NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
BugCON 3: blackflys in blood feast and/or bad mosquitoes
3 out of a possible 5
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July 22, 2010

Hi Folks,

This has been a bit of a frustrating week for me. While on a mountain bike ride up the Tent Boulder Loop near the Moats on Monday, what should have been an average little "ender" has caused some real aggravation to my left thumb! Fortunately it's not broken and no tendons or ligaments are torn, but even a sprain like this can still be painful and debilitating. If you've ever been injured, and who hasn't to some degree, you know how frustrating it can be. The initial shock, the pain, the anger and frustration and of course the inevitable depression when you realize that this going to have an impact on your activities... Not only that but it's one thing to have it happen when you're pushing yourself, entirely another when it's happens on a casual effort.

One particular annoyance was that I had to pass on a day of guiding on Tuesday because I didn't think I could manage the ropes. This was really was a drag. Hopefully it will be OK for my band gigs this weekend! If you haven't figured it out by now, I will admit that I'm one of those folks who needs a lot of physical activity to keep me happy... I usually manage this by riding the bike (or in winter cross country skiing), climbing, hiking and playing music. Since I can't use my left thumb to squeeze without some pain, it leaves me with only 1 out of 4 of those to keep me in balance. I am fortunate enough to live where there are lots of places to hike right nearby. On Tuesday afternoon I reached a point where I just couldn't stand being in the house any more, sitting here icing the thumb and watching Le Tour, so I got in the car and drove over to the Mt. Kearsarge trailhead. What a nice hill to have almost in out backyards. A really nice trail of 3.1 miles each way, just under 3,000 feet and some of the nicest views around. It's always great to see the wide variety of people hiking this one and even lots of people doing it after work!. I've done it many times and always enjoy it.

Fortunately the thumb does seem to be getting better day by day and I'm hoping to be back in the saddle, playing bass and on the rock early next week. At least I know it will get better, in time... It's just so very very annoying to keep noticing it every time I pick up a stack of dishes from the washer or tap the spacebar on my computer keyboard. [sigh]

Fatal Accident In Tuckerman Ravine:
Last Saturday afternoon, Christopher Baillie, from New Jersey fell while hiking with 4 friends. According to F&G Lt. Robert Bryant he "...ventured off the trail, slipped on some rocks and fell between 100 and 200 feet over the headwall." Apparently the fall came on a high section of the trail near one of the waterfalls that drain into the Cutler River. RIP
One Mountain Thousand Summits:
Fairly recently I mentioned that local climber, guide and author Fred Wilkinson had just completed his first book"One Mountain Thousand Summits, The Untold Story Of Tragedy And True Heroism On K2". The book details the events surrounding the tragedy in 2008 when 11 climbers died on the world's second highest mountain. A few days ago I picked up a copy at IME and am currently about halfway through it. From the portion I have read it's very well written and researched. I hope to post a review on NEClimbs in the next few weeks, but from what I've read you should pick this one up.The book is out and is available in all the regular places.

Le Tour:
I think it's too bad that Lance Armstrong has had so much bad luck in what will be his last Tour. Frankly I would have like to see him on the podium, or at least in the top 10. But perhaps he will be in the team event. Regardless, it's been an extremely exciting race watching Andy and Alberto go head to head. I was in France 4 years ago, riding in the Pyrenees, at the time of the Tour and have to say that it's an absolutely amazing event. If you have any chance to see it in person, don't pass it up. You won't regret it. Those guys are some of the best athletes in the world!

A Note About The Deer Flies:
I wasn't too surprised to see a lengthy article in last Saturday's Conway Daily Sun about the deer fly situation. According to Dr. Alan Eaton, specialist in entomology at the UNH Cooperative Extension, this is a particularly bad year and we are having really high numbers of the annoying insects this summer. His assessment is that they will be until early August. He also advises that there are no repellants that really work against either deer or horse flies. too bad...

Bug Report:
Yee Ha!!! I lowered the BugCON to a minimal 1 over a week ago and it's been steady ever since. I still bring some bug dope for the deep woods, but for everywhere else you should be good to go. Enjoy...

UPDATE - Peregrine Closings 2010:
Seasonal access restrictions, implemented to promote successful nesting by NH state-threatened Peregrine Falcons, have been REMOVED AT ALL BUT ONE location in New Hampshire. Routes are open and all signs have been removed at the following NH locations:

Cathedral Ledge, Bartlett, NH
Frankenstein, Harts Loc., NH
Holts Ledge, Lyme, NH
Owls Head, Benton, NH
Painted Walls, Albany, NH
Rattlesnake Mtn., Rumney, NH
Square Ledge, Albany, NH
Sugarloaf Mtn., Benton, NH


Please feel welcome to copy and share this information with anyone you know who might benefit from it. To be placed on a contact list for future closure updates, send e-mail contact info to Chris Martin, NH Audubon at .

Chris Martin, Senior Biologist, Conservation Department
New Hampshire Audubon, 3 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH 03301

Phone: 603/224-9909 x317; Fax: 603/226-0902;
E-mail:; Web:
- Chris Martin, Senior Biologist, NH Audubon

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Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

The best part is getting to the top 'cause the pain's all over.
Dan Osman
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