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In case you haven't heard there has been a forest fire over at Rumney. It was on the news Wednesday evening and again this morning. The fire was located above the Main Cliff and on the left side of Orange Crush. Fire officials have said the fire was started by someone on Wednesday and they don't know if it was accidental! "It's still burning deep into the ground because a lot of the rock top has a lot of debris and dust in it, so it's making the mop-up a little bit of concern," said forest ranger Bryan Nowell. According to reports as of the middle of the day today (Thursday) the area is officially closed.
In spite of the record snowfall this winter and slow melt, the ground everywhere is very dry and the wind is exacerbating the situation. Although we did have a little rain last Monday afternoon, it had virtually no impact on the amount of water "in the system" and there has been little or no seepage on the cliffs. I was out on the mountain bike on Wednesday afternoon and the trails are dusty with places that are usually pretty muddy this time of year bone dry. When I tilled my garden this morning getting ready for some planting I noticed that the soil was totally dry, as much as 8-10 inches down.
Several years ago there was a forest fire up in the North Moats behind Whitehorse Ledge. It filled the Valley with smoke and was actually quite difficult to put out. For those of us living on the West side of town it was pretty scary. Another one probably a year earlier was up in the Green Hills and was also difficult to put out. And these weren't in a place like Rumney where the cliffs make access even more treacherous!
If you are out in the woods or camping, even in a campground, please be careful with cigarettes and any kind of open flame. Besides being dry the breeze will very quickly fan any open flame and scatter sparks everywhere. Although I want a good climbing weekend as much as anyone, right now I would prefer some rain.
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!
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Whitehorse Route Query:
If anyone has any information about who put up the variation of Sea Of Holes on Whitehorse called "The 5.7 Flake" please let me know. This information is not in either the Webster or Handren guide books. Someone was asking about the historical aspect of this climb & I thought I would inquire among you folks. Thanks...
The blackflies are starting to feast now. Between them and the mosquitoes and ticks, being outside on a calm day without DEET or some kind of bug dope is, shall we say, problematic at best.
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.
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