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I keep trying to put the fact that it's almost Labor Day out of my mind. Unfortunately it simply keeps creeping back in. This has been such a nice summer, for a change, that I simply don't want it to end. Usually I try to pick one activity to do for the summer and pound it out, and for many years that was climbing. For the past several it's been riding the bike, but as my son Lewis has gotten older, I find myself wanting to do lots of different things. Mainly because he doesn't seem to want to focus on any single one. Does that sound familiar? Let's face it, very few 10 year olds throw all of their energy into a single activity.
That said, Lewis has been taking Karate for the past 3 years, and he really does like it. He goes to the dojo in Lovell for classes twice a week and it has really paid dividends in his general focus as well as his overall fitness. This summer he's been riding his new mountain bike quite a lot with me. He has no problem riding 10-12 miles on the sweet single-track trails here in the Valley. While we were out riding a couple of days ago he commented that he was feeling stronger in his Karate classes. I pointed out that riding the bike and hiking both were excellent training for his Karate, tho they weren't exactly the same actions. Turns out that he had actually heard the term cross-training and mostly understood what it meant. It was pretty cool that he could actually tell that doing all these activities made a change in his body!
Over the past several years he and I have been spending a fair amount of time hiking in the Summer months. It's given us some extended periods of time together that we wouldn't have otherwise, and it's away from our normal comfort zones. At least it's away from his, as I am very comfortable in the outdoors. We've hiked all the little local hills and a number of the area's 4,000+ footers: Eisenhower, Jefferson, Jackson, Hale, Pierce/Clinton. We only missed Madison by 100 feet because of driving hail and high winds, but that was an adventure regardless. This summer we haven't hiked quite as much, but we have done some hiking almost every week. Last week we cruised up Middle Sugarloaf. We'd done North last summer with his then 75 year old grandmother, but this time we really did blast along, doing the 2.8 mile round trip with time for a sandwich on the summit in a fraction over 2 hours.
All of this is in preparation for a somewhat ambitious outing we have planned for next week. Starting on Monday we will be doing a hut-to-hut Presidential Range Traverse! I didn't want to carry tent, stove and the like so we opted for the convenience of the huts. And in spite of the cost, and it IS pretty darn pricey, it's worth it. Depending on how many summits we do it will weigh in at as much as 23 miles, and that's a pretty good haul for a kiddo and an old codger like me. Our plan is to hike from Appalachia to the Madison Hut on Monday morning, take a breather and then tag Madison. Tuesday's hike to Lake Of The Clouds is the long day. That morning we hope to bag Adams and Washington on the way. Then on Wednesday we're heading over to Mizpah. We'll see what we do on the way as it will surely depend on both of our endurance, which lately has been very good. Since we've perviously done Eisenhower and PIerce, we want to pickup Franklin and Monroe on that side. Tho we could certainly have continued all the way down to Crawford Notch on the second day, we opted to spend the night at Mizpah just for the fun of it. It will be our last hurrah for a great summer and certainly will be something we will both remember.
I've been working on putting together our clothing and equipment for the hike. As always it's always more than I would like to take, even tho we are sleeping in the huts. I keep winnowing things down, and then add something else back in. For one thing I have my trusty Moonstone bivy sack that I throw into the bottom of my pack all winter long as a matter of course. Tho we have breakfasts and dinners as a part of our lodging, we still have to bring plenty of trail snacks plus powdered Gatorade for every day's drinks. Couple that with several changes of clothing, clean pairs of socks for every day, warm fleece and wind/rain jackets, plus putting everything in plastic bags to keep out any moisture, it keeps adding up. I keep reminding myself that at least we don't have to bring all the stuff I take on a winter traverse!
On top of all that stuff there is lots going on this week and weekend - including going to see Tom Petty in Boston on tonight (Thursday) and playing a big wedding on Saturday. Finally getting out there on the hike will actually be a relief. Now if we can just have some more of that weather that has be so deliciously good as of late. Wish us luck...
P.S. Since this coming week I won't be back 'till mid-day or so on Thursday and I don't get cell/smart phone service on the summit, there will not be an email Report next week. I will, however, post a Report on the NEClimbs web site on Friday morning. Stay tuned and have a great weekend...
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 19, 2017
It's yet another mild day here in the Valley at 39 degrees, and even up in Crawford Notch where it was 34! The ice is OK in some places, but not overall good yet. For instance the Frankenstein Amphitheater is marginal, while Standard and Dracula are great. We need several days of seriously cold temps for things to settle in, Top outs on many climbs are poor, so protect where you can!
FLASH - DMM Recalls Dragon Camming Device (Size 6 )
MM International has identified a raw material problem that may affect the strength of certain units of the Dragon Cam in size 6 (Product Code A7056A). This recall only involves the Dragon Cam in size 6 and no other sizes of Dragon Cam are involved. The units affected were made between the 28th April and the 30th June and there are 604 units in the market that could be affected. Check their web site fr details.
A Note About This Newsletter:
If you are getting the email edition of this newsletter, it is because you subscribed and asked for it. I never send this out unsolicited, and I never sell or give your email address to anyone else. Occasionally I hear that someone has complained to an ISP about receiving this mailing. If at any time you no longer wish to receive this emailing you can easily stop getting it:
1 - go to the link at the bottom of the email and simply UNSUBSCRIBE
2 - email me personally and ask to be removed
Either way you will be removed immediately. thanks...
Just a few gnats & the occasional mosquito now. Absolutely wonderful, even in the deep woods! Enjoy...
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
The solitary ascent of the Dru had the immediate effect of expanding the horizons of my ideas about mountaineering. It made me aware of possibilities well in advance of the times, which were characterized by very restricted mothods. This was how the suberb pyramid of K2 surfaced once more in the list of my projects. But I chose K2 as a way for giving concrete form to my new concept of mountaineering: to climb the second highest montain in the world solo, alpine style, and without oxygen.