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June 19, 2014
Well I'm sitting here at the computer and my feet hurt. Both of them! And yes, there is a story about it, and it does revolve around climbing! LOL So I've been very busy this past 10 days. I did a wedding a week ago and then this week is Motorcycle Week in Laconia/Weir's Beach. For the past 9 years I've been playing music down there at least 3 times over the 8 days - sometimes more. This year I've had 4 gigs down there, plus 2 more over this weekend. Like I said, it's a busy time. In spite of that, somehow I've managed to squeeze in a couple of mountain bike rides over the week. However, I haven't been able to get out climbing. [sigh] On Monday I knew I would have Thursday and Friday off so I called George Hurley to see what he was up to. It turns out that he was available on Thursday, so we made plans to get together Thursday morning.
I played at Weir's Wednesday night 'till 11:30, so I didn't get home in bed 'till almost 2AM. The alarm woke my wife at 6:15 to get the kiddo up for school, and fortunately I was able to roll over and go back to sleep until almost 9! When George showed up at 10, fortunately I was well into my second Irish Breakfast tea and was more or less awake. The original plan was to climb By The Way, his route on Cathedral over by AP Treat. However I wasn't into anything hard and I figured that the bugs would be brutal in the woods. It was really sunny and there was a nice breeze blowing, so I asked if he was interested in doing the Cormier-Magness (5.6) route on Whitehorse. Usually he doesn't like slab routes, but I knew he hadn't done it and I thought that this might have some interesting stuff that he would like. Amazingly he agreed and so we headed over there.
The route is over on the far right side of Whitehorse and shares the first pitch of Beginner's Route. We were both surprised that there weren't any cars in the climber's lot and when we got to the base of the climb we couldn't see or hear anyone else on the cliff. We geared up and George, always looking to make things interesting, led the first pitch in his approach shoes! The second pitch steps out right, and makes a few interesting moves up to a thin flake that is about 4' from the arete on right right. There is minimal gear, but the moves are very nice. At the top of the flake there is a block and stance where you can get in a piece of gear that you are happy to have before you launch into space to the next bolt. It's a fun pitch, but like many climbs on the slabs it's quite entertaining at the grade and probably isn't really for 5.6 leaders!
George followed easily, commenting on the starting moves,and appreciating the flake. He led the next pitch, finding an old pin on the right and a great gold Camelot placement that I hadn't seen on either of the times I've done the route! Leave it to George. I led the next pitch all the way to the big tree with the rap slings. While we had been in the open where there was a great breeze, not we were in the trees and the bugs were annoying. I was glad that I had put on some bug dope.
Once George was up we set up things to rap. He still had his approach shoes, so he put them on. My feet were hot and tired, and since I didn't have any other shoes, I decided to rap barefoot - bad idea! When I was in my 20's I hardly ever wore shoes anywhere. My feet were calloused and I could walk on hot sand on the beach, black asphalt in Florida and even gravel. Those days are long gone! Even tho the temps were pretty mild, everywhere the rock was dark, it was very hot. You don't notice it on your hands while you are climbing, but you sure do when all your weight flattens your feet onto the rock. [ouch]
4 full-length raps later, we were finally back on the ground. Did I mention that except for the first pitch of Beginner's, these were all 170+ foot pitches! I didn't think so. [wry grin] Anyway, I was happy to have my feet on some nice cool leaves and dirt. My feet were really uncomfortable and I've learned my lesson. I gotta think it would have really been a drag barefoot in mid-August! Oh yeah, I thought that this would likely be the first and last slab climb of the season for George, but he said that he really enjoyed it. he even said he would do it again some time. WOW, who woulda thunk it. [grin] One last observation - when he led P1 of Beginner's he basically "walked" up the route in his shoes. That man sure can climb!
A few pix from the morning:
Petzl is running a photo contest running right and I entered one. If you have a minutee and like my picture, I'd appreciate your vote. The winner gets to go on a Roc Trip with the Petzl crew for 45 days. This would be a real gas...
That's right, we're still at BugCON 5 folks If you dare to go out in the woods without bug dope, you won't be happy! 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!
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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Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|Climbing for speed records will probably become more popular, a mania which has just begun. Climbers climb not just to see how fast and efficiently they can do it, but far worse, to see how much faster and more efficiently they are than a party which did the same climb a few days before. The climb becomes secondary, no more important than a racetrack. Man is pitted against man.|