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"Be Here Now" - Ram Dass (DR. Richard Alpert) made that phrase popular in the 60's and I think it's totally relevant right now. I know we're all Jonesin' for ice and snow, but just look at what we have right here, right now. Day after sunny day with temps in the mid-40's to the upper 50's. Heck, if this was Spring we'd all be rejoicing. Right?
Normally this time of year there would ice forming well and some amount of snow up in the ravines and higher elevations. This year there really isn't much if any snow and little ice. Tho it's been somewhat cold at night, it's been quite warm during the day. What's worse is that there have been some times like this morning with an inversion causing 40+ temps on the summit and 25- here in the Valley. That doesn't help a whole lot, does it?
Since there isn't too much to say about what we hope will be, let's take advantage of what is. I'm surprised at how many folks are out on the cliff these days. Sure, it's hard to get more than a pitch or two in at the most after work. But that's something at least. My friend Chris and I met over at the base of Ego Trip on Wednesday and there were already 3 folks climbing Scene of the Climb and I saw a party on Thin Air as well on the walk over from the house. Not too shabby for 3:15 on a Wednesday. I talked Chris into letting me lead the first pitch of Ego Trip, and it certainly did make me feel good. This is very often the first climb I lead in the Spring, and if I didn't get in any more climbing it wouldn't be a bad ending. I just really like all the moves and I feel really good if I can do the last move to the jug below the tree totally static. Good fun...
The only drag of climbing this time of year is that if the rock is in the shade there is some sort of slipperiness to it. And on top of that the sticky rubber on my shoes ain't that sticky. [sigh] It makes smear moves just a bit more "pucker inducing". But they're still loads of fun.
I know that the snow and ice will be here soon enough, but I can't keep worrying over it. I gotta keep grabbing the nice days while I can, and you should too. You just never know when the cold will come... But it WOULD be nice to be able to climb rock in the Valley and ice in the Ravines, wouldn't it? [grin]
An aside - I met Ram Dass in '68 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He came down there for a month and taught a yoga class that I took. It was amazing how good I felt after an hour of yoga 3 days a week. Yoga and meditation had a profound effect on me for many years. I hadn't really thought about him for quite some time until recently and looked him up on the Web. He is still around and doing good works, in spite of a suffering a life-altering stroke in 1997.
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 4, 2016
In spite of the rain and warmup, there is still ice to be climbed in the Valley and Notches. Some additional caution is required after an event like this, but with reasonable care you should have stuff to climb this weekend. All of the larger climbs are still there and by mid-day Friday and Saturday should be good to go. Just place plenty of pro, check for bonding and beware of some of the top-outs and all should be good. For the time being I personally would NOT go under Repentance or Remission!
More Late Season New Routes:
Jack Dorsey and Chuck Woodman put up a new route on Whaleback Mountain across from Loon last week called Follow the Sun. It's a 5.7 slab climb. These guys are just not willing to let the rock season fade away quite yet. I don't blame them. You can check out the description and links to some pictures on NEClimbs.com here:
Instant Ice Report:
Not much, in fact hardly anything at all. It's going to come but we need more consistent cold, and no rain... [OUCH] Stay tuned...
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
This is a group of people I used to go walking with. (long pause) That's me on the left. (even longer pause) On the right is the woman I married, Audrey. (very long pause, speaker looks at shoes) Which just goes to show that danger lurks where you least expect it.
Don Whillans commenting on a B&W slide showing a group of smiling hikers