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September 18, 2008
So here I sit mesmerized by the news, bouncing back and forth between CNN and MSNBC, and trying to keep the panic from setting in. I don't know about you, but I have never actually believed that I was ever going to actually be able to "retire", but the stuff that's happening on Wall Street sure puts a new light on things. The DOW falling over 900 points in 2 days certainly has put a crimper in the pittance I've managed to stash away in my IRA. All I can think about right now is that I'm probably still going to be working until the day I keel over. Whatever - it's certainly not going to work out for me like it did for my parents.
OK, so does this related to climbing? Well yes, in a kind of oblique way... When my Dad retired his big thing was golf. He and my Mom moved into a condo right on the golf course and spent most of their time on the links. They would get out and play at least 9 holes every day and often 18 on the weekends. They paid their daily green fees and electric cart fees every time they went out, eventually joining the country club which lowered the expense a bit. When things got more difficult economically in the mid-70's the cost of their recreation went up. And being on a fixed income it became more difficult for them to do the thing that made them most happy.
Those of us who are into doing things outdoors like climbing, hiking, running and even some other sports like cycling and kayaking are in a bit different position. After the initial outlay, which certainly can be somewhat expensive, most of these activities require very little ongoing expense. Sure I need a new rope occasionally, picks for my ice axes, hiking boots every year or so and the like. But it's not like the $36 weekday or $57 weekend green-fee you will pay at the Brookline Golf Club in Boston, or even worse the $46 weekday and $75 weekend here in North Conway!
The cliff, the river, the lake, the road - they're all free. Even if gas prices go through the roof. Even if your taxes go up. Even if the economy goes even further in the toilet than it already is, and even if my IRA becomes truly worthless. All of the things that I personally do for entertainment will almost assuredly remain free! And besides them not costing me money, they are actually good for me. I can ride my bike or take a hike and I get great aerobic exercise. I can climb or paddle and while I'm doing those things I forget about all the problems that are going on internally and externally. It's a win/win - it doesn't get a whole lot better than that.
So even while Wall Street burns you have something to do that won't drain your IRA or your family budget. Don't let that stuff get you down. Get outside and go climbing, cycling, padding - whatever. You've got the perfect antidote to these depressing times. And unlike my Dad's primary form of entertainment, ours doesn't cost a lot. Unless of course you want a bunch of drinks or buy dinner at your friendly local restaurant afterward!
As of 9/1/2008 surfing to the Grivel North America web site has yielded a page containing the Grivel logo with the NOT symbol, red circle & slash. Poking a little further leads to a page with the following missive from Mark Twight:
"Grivel North America ceased distributing Grivel products on September 1st, 2008. We did our best over the last few years to keep the company alive but the flagging US economy and the Euro’s strength against the dollar prevented us from doing so."
That doesn't really say much, and implies that whatever happened wasn't their fault. OK.... Rumor has it that Grivel Italy is still in good shape and that a few dealers have been given the opportunity to purchase gear direct from Italy for the time being. Considering the state of the Euro to the Dollar in many ways it would make the most sense for them to open a distributorship themselves. I was in a business that sold products into Europe in the 90's when the exchange rate was the opposite and I know how difficult things were for our distributors over there. I guess we will have to stay tuned to see what takes place. While I have no direct knowledge at this time, I find it difficult to believe that Grivel would completely abandon the US and Canadian markets.
Thursday October 9th, Cabot Hall, AMC HQ, 5 Joy Street, Boston. Show starts at 7:30pm
May 21 – June 5, 2008, a group of mostly AMC members from New England made an attempt on the tallest mountain in North America. This is the story being told by some of the team members. The team name was chosen to honor Dominic Cartier-Luckhurst, the 19-year old son of our hiking friend Neil. Dominic died in an avalanche near Lake Louise, Alberta on January 7th, 2008.
No door charge although we will have a jar for voluntary donations benefitting the AMC Mountaineering Committee.
I was out in the yard and the woods near the cliffs today and there were absolutely no bugs to be seen except for a few Japanese Beetles. With the hard freeze that is expected tonight all those nasty mosquitoes & the remaining blackflies may be toast. let's hope so...
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.
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:
Have fun and climb safe,
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.|