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I really enjoy reading about the adventures of those who do big alpine routes. I find the idea of being out there on an epic route in the mountains to be a very compelling one. The level of commitment and dedication that is required to be successful is amazing. While I've done a fair amount of alpine routes here and in the Canadian Rockies, they are nothing like Rainier, Denali of anything in the Himalaya. The biggest thing I've done was Mt Athabasca, and I have to say that being solo on a glacier like that is not something I have a hankering to repeat. I made a decision many years ago that the big mountains were just not for me. It's one thing to worry about avalanches and the other objective dangers on something like Mt Washington, and quite another on Rainier.
As I'm sure you have heard, there was a terrible accident involving 6 climbers on the Liberty Ridge route on Mt Rainier. This incident is possibly the worst accidents on Rainier since 1981. In that incident 11 people were struck and killed by a massive ice fall on the Ingraham Glacier. Park-service officials believe the accident happened as the climbers were at the 12,800-foot elevation. Their gear was found about 3,000 feet below the ridge, mixed in with debris. Since no one survived, we may never know what caused them to fall. Although their beacons were transmitting after the accident, the area is too dangerous to send people in to try to find bodies. Sadly it may not be possible for them to be recovered!
Somewhat surprisingly, the climbing community is actually a fairly small one. I've been thousands of miles away from New Hampshire and run into people I know at obscure cliffs. Living here in what is one of the prime climbing areas in the east coast, many climbers come through here - either on a climbing trip, or living and/or working for a period of time. Eitan Green was one of the guides who was killed. He spent time here in our little Valley and was respected and well liked. He was from Needham, MA (where I lived for many years), went to Needham High and had been a student at Colby College in Maine where he won a department prize in anthropology. He was a young man who infectious joy of life touched many people. there will be a celebration of life for Eitan on Friday, June 13th at the base of Cathedral Ledge. I'm not sure what time, but probably around 6. Bring a grill or some food, a few PBR's and an open heart.
BTW - Eitan wrote his thesis at Colby entitled Re-Imagined Communities: Global Climbing on Local Mountains. Here is the first paragraph:
A climb does not end at the summit of the mountain. For one, you have to descend back to the ground. Even at the car, when the climb is over, I find myself looking forward to the next, bigger, harder climb. Like research, there is no endpoint to climbing. Every climb is training for the next bigger, harder climb, and research opens up new avenues of inquiry. However, even though there is no endpoint, there are moments for reflection along the way where it makes sense to organize one’s thoughts into writing or coil your ropes and drive home. While my insights
may not be perfect, this is a moment of reflection for me and hopefully for my readers as well be they anthropologists, climbers, or both.
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 19, 2017
It's yet another mild day here in the Valley at 39 degrees, and even up in Crawford Notch where it was 34! The ice is OK in some places, but not overall good yet. For instance the Frankenstein Amphitheater is marginal, while Standard and Dracula are great. We need several days of seriously cold temps for things to settle in, Top outs on many climbs are poor, so protect where you can!
Instant Bug Report - 5:
While I want to hold back and say the BugCON is only at a 4, it's actually a lot worse than that. [sigh] On Monday I rode the MTB up to the top of Black Cap. Even tho it was breezy on the summit, the blackflies were swarming around me. Then I was out at the Citadel Boulder Wednesday and got really chewed. Finally, when I was riding the MTB today over by Pudding Pond, they were horrendous - hell I couldn't stop without getting eaten up. So there it is…go out in the woods without the bug dope at your own peril! It's pretty bad right now. You have been warned!
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:
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North Conway, New Hampshire
As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was.