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October 23, 2008
WOO WOO WOO! Here we are on October 23rd and it's getting cold. And more to the point we've already had snow in the mountains. And even MORE to the point, folks have been up there climbing what passes for ice in the early season. Well, barely ice, but still it's white & kind of hard. So with the economy the way it is I don't know about Christmas but - yes Virginia, it looks as if there is going to be a winter this year!
So believe it or not the Dike has already been done. From the pics I have seen it looked pretty minimal, at least from an ice climbing standpoint. Regardless, it most certainly has been climbed. In addition Odells has also been climbed. Again the pix make it look more like a scramble than an ice climb, tho certainly there was ice up there. According to the person who did it, they climbed ice all the way to within 200' of the top. Then they went left & scrambled to the Alpine Garden. Pretty neat-o.
For many years as soon as the ice comes IN up in Tucks I head up there to see how my head is for the upcoming season. Usually I do it with my sometimes-boss, old friend & partner Brad White. We're both eyeing all the reports and pictures and are already chomping at the bit to be out there on the ice. I'm not too much into the early-early-early season stuff, I really do need good sticks and/or a place to actually run in a decent screw. Don't worry, you'll get the latest info as soon as I get it.
On the NEClimbs site fairly recently there was a thread about how someone had a problem with a retailer & manufacturer about a product that they had bought and it got me thinking. They actually named names and frankly I don't think that that was the kind of talk any company would want spread about. Even in this day and age there is something that many companies just don't seem to understand, and that's the art of Customer Service. I owned and ran a computer software company for 12 years where we sold stuff to the public, as well as to retailers and distributors. I learned firsthand about what people expected in the way of service. It wasn't something that I learned overnight, but once we got it, we GOT IT. Believe me those hard learned lessons have stayed with me in the intervening years.
Recently I have been setting up a small recording studio in my home. I bought some soundproofing materials from an on-line retailer and when the stuff was delivered one of the packages was missing something. I called the manufacturer to check what was supposed to be in the package and they confirmed that I was missing a half-dozen small plastic thingys. They took my name and address and told them just to drop them in an envelope and put them into the mail. No big rush. Well, 24 hours later a FedEx truck drops a box at my door containing the 6 missing plastic thingys as well as a t-shirt and coffee travel mug. Guess what is my fave shirt & coffee cup these days? Guess who I toot in the on-line recording forums?
My in-laws were in town recently. They had bought a tent from a large retailer who makes some of their own stuff several years ago. They had problems with the fastener system that holds the fabric to the poles so they dropped by the local store to talk about it. Amazingly the manager acknowledged that there had been a design flaw and offered them a new tent! Do you think that they will buy from that retailer again? Ya think???
A while back I had a problem with the liners in a pair of expensive plastic boots. Basically they tore and then the grommet on the lace pulled off. I took the boot, over a year old, back to the local small retailer. They contacted the manufacturer for me and I got a new pair of liners before ice season started. Will I shop there again? You betcha!
In this day & age all this stuff should be a no-brainer for retailers and manufacturers. With the immediacy of the Internet it's hard to believe that folks still don't understand that taking care of your customer is the BEST possible thing to do. Customer loyalty is an incredibly valuable commodity and one that is fragile. The stores and manufacturers where I choose to spend my hard earned cash are the ones that will take care of me if I have a problem. I figure you are the same...
Another week of Fundraiser Month at NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report has flown by, and only one more to go! I want to thank the 46 individual contributors and 4 corporate sponsors who have taken the time and made the effort to support NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report.
As I mentioned before. it's hard to believe but the White Mountain Report has been going out through the ether since 1999! 9 years is a loooong time in webby years! But of course every year around the middle of October or start of November, I ask all subscribers for a small donation. I think it's a tough thing to do, considering the state of the economy right now, but without YOUR support it would be difficult to justify keeping going.
While all year I put out our weekly reports and maintain the NEClimbs web site, it is this time of the year - Ice Season - that the Report comes into its own. As soon as we slip into full-on winter mode I'll be out there during the week checking on the state of the ice, and reporting back to you on what's IN and what's OUT. And if you are an ice climber this is surely info that you will want every Thursday.
Kind of like those NPR fundraisers, I'm now asking you for your help. Providing the latest ice and rock conditions, reporting on events and people in the local climbing community, managing NEClimbs.com and more consumes on the order of 10 hours a week, and that's not insignificant for anyone. I figure that the minimal $20 annual donation is a fair trade, isn't it?
PLEASE don't wait to make YOUR contribution. Don't assume that others will pick up the slack. YOU are the one who signed up to be included on the mailing list! YOU read it every week and I'm the one providing the service! Support NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report, send your check or money order for $20 now, OR make your contribution ON LINE via PayPal. It's easy & painless and you can use your credit card. Simply click the link below to make your donation...
And remember, you DON"T need to have a PayPal account to use PayPal. That said, you can also make out your check or money order to NEClimbs and send it to:
92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860
I have the new Donations list up now containing the names of all of those who have contributed as a part of this 2008/2009 fundraiser. Thanks so much for your support.
Thanks so much for your support.
I have the new Donations list up now containing the names of all of those individuals and corporate sponsors who have contributed as a part of this 2008/2009 fundraiser. Thanks to each and every one of you.
Well the Dike was climbed and Odell's as well. While I wouldn't say that ice season has come, it's obviously on its way - at least in the classic early season way. Stay tuned because I'm hoping for a good one.
I am looking for pictures for the NEClimbs site. If you have some that you think would be appropriate please send them along. They can be rock or ice pix. The only requirement is that they are yours and that they are of this area. Needless to say you will get a credit on the picture if it's used. No need to make it any particular size, I'll take care of that for you. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please come down to the Red Parka Pub in Glen this Sunday, October 26th. The Jazz Meisters band will be playing there at a Fundraiser in support of WJSK, Jazz Radio in Jackson. The event will take place from 5-7 PM. WJSK is FM 101.1 on your dial. Although small, it covers the Mount Washington Valley, playing all of the classic jazz music. Owner and director Frank Pingree has done a fantastic job with the station and if you haven't checked it out, you should. The choice of music and the quality is outstanding. The Jazz Meisters will be there performing all the classic Jazz standards for your listening and dancing enjoyment. If you love great swing-era jazz music, please come by. Donations will be requested at the door.
Special thanks to owner Terry O'Brien of the Red Parka for making this event possible. We hope to see you there in support of a great community asset, WJSK 101.1. Tell your friends...
PS - Also put Friday evening, December 5th on your calendar as the Jazz Meisters will be playing at Bellini's Restaurant in North Conway. Great food & classic jazz music. You can't beat that with a stick!
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
|Alcohol, firearms and a 4 wheel drive can go a long ways towards making a rain day into a fun rest day.|