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From 1985-1997 I owned a music software company in Boston. I had never run a company before and it was a real learning experience for me managing people. I have a major-league work ethic (can you spell TYPE A?) and it was hard sometimes for me to accept that everyone couldn't bull through various life things the way I could. An employee fell behind on a software development project that we had in the works due to some changes in his life and I must admit that I was a bit less than appropriately sympathetic. When I asked him why he was unable to complete the work in what we both had previously agreed was a reasonable amount of time he responded that, "Sometimes life just gets in the way."
It's been a difficult week or two for me I must admit... The day after hearing of the climbing accident that led to the tragic death of Paul Duval, I was talking with a mutual friend and they mentioned that another friend from my Boston years had recently been taken by cancer. My wife knew them fairly well and she was blown away. That very night after downing more beers than usual while casually surfing the web I came across the picture of a person with whom I had worked with and been very close to in the early 90's. She had been killed in a freak car accident near her home in California! Life, or rather death I suppose you could say, had definitely gotten in the way of my life. For the rest of the week in my inimitable way I managed to get through stuff, but I was most assuredly walking around in a daze. Obviously putting out a Report last week was something I simply wasn't into so I punted. Sorry 'bout that...
I must admit that all of this has made me very aware of my own fragile position on this planet. While I was not very close to two of these three people, the fact that they are no longer on this planet is quite hard to comprehend. There is a hole in the fabric of life that I feel with their disappearance from this plane of existence that is surprisingly large. Even tho I hadn't seen any of them in several years, simply knowing they were out there and most especially in the case of my friend from California, who I touched base with several times a year, was one of those little points of stability in a world filled with much uncertainty and change.
At 60 I am well aware that as we get older this kind of thing takes place more and more often. As my parents aged they saw their friends drop away, until after my mother passed my father had only my sister and our families left. All of Dad's friends had preceded him. As he had Alzheimer's for the last several years I don't think that he was quite aware of this, but prior to that I know it made him sad.
I am sure that those of you who knew Paul Duval either peripherally or closely feel similarly. From what I gather he had many good friends, lots of casual friends and tons of people whom he touched in some way. The same goes for our Boston friend who died from cancer and most assuredly in the case of my friend from California. I've kind of come to terms with all of this over the past couple of weeks, but I am sure that it will never completely go away. My mother died 12 years ago and my father passed on 2 years ago and there is probably not a day that goes by that I don't think about them. And quite frankly I don't think that's actually a bad thing. As long as someone remembers them, those people live inside of us. It is the memories that we keep close in our hearts that is the legacy of each person who has left us.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective April 17, 2015
I know, I know there are some folks who will say that this or that climb is still IN, but believe me there really is no safe ice in the lower elevation now, so the rating has been dropped to a 1. This indicates that the only ice is in the higher terrain now. And in fact, other than climbs that have some significant part of them in the shade, like Pinnacle, everything else should be considered suspect. That said the skiing is supposedly amazing right now so grab it while you can. Starting next week we will move fully into rock season and will switch to BugCON ratings.
Owls Head Cliff Update:
I received an email from Mike Severino regarding his conversations with the Forest Service regarding their plans for Owls Head. They are gathering information to decide how they want to proceed regarding trails and a parking lot. If you are interested in this process or want to participate check out the information HERE.
Proposal Summary - Timber harvesting and wildlife habitat improvement; prescribed burning to maintain unique ecosystems and reduce hazardous fuel loads, construction of a new parking lot, bridge, and trail to provide access to Owls Head Cliff; watershed restoration and forest improvement on recently acquired land; maintenance, restoration, and reconstruction of existing Forest roads; classifying 0.14 of a mile, and decommissioning 1.22 miles of existing Forest road.
Bear and the Honeydrippers @ Wildcat Tavern:
Like the blues? Up for some climbing & fun this weekend? Drop by the Wildcat on Saturday and catch Bear & The Honeydrippers. Killer blues & insidious swing designed to get you off your butts and onto the dance floor. 8:30-closing.
It's bad when it's hot and muggy, minimal right now since it's cool, dry and breezy. Blackflies are pretty much gone but in some places the horseflies are taking their place. I had a swarm chasing me on the bike the other day and they were awful. Ticks are still around, I got one working in the garden the other morning, but not as bad as a month ago. I'm thinking that the worst is behind us as we move into the main part of the summer. Let's hope...
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: