NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
BugCON 2: some mosquitoes, possible blackflys swarming with minimal biting
2 out of a possible 5
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June 28, 2018

Hi Folks,

The weather was fabulous the past few days. Mild temps, light breeze and clear skies. WOO WOO But unfortunately it really fell apart last night and today. We now have been put under a Flash Flood Warning here in the Valley that goes through late this afternoon. [sheesh] Just what we need, right? Between Hurricane Irene and last October's flood, the Valley takes this stuff seriously. Nobody wants to have something like those again.

On another topic, in case you hadn't heard, the NH State DOT has been doing some of what they call Rock Scaling at the top of Crawford Notch. I guess they are tired of dealing with hunks of rock falling and potential rockfall from the narrow sides along side of the road. What started as a "scraping project", has seemingly expanded in a way that includes basically trashing most of the ice routes up there. I drove up this afternoon in the rain to check on it myself, and it's at least as bad as reported. Frankly it's a MESS! Currently there is a permanent heavy duty chain-link fence inside Elephant Head Gully itself and a lot of rubble both inside and out. Besides the rock work, they are also replacing and adding to the culverts on the other side of the road that dump runoff from the Saco pond into the river below. The climber/hiker parking lot is the staging area for all the equipment and the materials. I think it's kind of interesting to see what's going on up there.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with the DOT supervisor for the project. He's a nice enough young guy, just doing his job on the project. [wry grin] Apparently there has been more & more rockfall into the road over the past several years and DOT felt a need to try to mitigate the issue. Unfortunately what they did has most likely entirely eliminated the Elephant Head Gully ice climb and had an impact on the climbs to the right. That said, you never know... It's unfortunate but I think it will be interesting to see what happens this winter. Here are some pictures of that face:

Mt Washington Ranger Frank Carus posted a note on Facebook that his motorcycle was broken into at Cathedral Ledge recently. A few other folks mentioned that this happened to their car and someone else mentioned that a similar incident occurred at Whitehorse. I think it's been a while since this kind of thing took place and if you're like me, I've gotten lax. Be sure to lock your car, take your wallet with you and don't leave anything visible in the car.
Cathedral Ledge (north end only, right of Remission) in Bartlett, NH (Note: this posting begins on 5/25)
Eagle Cliff (south end of mountain) in Franconia, NH
Frankenstein Cliff (front cliff only) in Harts Location, NH
Holts Ledge in Lyme, NH
Painted Walls in Albany, NH
Rumney Rocks (Summit Cliff and nearby) in Rumney, NH
Woodchuck Ledge (right half of cliff) in Albany, NH (Note: this posting begins on 5/25)

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 at any NH site.

All areas will be reopened by August 1.

In general all the bike trails in the Valley are great right now. I've ridden both East and West sides recently and haven't seen hardly any issues anywhere. Enjoy...

The black flies are gone for the most part, however the mosquitoes can still be bad in many places. IMO the real problem is the Deer Flies! Those babies can be totally brutal. I've even had them chase me on the bike, and DEET doesn't seem to keep them away. [sigh]

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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 !
Jerry Moffat
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