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In my opinion, not that it's worth all that much, the opposing seasons here in New Hampshire are the best. But there's just something about early spring really inspires me to be outside. Of course days where there isn't a cloud in the sky, temps are in the low 70's with virtually no humidity and there isn't a bug to be seen will surely capture anyone's heart. Wednesday was one of those days and tho I had work to do, honestly I couldn't stay around the house.
I did manage to get some yard stuff done before I left to go climbing with Joe & Judy Perez at Humphrey's, so I wasn't totally shirking. You know how it is when you own a house. There is always stuff that needs to be done, and unless you are independently wealthy you just gotta do it yourself. That wood pile isn't going to get stacked on its own, the lawn isn't going to get seeded by itself and the garage doors aren't going to get painted - well you get the picture.
Anyway, I met them at Humphrey's at 10 and we all figured that we could get a couple of climbs in before our chores would call us home. There was a truck there when we arrived and it turned out to be our friends David G and Ed. They were playing on the new 5.7 David and George Hurley had put up last fall. We chatted for a bit and then moved on down to Tree Keys (5.7). That's one of those climbs that we all just like to do 'cause it's plain old fun. Joe led it first and then we pulled the rope and I led it. Judy followed and pulled the gear and we moved down a bit to It's Not What It Seems (5.9). This one is a bit more difficult, with a couple of interesting cruxes. It was my turn for the lead, so I headed on up. Tho I was involved in the FA, and have led it many times, I hadn't done it for a while and it took me some fiddling to manage the crux move about 50' up. [sigh] Regardless I managed it and went on up to the very top. I do like the upper section and the view of Cathedral and Whitehorse were particularly nice. Again we pulled the rope and Joe led it. It was interesting to watch him do the crux move as he went straight up where I went to the right. Judy took her turn, lowered and we pulled the rope.
Between the turns I noticed something moving on the white fabric of my pack. Looking closer I saw that it was a tick! It was the first one that I've seen this season and I was glad that I'd spotted it before I'd put the pack on. I picked it off and crushed it between a couple of pebbles. I knew that they were going to be out soon, but I had been hoping it would be later, rather than sooner.
By now it was almost 2 pm so we decided to call it a day. All in all it was pretty perfect and a good warmup for my upcoming trip to the Gunks next week with my friend George Hurley. I'm not gigging Saturday night so our plan is to leave early Saturday morning, get down there early enough to do a climb, grab a bit of dinner and head over to Rock & Snow for George to put on a slideshow at 8. It's going to be a busy day! I'm not sure what we're going to climb, but I'm sure that we will find something of interest. We're coming back Wednesday afternoon because I have a gig here in town at McGrath's on Thursday with my band and then two more over the weekend with Bruce Marshall & the Nor'Easters.
For the past 3-4 years George and I have been going to the Gunks in the spring and fall. it makes for a nice change from climbing here in our Valley. George gets away on climbing trips fairly regularly, but me not so much. In fact George has just returned from 2 weeks in Belize, where he was climbing with his old friend Todd Swain. Todd has been developing some new routes down there and training some new climbers and he got George to come down for a vacation and to help out. Here's a picture of George on a new route that he put up while he was there. Not too shabby for someone who is getting ready to turn 80 this year!
I know, I know there are some folks who will say that this or that climb is still IN, but believe me there really is no safe ice in the lower elevation now, so the rating has been dropped to a 1. This indicates that the only ice is in the higher terrain now. And in fact, other than climbs that have some significant part of them in the shade, like Pinnacle, everything else should be considered suspect. That said the skiing is supposedly amazing right now so grab it while you can. Starting next week we will move fully into rock season and will switch to BugCON ratings.
2014 Kismet Rock Foundation Village Variety Pass:
Kismet is a non profit based in North Conway that provides an education in technical rock climbing to deserving children who cannot afford such an opportunity.
If you donate $50+ to Kismet, you'll receive a card in the mail good for:
-1 free pizza at Flatbread in North Conway (yes, a large!)
-1 free 12oz hot or 16oz cold coffee drink from Frontside Grind
-1 free ice cream from 18 degrees Celsius at McKaella's Sweet Shop
-10% off full price purchases at IME
It's a pretty cool promotion...the money goes to a great organization and you get some tasty food and a discount in return.
You can learn more about Kismet, read the full mission statement, and donate at:
Peregrines are nesting at the Summit Cliff at Rumney. The entire Summit Cliff, including Northwest Passage and Flea Surgeon, is now closed. The Asylum on the left, and The Monolith on the right are also closed! Peregrines are nesting at the Summit Cliff at Rumney. The entire Summit Cliff, including Northwest Passage and Flea Surgeon, is now closed. The Asylum on the left, and The Monolith on the right are also closed!
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
Many have questioned the quality of this sort of achievement, deploring the use of pitons, tension traverses and expansion bolts, but the record speaks for itself. This is a technical age and climbers will continue in the future to look for new routes. There is nothing more satisfying than being a pioneer.
Allen Steck, justifying the 1st ascent of Sentinel's north face