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Between the crappy weather last week and staying busy playing music for the annual Motorcycle Week celebrations down at Weir's, I haven't gotten in a heck of a lot of outdoor activity this week. The one exception was on Tuesday when I got out with my friends the Perez's. It started out quite sunny, but got a bit cloudy by the early afternoon. None of us had been climbing all that much over the past few weeks, so like last week we wanted to get in some more difficult stuff on toprope. I was feeling quite good at the start, but found myself a bit humbled by the end of the afternoon.
I've been climbing pretty well in the early part of the season. Some 8's, 9's and a few in the 10a/b range. Of course with one exception, these were all climbs I'd done before. This time I tried something quite a bit harder and found myself struggling quite a bit. Not unexpectedly, there's quite a bit of a difference between 10b and 11a, especially when it comes to steep-slab/thin face climbing. It really puts things in perspective to imagine how masters of the genera like Strand, Callaghan and that crew could find their way up routes with just the barest of crimper holds, faint dishes and minuscule edges. After an few modestly productive passes, the first visibly better than the second, I now know just how much work I have to do. While I managed Ego Trip 6 or 7 years ago, after a lot of effort and a brand new pair of shoes, I haven't attempted anything quite as hard since. Perhaps this is the challenge I need to get to another level. We shall see what the summer brings…
Tribute To Bill Holland:
A few days ago I got the following note from my friend Rob Adair-
"Bill Holland, a close friend of mine, perished in 1989 while descending Snowdome in the Canadian Rockies after climbing Slipstream. 21 years later his body was found a mile down the Columbia Glacier. His daughter, 6 at the time of his death, is writing a story of dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy, and dealing with the reality of his body recovery. She is trying to raise funds to complete the project. You can see her efforts and hopefully support her at this link:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurelholland/spindrift-the-memoir-of-a-climbers-daughter . Even if you can't afford to support the project I urge you to check it out and share it."
Here is a link to some more information about what took place -
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 22, 2014
Right now the ice is in pretty reasonable conditions, even in the lower elevations. I'm not at all sure that's going to be the case on Wednesday and Thursday, based on the weather predictions. Stay tuned...
Instant Bug Report:
The BugCON has remained at a 5 this week! White I was out one day when the bugs weren't too bad, with appropriate DEET, every other time it's been pretty awful. I would strongly urge bringing the bug dope everywhere you go for at least a while longer.
It's been a bad season for the Peregrine falcons in the area. As of last Friday closures for peregrine nesting at Rumney Rocks were removed as a result of confirmation of nesting failure this season. All of the posted closure signs should have been removed. That said, climbers and others will likely see and hear the falcons throughout the rest of the summer, but since there are no eggs or young to protect, there is no need to maintain a closure. That one was almost certainly due to heavy rains. The ledge they select for their eggs has failed in the past due to flooding. The nesting area at Dixville Notch was visited last Sunday and that pair has also failed post-hatch! Prior to that I visited the nesting area on Cathedral Ledge and that had been abandoned plus the pair at Woodchuck never did nest. Unfortunate...
This 2012 seasonal closures in New Hampshire are as follows:
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.