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New Hampshire has been getting hammered with wave after wave of cool and wet fronts cruising through pretty much every single day. Fortunately, in spite of high waters, we haven't had the flooding that areas like Warren, to the south, have gotten. Unfortunately, it's been the kind of weather that makes rock climbing neigh-on to impossible and drives shoppers into the stores. Not exactly a great lead up to the 4th of July weekend, but it actually looks like things may be changing for the better. It didn't rain yesterday, during the day, and we only got a very slight drizzle around midnight last night. And since it hasn't rained yet today, the is sun shining and the temp is above 65 (actually 90) I'm declaring July 4th a net positive.
Of course July 4th is always a net gain IMO. We live in a country that, in spite of some faults (face it, nothing's perfect folks), is inarguably the freest in the world. So while you're out there enjoying the holiday, please give just a moment's thanks to all those who have given their efforts, and in many cases lives, so that we can be where we are today. Face it, we all have a lot to be thankful for. So lift that bottle, can or glass in a toast to our great country. It's simply the best!
And in the sprit of Independence Day here's THE song of the day, America The Beautiful, by my great friend and bandmate Tony Sarno. Check it out, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
First 5.14 On Cathedral?:
Difficulties be Damned (5.14a) - Cathedral Ledge
This route is basically a direct start to the Soft Iron aid route. Same start as the second pitch of Highway 61, then up the corner using some crazy beta, 13b-ish to here. Get a small shake then launch into a long series of hard moves, joining the Soft Iron Route. Gain the hanging crack, and enjoy some awesome 12a climbing to join the finish of Highway 61.
Yet Another Death At Lower Falls:
While not climbing-related, I think it's worth mentioning this. Almost every year there are one or two incidents at the Lower Falls recreational area off the Kanc. This is one of the more popular areas on that stretch of road and offers a fantastic view of Rainbow Slabs and the Painted Walls. During the summer it is a destination for folks wanting to relax and cool off in the Swift River.
Along the same lines, Brad White mentioned to me just how slippery the slabs at the tourist overlook at the top of Cathedral were this week. With this amount of continuous moisture, things have gotten quite slippery, even in places you wouldn't think would be so. I noticed it myself a few days ago over on the back side of Cathedral above the Classroom. I would normally think nothing about just walking up that little hump on the way to the overlook, but decided against it when I felt it was really slick.
Just a word to the wise and something to think aboutů
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 29, 2015
Ben Maxwell was in Tucks on Sunday and said there were a couple of reasonable lines.. I got an email from fellow guide Matt Shove who was up in Huntington Saturday. He climbed rock and said that in his opinion the ice on the mountain "has been set back to Zero!" and not 5 minutes later I saw a post her on FB by Ben Maxwell and Joe Cormier saying that they climbed 3 pitches of ice in Tucks Saturday. Needless to say that was ribbons of ice, in-between dirt and grass, but apparently it WAS ice! And then Paul McCoy posted 2 pix of what looked surprisingly like ice somewhere on the mountain. So, I have to assume that while there IS ice to be climbed, it's still fairly minimal. So there you have it...
Instant Bug Report - BugCON 3:
I've lowered the BugCON to a 3 this week. I've been out a bunch, wandering around in spite of the rains, and they really haven't been all that bad - location dependent of course. I don't know why the blackly population has decreased, but it seems like it has and overall it's tolerable. That said, the ticks are still bad so keep up those checks whenever you're out there.
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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.
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