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September 24, 2009
It's hard to believe that Summer is officially over for 2009. The Autumnal Equinox arrived at 9:18 on the 22nd of September, bringing Fall along with it. Boy oh boy, that was a quick summer. With all the early season rains I hardly got to enjoy it myself. But things have been so much nicer for the past several weeks & I have seen the difference in everyone's attitudes.
So, what is it about this time of year that gets people out there climbing & working on their climbing projects? Is it the crisp dry weather with the wonderful light. Or maybe the feeling of impending winter and if you don't get it done it now it will be too late for this year? Or perhaps it's something to do with trying to avoid all that household work that needs to be done in the Fall. [ouch] Or maybe all of the above...
I know that I've mentioned before how it's hard to find any piece of rock that hasn't been climbed in this area, and I actually believe that to be true. People post new routes in the NEClimbs forum and before you know it someone pops up and says that they probably did it 20+ years ago. The running joke is how whatever route you do was probably soloed by someone in mountain boots, smoking a pipe and carrying their dog in one hand! While that's obviously over the top, lots of folks climb new routes and for whatever reasons simply never record what they have done. You may or may not find any traces of their passing. I've climbed some very obscure stuff that I figured had never been done, only to come across an ancient sling or rusted pin.
That happened to me several years ago up in the brush right of the Unicorn Ledge. I posted a picture of it, but no one responded about it. My understanding is that there were some old pins at the Echo Roof that no one ever truly claimed. While working on new stuff over at Humphrey's I never saw any pins or slings on any of the routes I put up. However one afternoon I leaned against a tree and felt something sharp. When I looked there was a pair of keys embedded in the tree trunk, obviously from many many years before. One looked to be a house key and the other a Volkswagen key. I posted a picture on the NEClimbs forum here:
It's pretty cool, and certainly cooler than finding some manky old sling around a bush. It's so cool that when Judy Perez put up a new route that starts right there she named her route Tree Keys! Why am I not surprised? BTW I'd really like to know the story behind it, if anyone knows... Did they have to walk home? Did they have to break into the house? Or did they completely forget where they left 'em? I'm sure that there is a story there.
In any event there are at least 4 new routes that I know of that have been put up in the past week - 3 at Humphrey's and one at the Attitash Crag. Two of the 3 on Humphrey's are newly listed in the Routes database, Tree Keys (Judy & Joe Perez and George Hurley) and One More Adventure (by me & the Perez's). The one on Attitash Crag is called Bits And Pieces (by Bob Ahern & Chris Graham) and is newly added to the database. The latter sounds really nice and if you haven't been to the Attitash Crag, you should definitely check it out. If for no other reason than the balance across the Saco on a huge log! It's good fun...
So anyway - there are lots of new routes getting put up all over the place. This is a great time to work on a new project or just get out there and climb. In fact I don't think that it couldn't be any better right now. Enjoy the Fall.
So much rock, so little time...
Just got back form a ride up to Littleton. We're still a week away from full-on colors, but there are some pockets that are truly fantastic. With any luck at all this will be one of the better years we've had in a while. At least from what I can tell it looks as if it will be.
The mosquitoes are still in the woods and out in the early evening, but that's about it. I've reduced the rating to a 1 now so enjoy it while you can...
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
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