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It's been raining off and on "Cat's & Dogs" all day, and that kind of suits my mood today. There is absolutely NO joy in Mudville, a.k.a. Red Sox Nation, or for the foreseeable future. What a total disaster this baseball season has been for those of us who count ourselves as fans of the Sox. The fall of the Buckner, so to speak, was the year I moved from New York to Boston. As a long time, and long suffering, Mets fan I didn't know who to root for 'cause I liked the Sox as well. That was a disaster of epic purportions, but this was one orders of magnitude worse. Anyhow, it's really got me down…
Trying to keep moving right along… "The leaves on the trees they are fallen'…" And if we get much more rain, I'm not sure what's going to happen to the Leaf peeper Season. 5-6 years ago we had the rains come through right as the leaves were switching, and they all fell off & blew away. Needless to say it wasn't too pretty. So let's hope that we don't get a wind storm and that doesn't happen this year. Our weakened economy would definitely NOT like that.
We're having some absolutely terrible mosquitoes right now. YUP, that's right - mosquitoes in the end of September. As best we all can figure, it's because of the rains that Irene brought, coupled with the very warm temps - sometimes in the low 80's! I have some friends who live out in Brownfield and they say it's brutal. It's been bad enough at Humphrey's that we've been pouting on bug dope. Tho there was a cool snap a couple of weeks ago, it really didn't frost down here in the Valley. I don't usually find myself hoping for an early frost, especially since I still have tomatoes on the vine. However this year it can't come soon enough.
Hunting season started a couple of weeks ago! It's the time of year when you really don't want to be poking around in the deep woods without the orange! Right now it's the archery season, but shotgun and rifle will be here before you know it. Over the years I've been riding my mountain bike way out by the Moats and up near Black Cap and occasionally heard shots, needless to say making me pretty darn nervous. For those of you into back-country hiking and climbing I recommend you be aware. Here's the current dates from the NH State Wildlife site. the actual link is here:
Sept. 15 - Dec. 15: Deer/archery (Note: September 15-30, archers may only take legally antlered bucks statewide; archery season closes on Dec. 8 in WMU A)
Sept. 15 - Dec. 15: Fall turkey/archery
Oct. 10 - Oct. 14, 2011: Fall turkey/shotgun (in certain WMUs only); Monday - Friday
Sept. 2011 - March 2012: Small game and furbearers/dates vary by species and region
Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: Pheasant
Oct. 15 - Oct. 23, 2011: Moose (by permit only)
Oct. 22 - 23, 2011: Youth deer-hunting weekend
Oct. 29 - Nov. 8, 2011: Deer/muzzleloader
Nov. 9 - Dec. 4, 2011: Deer/regular firearms (closes November 27 in WMU A)
Ice Conditions Report:
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!
Another New Route At Humphrey's Ledge:
Yep, here's yet another new route at Humphrey's Ledge. This one is on the area just right of Shifty Eyes. It's surprising how if you're looking you can still find interesting lines in a place we all thought was tapped out. George Hurley is amazing at this. Just check out his lines on and above the North End of Cathedral. In the case of Granite State, Joe & Judy Perez noticed this line a while back. We TR'ed it a couple of times over the past few weeks and they finished it off on Monday. The name comes from the outline of a colder that I trundled off the top of the buttress one afternoon. It's actually one whole side of the buttress! Too bad 'cause it was one side of a splendid finger crack! Oh well…
I think that the climbing is fun, check it out.
Granite State (5.8):
Directions: Hike up the hill to the cliff and go left about 50'. When you get to the Shifty Eyes face, the climb is located on a slight buttress to the right of Shifty Eyes and Undertow. A large block on the ground that looks a little like the state of New Hampshire marks the start of the climb.
Description: The climb is characterized by steep face climbing that requires good balance and body position at the first two bolts.
Pitch 1: Begin climbing the route at the shallow mossy groove on the right of the buttress. Good protection can be found in a short horizontal crack to the right of the groove. Climb the center of the buttress to a stance at an obvious horizontal crack (gear). Step left and up to the first two bolts. Above the two bolts move right to the third bolt and up a large block to its top. 50'
Gear: Small and medium cams
Descent: Rappel from double ring anchors on the wall above the top of the block
First Ascent: Joe Perez, Judy Perez, Al Hospers, Jeff Lee, September 26, 2011
While we were waiting on Joe to put in the bolts on Granite State, Jeff Lea led my new climb Can YOU Believe it? He felt that it was as 5.8 as I had thought. It's always nice when someone confirms what you thought about a new line. When you're working on something like that it's hard to tell what it will be for someone else.
All Cycling Aside:
I was up riding by the Tent Boulder behind Whitehorse a couple of days ago. On the way down, just before you get to the steep sidehill that has recently been rerouted, we noticed an interesting old logging road heading downhill. We gave it a shot and it is actually a brilliant piece of singletrack that will take you all the way down to the main logging road that runs from Joe's Alibi up to the Carroll Reed Trail. If you ride, check it out. It's tres-cool.
Instant Bug Report:
Depending on where you are the mosquitoes are bad to horrendous. I'm not changing the BugCON level, but seriously consider bring some dope, besides the brother-in-law, with you if you're gonna be out in the woods.
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
Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains. I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months.