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May 19, 2011
Even tho the Valley soil is mostly sand, we have finally reached the point where the water table is completely full and there is no place for it to go. The rivers have been steadily rising and there are deep puddles everywhere. On my hikes and mountain bike rides over the past couple of weeks I'd noticed that the swamps haven't drained yet this spring. That wasn't really too bad then, but it's changing now.
Since the Mount Washington Valley is an area that is highly dependent upon the tourists visiting, that means that in the summer we need nice weather - just like in the winter we need snow. While we don't really start worrying until just before July 4th, all this rain does not bode well. If folks see long-term forecasts like this, they change their plans:
That's bad enough, but on a more personal level, it makes me and my friends CRAZY. I'm a pretty doggone active individual and I'm used to getting outside 3-5 times a week to burn off energy. If I do that I get along pretty well. If not, well you can ask my family about that… [wry grin] Unfortunately this past week's weather, and what I'm seeing coming up, is not very conducive to outdoor activities.
Needless to say there isn't a whole lot of climbing going on right now. And on top of that, once this cycle finishes it's going to take a while for things to dry out again. I would say that it's probably a good time to check out the radar and make plans for a trip somewhere. The question is where? It's raining to the South, West and North. Even the weather around Lake Tahoe has been over the top. The opening stage of the Tour Of California was cancelled due to snow and the second stage shortened because they couldn't ride the passes. Seems as if we don't have any place to go right now! I'm not a big fan of climbing gyms, but I may be forced to pay some visits to the Mt. Cranmore Gym if things don't change for the better soon. Than and start riding and hiking in the rain. Neither of which are on my to-do lists, but it surely might come to that soon…
I received the following information from Chris Martin, Senior Biologist for New Hampshire Audubon.
The seasonal closure for Peregrine Falcons at the Main Cliff at Rumney Rocks Climbing Area has been lifted. Temporary closures for NH state-threatened Peregrine Falcons are implemented at certain high-use sites from time to time to promote successful nesting. In this case, NH Audubon biologists monitoring the site for NH Fish & Game have determined that the local falcon pair has abandoned their nesting attempt on the Main Cliff and are not attempting to re-nest at Main Cliff or elsewhere on the adjacent cliffs this Spring. Climbers are still encouraged to report any encounters that include vocal and aggressive behavior by the falcons. At the present time, no additional area closures for falcons at Rumney Rocks are anticipated during the 2011 season.
Glanced at the radar Wednesday morning at 7:30am and decided on the spur of the moment to head to the Whites. Fog and drizzle hindered visibility all day, but had good luck anyway (mostly).
Frankenstein - incubation exchange seen under the cloud deck in horizontal crack far right side of parking lot cliff
Cathedral Ledge - 2 incubation or brooding exchanges seen at upside down pine between Repentance and Remission
Painted Walls - checked twice, but cliff in the soup both times, zero info
Woodchuck Ledge (a.k.a. Eagle Cliff) - confirmed climber Jon Howard's report (THANKS, JON!), walked up climbers' trail to base of cliff and into the clouds, walked right along base of cliff to far right where talus slope rises to meet the vertical rock, pair of peregrines interacting in mist and fog above my head, barely visible when flying, attacking the ravens. Unclear whether incubating, tending chicks, or just territorial. Had to wait an hour for the interaction, BUT THEY ARE CERTAINLY THERE! FYI, Woodchuck is 3.25 mi from Painted and 4.75 from Cathedral, and the distance direct from Painted to Cathedral is 5 mi.
Join us and hopefully 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:
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
|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|