" closed
Eaglet Spire and nearby walls (Franconia) - The Spire and all adjacent walls closed
Frankenstein Cliff (Harts Location) - big south-facing wall overlooking parking lot closed
Owls Head (Benton) - right (east) end of cliff closed
Painted Walls (Albany) - entire cliff closed, but nearby Rainbow Slabs open
Holts Ledge (Lyme) - entire cliff closed
Square Ledge (Albany) - entire cliff closed
Sugarloaf Mtn (Benton) - only cliff left (west) of ladders closed
Temporary restrictions are designed to promote successful breeding by NH state-listed Endangered peregrine falcons. Rather than instituting broad blanket closures, biologists and resource managers in NH carefully design each closure to protect sensitive peregrine nests while also minimizing the total area of cliff that must be closed. This is possible because the climbing community in NH demonstrates respect and compliance with these restrictions.
For additional information contact:
Chris Martin, NH Audubon raptor biologist
603/224-9909, x317 or email@example.com
All closures will be lifted by August 1, 2008, or sooner if the situations warrant.
RE Access Fund Grant to Gunks for Solar Toilet:
I posted a note about this last week and made the comment - "Not to be snarky, but it makes me wonder what all the money they collect from the climbers goes for!" I was actually talking about the Mohonk Preserve, not the Access Fund. I know what the Access Fund does with their money, and in general I approve.
Great Music This Weekend:
My R & B dance band Sounds Clever and the Valley Horns will be playing at the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson this Friday & Saturday night (8:30-11:30). I added a horn section a month or so ago and it's brought the band to another level. We start out jazzy and end up with James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone. If you like to dance you should drop by. The band features Steve Cooney on guitar, Jared Steer on drums, Glenwood Fripp on piano, Mike Sakash on sax, Jared Lacasse on trumpet and me on bass and vocals. Hope to see you there.
Slideshow: Vertical Ethiopia - Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa
by climber, writer Majka Burhardt (www.majkaburhardt.com)
Vertical Ethiopia documents a climbing expedition to unexplored sandstone spires in northern Ethiopia. In March 2007, four women traveled to Ethiopia to discover if climbing might be the next frontier for this continuously evolving country. Told through a series of vignettes that reveal what it means to climb, to travel, and to explore, Vertical Ethiopia looks closely at the intersections between adventure and culture, history and opportunity.
May 7th, 7pm
Cabot Auditorium, AMC Headquarters, 5 Joy Street, Boston MA $5
AMC Boston Chapter, Mountaineering Committee In conjunction with WorldBoston (www.worldboston.org) and The Access Fund
For directions: www.outdoors.org/about/facilities/facilities-boston-directions.cfm
For more information: www.bostonclimbers.org
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
The solitary ascent of the Dru had the immediate effect of expanding the horizons of my ideas about mountaineering. It made me aware of possibilities well in advance of the times, which were characterized by very restricted mothods. This was how the suberb pyramid of K2 surfaced once more in the list of my projects. But I chose K2 as a way for giving concrete form to my new concept of mountaineering: to climb the second highest montain in the world solo, alpine style, and without oxygen.
Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself.