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Last week I mentioned how busy I was and how I had trouble getting out to go climbing much or even riding my bike more than an hour. This week was a whole lot more relaxed and I managed to get out doing a number of things. Fortunately the weather was actually pretty darn cooperative, amazingly enough being sunny and almost cool! I managed to get in a great afternoon of climbing at Humphrey's and 2 nice mountain bike rides. Pretty darn nice for a busy summer, aye?
The climbing was with my friends the Perez's. We decided to go over to Humphrey's and revisit a few of the climbs we put up several years ago. The large branch of the tree that came down a while back is still laying across the trail, but someone has trimmed back enough of the branches that getting by is not a problem. I need to hook up with someone who is certified with a chain saw in the forest and get it cleared off. Any volunteers?
One of the climbs we did was Tree Keys. This was a wonderful find by Judy Perez and I've always loved this climb. It's a clip-up, with the exception of the moves up to the first bolt. There is a little loose rock on some ledges about 1/3rd of the way up, but it's hardly an issue. The main part of the climb is nicely exposed with excellent holds and bolts in just the right places. I led it first, Judy seconded and Joe led it again.
After we had put up the climb someone went back and added some hangers with chain to the anchor. This wasn't a problem for us, however we all noticed that the lower chain links are getting pretty worn. For a climb that was only put up less than 4 years ago, this is pretty surprising. We all figure that it's most likely from people using the chain to TR off. IMNSHO I think that this is a drag, when it's really easy to put a couple of draws on the bolt hangers. I think that this is lazy climbing and frankly feel that the practice should be discouraged. I'll probably go up there soon and swap the hangers out for rings pretty soon.
Another climb we did was Anniversary, just left of Tree Keys. This was one of mine and put up around the same time. I hadn't gotten around to doing it last season for some reason, and this my first time leading it this year. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the moves up and right, up under the first roof. It's kind of unexpected how solid they are. That said, I had forgotten that I'd removed a bolt I had initially placed left of the bolt on Gaggle Of Geese. If you clip that bolt, the rope drag is bad. If you don't clip it, there isn't any gear. However, I had forgotten that there is a good #2 Camelot under the roof that works just as well. Go figure! The moves out left onto the nose are as fun as I remembered and worth the price of admission. Funny how you remember, or don't remember, the climbs you put up yourself.
Today I got out for a mega mountain bike ride with my buds Phil and Mikey. Last fall we did a ride up Town Hall Road in Bartlett, over the ridge and down a big snowmobile trail into Chatham, and then back over the ridge and back to Town Hall Road. That one was around 2 miles and a couple of thousand feet of climbing. This time we wanted to do a little more. We rode up Town Hall Road again, but this time went over the ridge on the trail we came up the last time - taking a short detour to Mountain Pond. Then we rode down snowmobile trails into Chartam, only this time taking a right and riding up to the top of the ridge again. From there we headed downhill past the much smaller Province Pond. We stopped there briefly and found an amazing blueberry patch and gorged ourselves on them!
Then we had an amazing downhill for several miles, all the way to the Province Pond trailhead, continuing down the dirt access road for about 1.5 miles to Green Hill Road. We've done some pretty brutal climbing already, but now we're at the final piece de resistance - Hurricane Mountain Road! I've ridden it many times on my road bike, but actually never done it on a mountain bike, not to mention after a brutal 16 miles in the woods. Needless to say it was tough and we were all happy to get to the top. A quick ride down, through some woods and we were back at Phil's house, where we hopped in his car and he gave me a ride back to my car on Town Hall Road. WHEW!
Today was a great day and a great adventure. What a very nice week it has been. Hmmm - I have less work booked for next week, so what's in store next?
I've heard about Permetherin for years, but never used it. A few months ago I was talking to someone about the no-see-ems that always seem to come in through the screen in the sliding glass door in our upstairs bedroom, seriously disrupting our sleep. I was in one of the box-stores here in town one day and saw a spray bottle of it and decided to see if spraying it on that screen might keep them from getting in. I didn't have all that much hope, but figured it was worth a try. Turns out it worked great. The wife and I haven't been bothered since. After about 6 weeks I did a second treatment 'cause we've had a lot of rain and I figured it might be wearing off. From what I understand, it works great on tents as well. here's some more info about it. Highly recommended...
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 23, 2017
The warmup has really hit us hard everywhere but in the higher elevations. Anywhere in the direct sun is dam close to toast right now. The Amphitheater at Frankenstein is off the radar, or certainly should be. You can probably do the Pegasus rock finish, but that's all. And I would be VERY careful walking under anything over in that area. As of today, Thursday Feb 23, Standard Route still looks OK. I also spotted someone climbing on Waterfall, tho I'm sure that the normally funky top outs are worse. The bottom of Dropline fell down, but Dracula still looks good. I was pleased to see that Willies still looks good. The snow has compacted and I saw what looked to be blue ice. The left side of Willard is basically gone, but Hitchcock, The Cleft, Left Hand Wrench, the far right slab and Elephant Head are still climbable. Other than the Barking Dog and North End I would write off Cathedral Ledge. I know people are going to ask about Repentance, etc and frankly I would caution away from it. In fact anything that is supposed to be attached to rock is suspect. Not to mention the fact that there is a LOT of stuff hanging around above you on Cathedral at this time.
Cathedral Craggin' Classic:
It's back! The second annual Cathedral Craggin' Classic is coming up this September 13-15, 2013. This year the headquarters of the festival is the Glen Ellis Campground (http://www.glenelliscampground.com/), just up the road from Cathedral and Whitehorse, where all event activities — camping, slide shows, demo gear, vendor village, pig roast, and more — can happen all in one place.
Check out the AAC Craggin' Classic page for more details on the event. (http://americanalpineclub.org/p/craggin-classic##northeast)
Reserve your tickets for the weekend now at the AAC online shop. (http://shop.americanalpineclub.org/products/second-annual-cathedral-ledge-craggin-classic)
Hope to see you in North Conway this September!
Northeast Regional Coordinator
The American Alpine Club
Peregrine Closure Status:
All climbing closures for peregrines in 2013 have been lifted. Climb anywhere you like.
Instant Bug Report - BugCON 3:
It got cool and breezy this week and the bug population took a nose dive. I would imagine that the mosquitoes will come back in force as soon as things warm up towards the weekend, so I'm leaving the BugCON at a 3.
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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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