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So we are working our way though another close to perfect spring week. The past weekend it got so hot that everyone was running around in t-shirts and shorts, looking for all the world like mid-July. If the river was warm you would have seen folks out there on canoes. But of course with the Saco water temp running around 50, that was most certainly not to be. Still there were a lot of people climbing, cycling, hiking and just being outdoors and soaking up the warm sun.
I went back through my archives and it seems that this is very similar to what we had last year in April and May. In fact it was quite dry in May. Enough so that there was a very high fire danger and there was the big one at Rumney that caused so many difficulties. The danger here in the Whites has been high for several weeks and I don't think that's going to change much for a while. If you are up camping please don't use open fires. a house down the street from me had a chimney fire last Saturday. One bit of ash came out and within seconds started a fire in the back yard that if it hadn't been caught immediately could have easily threatened the neighborhood. Just be aware of how dry things are.
New Hurley Routes:
That's right, George Hurley is still at it. I got a call from him to go out and check out a pair of new routes he put up at Humphrey's on Monday with the ever-able assistance of Joe and Judy Perez. Both of these routes are located on the left side of the cliff between Wanderlust and Dedication. The rightmost is called Over Arch. George was going to call it a direct finish to Halloween II, but since it only shares about 10' of climbing with Halloween, I urged him to come up with another name. Right at the start there is a small arch where you could do a natural sling and he decided since the climb went over that arch, the name was appropriate. It's on the same small ledge as is other newish routes 6 Bolts & a Plug and It's Five What? As usual I did the climb just a little different than he and both Perez's did, but that didn't change their agreed upon grade from 5.9. I think it's a nice climb and a good addition.
As I was climbing it I looked over at Halloween II and remembered how nasty it was when I did it several years ago. It certainly was not recommended then. There was a large block about 2/3 of the way up hat looked quite dangerous to me as well. Later in the day George rapped down and did some cleaning. In the process he pushed on the block and it came out easily, crashing down into the woods, shattering with a very large sound and generally making a mess. Good thing no one had climbed that route in a while!
The second route is quite short, thus somewhat appropriately names Short & Sweet. It starts just right of the small gully that is located immediately right of Wanderlust. While not nearly as nice as Over Arch, it does have an entertaining crux move and goes at 5.10a. I don't think it will be as popular as Over Arch, but it's a tribute to George's imagination and prolificness as a new route pioneer.
When you climb them remember that they were put up by a guy who is a septuagenarian! Kudos to George...
NOTE - in the process of doing the description for Over Arch we realized that the location of Halloween II in the Webster guide is incorrect. Halloween II starts 50' left of the Dedication corner, NOT 25' as is in Webster.This may have caused some to assume that 6 Bolts & a Plug and It's Five What? were rebolts of other older climbs. after careful examination we have confirmed that this is in fact NOT the case.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 13, 2017
Temps have been dropping all day Friday. It went from 44 at 5 AM, to 28 at 2:15 PM! The cold and the water we have in the system now should really stabilize things, assuredly allowing the ice to build again. In a way this is similar to March conditions where the warm days and chilly nights simply serve to fatten things up.
So far the bug report is still between 0 and 1. There are some mosquitoes out there, but not too many. The black-flies are are around, but fortunately they aren't biting yet. This is different from what's happening down in the Gunks and Massachusetts. Perhaps because we're still having chilly nights. I expect that to change in the next week or 10 days, so keep that DEET handy folks.
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:
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The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
My once-keen analytical mind has become so dulled by endless hours of baking in the hot sun, thrashing about in tight chimneys, pulling at impossibly heavy loads, freezing my ass off.... so that now my mental state is comparable to that of a Peruvian Indian, well stoked on coca leaves..