NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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July 3, 2016

Hi Folks,

So it’s the 4th of July weekend and things have been totally and completely crazed up here in the Valley all week. I got in some great rides, climbed at Lost Horizon with friends earlier in the week (see below), had a fantastic gig with my horn band in Exeter on Thursday and have generally been enjoying the summer. I guess you could call it “living the dream”. Except that I had to deal with some absolutely heinous Javascript programming for an old client on a couple of days when I would rather have playing been outside.

Locals have been wondering if the Schartners’ would be opening the strawberry fields for picking this year. The normal sign had been taken down, tho the hired pickers would out there doing their thing. they finally opened to the public early in the week and I must say that they are amazing. If you haven’t done that, it’s worth the time. And if you don’t want to pick, you can buy them for $6.50 for a generous pint. It’s one of the things that I look forward to every year.

As I said, I got to the lovely Lost Horizon Crag, off Passaconaway Road near the Kanc, with the Perez’s and Brad. What a delightful place to climb. I hadn’t been there since I guided there one day last spring. It’s in great shape and well worth the short drive and 15 minute approach. And then afterwards you can head down to a quick cool-off in the Swift River. And don’t forget that you will need to have a parking pass for the lot right across from the trailhead. If you don’t have an annual one you can purchase a day-pass right there. We did all the moderates on the left side and topped the 5.10 corner. Several hours of really good fun. [big grin]

A crew of local climbers, guides and associated groups like Friends of the Ledges and Mountain rescue Service got together this morning (Monday) to clear the loose blocks and tree off the ledge above Browns Fist/Lower Refuse. Kudos to all who stepped up! That said, there is assuredly some amount of debris, limbs, dirt remaining on these climbs. A bit of heavy rain will help clean it up, but in the meantime be aware! FWIW the original tree that fell down, starting all this activity, is still in the middle of the trail right below AP Treat. I cleaned up some of the loose branches & stuff, however, IMO this is something that needs to be addressed by the Echo Lake State Park people (Erik Nelson). In addition I noticed that there is still some stuff up on the little ledge above Sticks & Stones, so just be aware. I did not get a good look at the bolt(s) on S&S or AP, so if you are going to climb them, look carefully before you climb. Regardless, it’s lots better than it was!

That’s right folks, IME is not just good, it’s one of the best!!!
I received the following from Chris Martin - NH Audubon biologist.

Temporary access restrictions are posted at the following five New Hampshire cliff sites in 2016:

Eaglet Spire (and adjacent walls), Franconia, NH
Holts Ledge, Lyme, NH
Painted Walls, Albany, NH
Rumney Rocks (Summit Cliff and nearby), Rumney, NH
Woodchuck Ledge (right/north end only), Albany, NH

Peregrines are present at a number of additional cliffs where no closures have been posted because recreational use is minimal. Climbers are advised to alter plans, and report the incident, if you encounter aggressive falcons during a climb.

All areas will be open effective August 1.

NOTE: There are birds on Whitehorse in the center forested section above Echo Roof, but there are currently no restrictions on Cathedral or Whitehorse this year.

Sticking at the 4 for the time being. I keep hoping it will go down, but not so far folks. Keep an eye out for this nasty ticks & deer flies too.

The reroute to the Sidehill Trail on the East side is very nice. I’ve ridden it several times this week and highly recommend it. The old trail was absolutely a mess, only the young studs will miss it, and it is a great addition. Check it out…

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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

Remember: if you take bivouac equipment along, you will bivouac...
Yvon Chouinard
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