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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August 3, 2017

Hi Folks,

Sure I love climbing here in the Valley. After all it's why I moved here in the first place. But after 20 years of climbing here, I like to go to other places. This week I managed 2 fun excursions - one to Found Ledge off the Kanc and the other to Mt. Forist. Neither are that far away, but you really do feel as if you're somewhere else.

Last Friday I got out with my friend Judy Perez. Her husband Joe has been nursing an injury, so we've been getting out every so often and that's been a gas. 5 or 6 years ago a group of us spent some enjoyable spring days up at Found Ledge putting in some neat bolted routes on the Little Slab. There were 2 original lines and we added another 4 to the group. It makes for a very nice place where you can go and just bring 8 or 10 draws and a rope and thoroughly enjoy yourself. Grades range from 5.6 to 5.9 and it's possible to climb the 5.6 on the far left and move across from one anchor to another and set up top ropes on the harder climbs. The second from the left, Elvis Is In The House, is the 5.9. She didn't feel like leading so I started on etc right and led them right-to-left. It was great fun. The 20 minute hike-in is fairly moderate and the trail is mostly well marked. You can get directions on or from the newish Handren guidebook. It's well worth the effort.

I really wanted to get out this Wednesday so I pinged Brad and Judy to see what they wanted to do. It was my turn to drive so I picked them up and we headed up to Mt Forist in Berlin. I hadn't checked the weather reports and as we popped over Pinkham it was obvious that there was some weather in the making. Brad had been wanting to try Skate-y Cat, the climb to the right of Hostile Territory, the climb we did a couple of weeks ago. He "gave" me the first and last pitches, keeping pitch 2 for himself. Turns out that P-1 was 5.9, P-2 5.7 and P-3 5.8 (tho it felt more like 5.9). It was a good thing that I'd been working on my friction at Found Ledge. Both of my pitches were thin thin thin, but fun fun fun. [wry grin]

As we were finishing up the last pitch, the skies darkened and it started thundering. You could see rain coming down-valley and we zipped down as fast as we could rappel. By the time we got back to the van it looked as if the storm had passed us by and the sun was back out, upping temps to a humid 86 as we stopped for iced coffee at the White Mountain Cafe in Gorham! Unsurprisingly, just before we crested Pinkham, the skies opened up, the rains came down and temps dropped to 74. And of course when we got back to our Valley the skies were clear and temps were again a humid 86. SHEESH! Oh well - it's summer, we got to climb and that's all that matters.

I was told that the parking situation at the top of the cliff in the roundabout has been posted as 1 HOUR PARKING ONLY by the State. Phil, the Echo Lake State Park Ranger, has apparently been running off the climbers parking up there. IME, Friends Of The Ledges and others are trying to get this resolved, but in the meantime PLEASE park on the side of the road BELOW the toilet and pull fully off the road.

At this time I don't know any more about this than what you see here. However, if you see Eric Nelson or Phil, please express your displeasure - in a respectful manner!!! Thank you for your consideration.
I've been out several times this week on both the east and west sides. It doesn't seem to matter where you go her pin the Valley, there is great riding all over. This afternoon I had less than an hour to ride and go to Weston's Farm Stand on West Side Rd for some produce for dinner. So where did I go, why to the Marshall Trails of course. On top of that we were going through a series of popup thunderstorms that had been in around the Valley all afternoon, so hurry I did. I banged up Lower and Upper Shumway, went across the Lagers connector across Red's Trail, caught the new connector to Lemon Squeezer and flew down Lucile's. Sure it was only 2.4 miles and 260 feet of elevation, but it used up 174 calories and all in a paltry 27 minutes. How sweet it is to have stuff like this 10 minutes from my driveway!

The black flies are gone and the mosquito population has taken a nose dive, only to be replaced by the deer flies! And they may be worse, 'cause those babies HURT! And once they catch your scent, they don't give up easily. The other day several chased me around the Echo Lake woods. Oh well, at least the aren't as ubiquitous as the black flies or mosquitoes are in their peaks.

A very busy weekend on tap. My jazz trio will be at the Patio Garden Restaurant in Weirs Beach on Friday night from 7-10. Then I have a private party down near the big Lake on Saturday afternoon with the Peacheaters, a great Allman Brothers tribute band. As always I will be at the Sea Dog Brewing Company in North Conway from 10:30-1:30 for Sunday Brunch with my jazz trio. Guest soloist this week is pianist Jed Wilson. I promise that he is as good as any piano player I've performed with in my 52 year career! Excellent food, great music and a fabulous Mimosa Bar!!! And finally I will be with the Rob Ames Jazz Quartet at the Patio Garden Restaurant in Weirs Beach on Friday night from 7-10. WHEW!

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.

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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

Lightly hazed in blue mist, the tiny, clustered town - pale pebbles and mica flashes of light - was no more than stony shingle at the bottom of a deep pool.
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