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3 out of a possible 5
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May 28, 2015

Hi Folks,

Whew. we’ve had some pretty unsettled weather over the past 2 days, most especially a large thunderstorm that blew through last night around 6pm. It appears that the remainder of this week may have more of the same. It’s really not too surprisingg I guess, considering that it’s early summer here in the Valley, but it feels strange because we’ve had so little weather - in particular rain - for the past 6 weeks. In fact we are in what is close to drought stage up here right now. Almost every day the weather folks are talking about red-flax fire warnings, so you know it’s bad.

Wednesday’s storm also brought with it quite a bit of lightning. We were eating dinner around 6:15 and could see a very heavy black cloud coming from up Valley. The storm came through quickly and there were several very large lightning bolts that came down in the area. Brad White said that he was driving home down West Side Road at the height of the storm and saw a spectacular strike on top of Whitehorse Ledge. We didn’t see that one hit, but we did see the flash and heard the near-immediate thunderclap.

Within 5 minutes of the Whitehorse strike there was a second bolt that we could tell obviously hit Cathedral Ledge and caused the lights to flicker dramatically. Fairly quickly the storm blew through and I had to leave the house at 6:30 for a meeting in Ossipee. By the time I got to Chocoura I had caught up with the storm and it was really coming down. My meeting was at Hobbs and the entire 90 minutes I was there it was pouring rain. When I left the storm had passed and there was no rain as I went home.

Just before I got to the turn to my house at Frechette Oil on West Side Road I saw some lights on the top of Cathedral. The cliff has been closed for a couple of days, so this was strange. I continued down West Side Road to the strawberry fields and stopped where I could see a lot of lights up on what seemed to be the middle ledge somewhere around Bombardment or perhaps Upper Refuse. I drove over into the chalets and really couldn’t tell what was going on. When I got home I checked on Facebook and my friend Carol-Ann had sent me a message that there had been a fire on the cliff somewhere near Retaliation and that there was a crew up there putting it out.

I asked around this morning and apparently the lightning strike had hit a tree. While it was mostly out by the time I found out about it, apparently it was visible from North Conway. It’s a good thing that it was visible early enough that people were able to deal with it fairly quickly. With everything so dry right now, it could have caused a pretty big problem for all of us living in the area.

Cliff Closing:
Cathedral Ledge was closed to all use including climbing part of last week, and is closed through now tomorrow, Friday the 29th. The State is doing work on the turnaround and parking at the top, as well as working on the access trails to the viewing area. As I understand it the little fenced-in area over top of the Flush will be handicap-accessible and the trail to the main viewing area will be “more” accessible. Considering just how popular a tourist area the cliff is, this is probably not a bad thing. The cliff will be open again for this weekend, but will be closed again the first part of the week. There is a sign near the Kiosk that explains it. Your cooperation is highly appreciated.


ThnX to local guide Marc Chauvin for the picture.
Cycling Notes:
I’ve been riding a lot on the East and West sides of town. One of my favorite rides is up the Peaked Mt trail, across on Sidehill, down Swamp and back via Pillar To Pond and part of Sticks & Stones. All but a bit of P2P is nice and dry. There has been trail work done on Swamp that has rerouted it around the worst wet spots, so that’s great. Enjoy the riding now ‘cause it’s great.

Instant Bug Report - BugCON 0:
I’ve been out a lot recently and as I’ve mentioned, the bug situation is a crap-shoot. My climbing last week had no bugs, one day in my garden I got eaten up by the blackflies, I rode up to the Tent Boulder on Wednesday and the mosquitoes were in clouds around me when I stopped and I was hanging out on Carol-Ann & Frank’s deck by Cathedral this morning and there was not a single bug!!!!! I’m going to stick with the 3 until I see more blackflies here. As always your milage may vary.

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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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Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

If you don't let go, you can't fall off !
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