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It seems that no matter how many folks are out there climbing in the New England woods, there is always something new to be climbed. Or at least some might think it's new because it's new to them. A small group would like to keep these areas on the QT, figuring that only a select few should be allowed to go there or perhaps out of some unfounded fear that their secret place could become the next Rumney or Cathedral Ledge. Perhaps that is the reason why flagging or cairns for a trail are regular torn down or kicked over at a number areas that are not all that well travelled in the best of times. Areas like Lost and Found Ledges, Green's Cliff and Crag Y have been un/under documented over the years for this exact reason. Apparently the cairns for the trail to Lost Ledge were removed/scattered recently, making it quite a bit more difficult to find a place that has some wonderful moderate routes.
I never quite understood why in previous guide books there would be descriptions of climbs in an area, but the directions consisted of "Ask a local for directions." Several years ago I was taking with a local climber about Green Cliff and they were very unhappy that I was considering writing it up. Their rational was that it would be overrun with climbers. Considering the effort required to get out there I would be extremely surprised if that would be the case. Having put up a bunch of new routes at the far left side of Humphrey's Ledge, I can tell you that walking much further than that is asking a lot from most climbers. I have been out to Lost Ledge a number of times and unless I made plans to meet friends out there my partners and I would be the only folks around. Heck - I have been to Eagle Ledge (a.k.a. Woodchuck Ledge) several times and never seen anyone other than my partner and me, and that's only a 15 minute hike with a ton of good climbing at all grades.
It was really nice to have someone get in touch with me recently about a "new" ice climbing area the other day and even provide me with a PDF of info about it which I am allowed to share with you. Considering the difficulty of getting there we all agree that it would be unlikely for it to become a "destination" for local or other ice climbers. A big thanks goes out to Dan Cousins, Dave Custer, Jim Paradis, and Susan Ruff for their generosity. The climbing is in Mahoosuc Notch right on the Appalachian Trail. I have placed their PDF on the NEClimbs web site and you can access it here:
I hope that you enjoy the information as much as I did. Hopefully one of these days I'll find the time to get out there and check it out, and perhaps you will too... If you have a favorite hidden spot, I hope you will consider sharing it with others. I sincerely doubt that it will become overrun with climbers, unless of course it's right off the road with a ton of superb moderates!
Can You Spell S N O W:
In case you haven't heard we did get some snow on Tuesday. Some areas above the Notches got almost 3 inches, but down here in the Valley we got but a dusting. Still, it was a wake up call for winter. I've actually got my wood stove cranked up now. It's time to get your ice gear together and tuned up folks. We're gonna be ice climbing before we know it. I'm not quite ready for full-on winter friends, but it has got my juices going. [grin]
Caliente! A Night of Salsa Dancing to Benefit Kismet Rock Foundation:
Caliente! takes place at Black Mountain Resort in Jackson on November 7. Tickets for are $35 and are available here: http://www.kismetrockfoundation.org. RSVP is required please. For more information visit the website or contact Heidi Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-383-9928).
Based in North Conway, NH, Kismet Rock Foundation is a non-profit organization striving to enhance the physical, intellectual and emotional development of well-functioning but economically disadvantaged children by providing access to the immense value of a comprehensive education in technical rock climbing. Kismet Rock Foundation currently offers programs to students from Boston, MA, Manchester, NH, Bartlett, NH and Portland, ME.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective April 17, 2015
I know, I know there are some folks who will say that this or that climb is still IN, but believe me there really is no safe ice in the lower elevation now, so the rating has been dropped to a 1. This indicates that the only ice is in the higher terrain now. And in fact, other than climbs that have some significant part of them in the shade, like Pinnacle, everything else should be considered suspect. That said the skiing is supposedly amazing right now so grab it while you can. Starting next week we will move fully into rock season and will switch to BugCON ratings.
Recompense: Streams, Summits and Reflections
Brian Irwin is a family and travel physician in Tamworth, New Hampshire and member of the local climbing community. Aside from being active as a search and rescue volunteer on two local rescue teams, he also works as a ski patroller at Cranmore Mountain and in Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine. In addition, he is a member of the Kismet Rock Foundation’s Board of Directors, an organization that teaches underserved children leadership skills through the sport of rock climbing.
Brian has written a book that in his words is "a stirring compilation of short selections that exemplify the fragility of life and the impact of the wilderness to the human soul." Many of the selections were previously published in skiing and climbing magazines, and in medical journals. Obviously the title is taken from one of the most popular climbs on Cathedral Ledge and the book looks as if it would be well worth reading. It is available here or on Amazon & Barnes and Noble.
Flakes, Jugs & Splitters - A rock climber's guide to geology:
Another well known local climber, Sarah Garlick, is out on tour with her new book. "Covering topics from how to use a geologic map and find new crags to why Europe has the best limestone and how El Capitan’s North America Wall got its name, it addresses a fact for every climber’s ponderings."
Sarah will be in Rhode Island on Thursday. Check out the show detailed below, or contact her to schedule one near you! Her presentation is fun and imformative for all ages and ability levels.
Slide show and book signing with author Sarah Garlick
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: RI Rock Gym
Street: 100 Higginson Ave
City/Town: Lincoln, RI
She will be raffling off a day of climbing with Sarah, La Sportiva shoes, rope and signed copies of her book at the signing. Tickets are $5 each and all proceeds go to the Kismet Rock Foundation.
2009/2010 NEClimbs Fundraiser In Progress:
Wooh Boy - It's Fundraiser Time at NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report! Sorry...but like every year around the middle of October or start of November for the past seven years here I am asking you for money. It's tight for everyone, and of course it's the same for me. [SIGH] Still, without your individual support it would be very difficult to justify keeping maintaining the site and keeping the Report cranking along the way they are. This is not some big business that takes in tons of ad revenue and has a team of folks doing everything for me. YUP This is a one man operation on every level. Just me, working for you.
All year long I write and put out the weekly White Mountain Report. For 4 weeks I prompt you for a contribution. It's a bit like those PBS fundraisers. If you like it and find it of use, hopefully you will make a contribution. As I am sure you realize, keeping up to date with happenings in climbing in the Whites is a time consuming thing. Getting out and shooting the ice conditions several times a week in winter to provide you with the most up to date state-o-the-ice, reporting on events and people in the local climbing community and keeping up with the new routes database consumes a fair amount of time every week. On top of that the wife never fails to remind me at least once a year about the cost of electricity to keep those temperature controlled enclosures for the webcam and weather station going.
The minimal requested $20 annual donation isn't a lot. Please take a minute to support NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report. You can do it via check or money order for $20 OR make your contribution ON LINE via PayPal. It's easy & painless and you can use pretty much any credit card. Simply click the link below and make a contribution.
And remember, you DON"T need a PayPal account to use PayPal. But if you don't want to go through PayPal, and some don't, you can always make out a check or money order to NEClimbs and send it here:
92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860
The 2009/20010 Donation List is now up containing the names of all of
those who have contributed as a part of this year's fundraiser. REMEMBER, it's your contribution that makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site possible.
Thanks so much for your support.
Yee Ha - No bugs now, we're just waiting for snow & ice.
The repaired and refurbished webcam arrived from Canon Factory Service on Friday. I was busy all weekend, but Monday was a nice day so I re-installed it into its dome enclosure that morning. Of course since all the settings were reset in the repair process I had to go through a complete setup again to get things working. In spite of my previous experience that necessitated a call to tech support first to get it seen by my local network. Then I needed another call on Tuesday to get it accessible from outside. So after about 4 hours of hand-holding and scratching my head IT WORKS! And I must say that it looks a lot better than before.
As an aside, IMO Canon tech support is simply the best. They are all US technicians and they really do KNOW the products, they are not just reading off a knowledge base screen. The first tech I spoke to on Monday knew both Mac and Windows Server setups up & down. Then the one I talked with about the networking access issue on Tuesday was on totally top of the fact that it was a setting in my router that would allow the camera to be accessed from the Net. Kudos to Canon. That's a strong reason to buy from them.
On Wednesday my wife Alyssa and I took 2 hours in the afternoon to build a doghouse for the webcam out of scrap lumber we had laying around. It was just something to keep the rain & snow off it and protect it a bit better. Hopefully it will last longer now. In the process we put some insulation around the back of the dome enclosure to keep it a little warmer in the winter since believe me, the electric bill for this thing is not trivial. I also used some silicone sealer in the spots where I think that the ants got into the enclosure. You can see the new structure here:
My apologies to all you carpenters and contractors out there. [grin]
When I set up the camera I noticed that there were some new functions in the software. One nice one was the ability to adjust the image quality. I set the main picture quality to maximum, yielding a 3340k average sized image. It is significantly better than before. In addition I reset the presets for the snapshots. Here are the ones I chose:
1 - Cathedral Ledge full view
2 - Camber/Reverse Camber
3 - Thin Air full
4 - Thin Air traverse
5 - Standard Route chimney
6 - Goofer's
7 - The Prow
'8 - The Prow triangular roof
9 - Recompense Beast Flake
10 - Upper Refuse top out
11 - Little Feet
12 - Airation / Pine Tree Eliminate
13 - Diagonal - winter the ice pillar
14 - tourist overlook
Unfortunately I can't label these on the site, but at least now you know what they are.
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:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains. I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months.