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So last Tuesday was the general membership meeting of our local Mountain Rescue Service. There are two meetings annually, one held in the Spring and another in the Fall. In case you didn't know, these are the local volunteers who go out there and help deal with technical rescues in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In addition they are very often involved in searches, such as the ones for the missing Scout this Spring and more recently the missing Canadian gentleman, Mr. Shintani.
As always it is particularly interesting to hear the reports of what took place in these missions. how many teams were out there on the search, where they went, the difficulties they encountered as they searched and the end result. As you likely know the Scout was found generally safe & sound after a fairly extensive effort. However after more than a week of ground searching and a helicopter search as well there is still absolutely no sighting of Shintani. In fact no one has come forward with any sighting of him on the trails, in spite of his vehicle being found in the Pinkham parking lot. It is quite a mystery.
I am always interested in hearing the comments by New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus on the number of incidents in general and the state of F&G as an agency. I happen to really approve of the job that these folks do. Without their efforts I believe that the outcome for a lot of the folks who get in trouble would be substantially worse. He stated that it seemed that things were a bit more busy than usual, with incidents ranging from mountain searches and rescues, to finding people who get lost on a fishing trip to aiding in the search for a college student running away from the police after crashing his car. A particularly interesting statistic was the cost of the search & rescue for the Scout - over $20,000! That's quite a lot of money for an agency whose budget has been repeatedly slashed over the past few years.
Another tidbit was that we are going to be without our National Guard helicopter support for the next year, as these folks are going to be re-deployed to Iraq very soon. Needless to say this is going to make things more difficult for the S&R efforts PLUS it puts our NG folks in danger. Whatever you think about the wars, and I'm not happy about it at all, I for one sincerely hope that all of our people come back safe and sound. We need them back here doing the work that they do so well right here in the state of New Hampshire.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 9, 2016
Everything is in the process of rapid change right now. It hasn't gotten above 25 degrees all day (Friday) here in the Valley, it is surely colder up in the Notch. I would bet that at this rate by Sunday things will have radically changed, for the better! Although there was more ice in Crawford Notch on Wednesday than last week, IMO there was nothing climbable. A few folks have made the hike up into the Ravines, but things are fairly thin up there as well. A few days ago I saw pictures of a friend climbing the Open Book in Tucks. I asked about gear and they said that while climbable, it was basically unprotectable! Doesn't sound like much fun to me, but of course YMMV...
Kancamagus Highway 50 Years Old:
We all take it so much for granted that it's actually hard to believe that the Kanc as we know it is only 50 years old. I personally know folks who drove it in the summer as kids with their parents in Army style jeeps when it was just a dirt track. A celebration is in the works to be held on August 14th at the Russell-Colbath Barn featuring a day of programs featuring the history and remembrances of those who built the road.
For some reason the black flies have diminished a bit, but the mosquito population has picked up the charge. While not quite a 5 yet, praise be, they're pretty doggone bad. If you're out in the deep woods they can almost carry you away. All I have to say is bring the bug dope with DEET folks.
Jackson Covered Bridge Dance - This Saturday Night:
Sounds Clever and the Valley Horns will be playing under the Covered Bridge in Jackson Village this Saturday night, June 27th, starting at 7PM. We'll be playing Jazzy swing to start, building to swing blues and on into the heavy funk as the night progresses. There will be food and drink and stuff for the whole family. Rain or shine it's sure to be a fun evening. Hope to see you there...
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: