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December 6, 2012
If I can't climb rock or ice or ride the bike, my fallback position has always been hiking. It doesn't have the tension that my other face activities have, but it does get me some exercise and sometimes I can combine it with doing a little craig-exploring, so it can be useful. With the temps being so warm, I figured I might as well do a little reconnoitering this morning of a little rocky overlook I'd been eyeing for some time up in Crawford Notch.
After I went up and took the weekly pictures I parked at a little pulloff on Rt 16 just past Sawyer River Road and started up the steep roadside hill, next to a drainage. I was somewhat surprised at just how deep the drainage actually was once I got a little way up the hill. By the time I was 300-400 yards in there the drainage was a good 40 feet deep! I stayed up on the right side for quite a ways and eventually the hillside flattened out and the drainage disappeared. Then, as the hill steepened again it reappeared, this time even deeper. At one point I would say that it was 50' below the berm I was following. It was interesting. I kept slogging up the hill, realizing that as usual it's always further than it seems. Fortunately the woods were fairly open and there was nothing but a bare dusting of snow in the hollows. It seemed pretty obvious that that hillside had been clear-cut logged relatively recently, there weren't a lot of big trees left up there.
Eventually, probably about a mile deep, I started seeing larger and larger boulders here and there and eventually a few small mossy cliff bands appeared. I scrambled over them and eventually came to a low cliff. It was in the woods and clearly not the one I'd seen from the road, so I kept slogging along up the hill. Finally I could see some slabby cliffs up ahead in the sun, this must be what I'd seen. There was one straight ahead and another I could see further up on the left. Turning around I could see the river down in the valley and surprisingly I could still hear a large truck go by on the road every once in a while.
The first cliff wasn't very steep and was somewhat mossy. If I'd had rock shoes I could have soloed up to the upper ledge without a lot of of hassle. The second one was a bit bigger and a little steeper, with some ice here and there. While a bit cleaner, it still had some moss on it and looked as if it could be slimy, even in the summer.
A Little Cliff
I've hiked into tons of places like this over the years. Occasionally you find something interesting, but 19 out of 20 times what looks great from the road, really isn't worth too much. IMO this little cliff falls into the latter range. It's a real thrash to get up there, it would be a lot harder to find in the summer when the leaves are on the trees, and I don't think it would be worth the time cleaning it since almost assuredly very few folks would ever go there. Heck, if Craig Y almost never gets visitors, this would never see any. Regardless, it was worth the hike on what turned out to be a nice morning.
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Here are some interesting pics for you:
Left Hand Monkey Wrench
Check the web site for additional pix. Hang in there folks, it's gonna come soon…
Believe it or not, you should be putting Ice Fest 2012 on your calendar. This year it's this February 1-3. Plans are already afoot and you can read about them here - http://icefest.blogspot.com/. If I were you I'd get your hotel accommodations in place 'cause this is going to be a big one!
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:
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Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|My best performances often developed out of depression when I used climbing as a tool to forestall suicide rather than a method of achieving it. Dispair inspired three years of 'crazy' soloing.|