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We keep going back & forth here between rain, sun hot, humid and cool and dry. Sure, it's not all that unusual for late summer here in the Whites, but when it gets down into the low 50's at night I start feeling that winter thing coming on. In spite of the fact that we just finished stacking that last cord of wood, I have to tell you that I am so NOT ready for winter. I have not had my fill of sunny and dry 70-80 degree days for climbing and cycling. At least not yet…
I've been doing some guiding this summer and as always it's been a gas. In the summer it's mostly beginning rock stuff and it's great to introduce people to climbing. This week I had an 18 year old young woman named Elizabeth for a 1/2 day lesson on Friday. Though she had climbed in the gym, she'd never climbed outside. The weather was perfect so I decided we should try the first 3 pitches of Standard Route on Whitehorse, right up to the pinch/thread.
Elizabeth had never removed protection or belayed a leader so that was a bit entertaining for both of us at first. The very first piece I put in on the way to the "toilet bowl" caused her some hassles and I had to rap down and get it out for her. After another brief review of how cams work she quickly got it down as she also did with belaying - being sure not to cause rope drag and noticing when I was pulling up a bite to clip. By the end of the second pitch she was a pro. [grin]
There were lots of folks out climbing that day and so instead of rapping back down to the Crystal Pocket, we rapped Slabs Direct. I spidered her down the first 2 pitches and let her check out how the rope tension felt. From there on I pre-rigged her rappel, rapped down first and she did it herself with me providing a fireman's belay backup. It was very satisfying for her to come down on her own and I could see that she felt very good about it.
Although she felt confident in her abilities when she started, I could tell that she even better at the end of her session. That's what I really like about guiding. It is a special opportunity to work with people, helping them grow their abilities. It's a great feeling.
An Aside - One day I was over at Cathedral walking the dog and noticed the following sticker on a car. Even tho I guide, and I sometimes feel this way, I don't know if I would ever have the balls to put it on my car...
While the ice is going through a bit of a change, what with the weather being so cold, it's still very good in most places. With the longer days and more intense sunlight we should start to see some refreshing going on, as soon as the temps moderate. Most climbs in the direct sun are starting to see a little water during the day, in spite of the cold. The stuff in the shade that's looking a bit beat up and that in the direct sun is a little pinky. That said, it looks as if this weekend things are going to moderate, so it should be a good one.
BTW I am aware that some of today's pix are of a decidedly poorer quality than we all are used to. This is because my main camera's battery pack died and I had to use my cell phone camera - sorry about that.
Ken Henderson Interview:
I honestly don't remember how I came across this video, but I think it's pretty darn cool. In case you don't know, and I honestly don't know how could that be, check this out…
"Ken Henderson was a world class climber, explorer, author, filmmaker and a true 'man for all seasons' in early 20th century mountaineering. He joined the American Alpine Club in 1929, long before most current members were born. His climbing exploits include climbs in Europe and Canada, as well as various mountains in the U.S. with numerous first ascents. He truly set the bar for all who would follow."
Definitely recommended, if for nothing else than to put a face on the legend.
3rd Annual Cliff Run to benefit Kismet Rock Foundation:
La Sportiva will sponsor the third annual Cliff Run to benefit Kismet Rock Foundation on September 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM at Echo Lake State Park in North Conway, NH.
“We're so thankful to Gabe Flanders for organizing this wonderful event for the third year in a row,” says Sasha Eisele, Board Member. “It's not only a fun race, but a great way to raise awareness. We're especially grateful for La Sportiva's support.”
Kismet Rock Foundation is a non-profit that serves economically underprivileged students who might otherwise ‘fall through the cracks’ of their highly stressed public school systems. By developing their potential, Kismet prepares students to contribute to their communities and their culture throughout their lives.
Kismet serves seven public schools in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massahusetts. offering students one week per summer of programs for up to four years. The 12th program season started in July and ends on August 28.
To register for the five-mile Cliff Run, please fill out and return the registration form, or visit http://www.active.com for online registration. Registration costs $20.00 before race day, or $25.00 the day of the race.
Instant Bug Report:
I was out in the woods the other day and had a tough time finding a bug to bite me, so I knocked the BugCON rating down another notch this week to a 2. Enjoy…
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
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:
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:
Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself.