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March 21, 2019

Hi Folks,

So it's "officially" Spring. Last night was a major full moon and the sun is now much stronger than it has been for months. With Daylight Savings Time now in force it's light much later, tho now the dark of night is hanging on a bit later in the morning. But at least it has finally started to make all of us feel as if we will get through this very long winter at last.

And now we are looking once again at another stormy weekend on tap. Will the rollercoaster ride that has been this 2018-19 winter ever end? You just gotta wonder! Tho looking outside this morning you would have no idea what's coming, apparently we may be getting a couple of inches of wet snow/sleet tonight and then potentially another 3-6 inches of sleet and crap tomorrow! Go figure... We've gotten over 100 inches of snow this winter so far and I wouldn't be surprised at all if we add another 10-12 inches more before this winter is over. And at this rate I'm pretty sure there will be snow in my yard until the first of June. SHEESH!

I went to the lecture and book signing by local climber, guide, adventurer and author Mark Synnott last night at the Whitney Community Center in Jackson. The venue was totally packed, standing room only! While there were many climbers, there were also many folks from Jackson and the surrounding communities who have known Mark since he was a child. I've known Mark for well over 15 years and have climbed with him a number of times over the years. I've read his accounts of his adventures and have seen him grow as a writer and journalist, and now as a public speaker. He did a great job last night, keeping the attentive and appreciative audience entertained and engaged for a solid hour.

I got the book about a week ago and am 90% done and I'm right down to the actual point of Honnold's climb. It's a very entertaining book on many levels. I've always been skeptical of books about a topic in which the author brings himself into the story, even tho he's not really a part of the story. But Mark makes it work and weaves his life experiences into the story that's essentially about Alex & the build up to his El Cap solo in a way that actually works. Of course I'm biased because I know Mark, but I am impressed. I think it makes a great addition to the story of Alex Honnold and his monumental climb. Even if you weren't a climber, I think you would find this book entertaining.

I know how hard it is to write a book, being someone who has been halfway through writing a novel for the past 10 years. It's one thing to write a blog like this every week, but a book is a whole-nother-kettle-o-fish! Kudos to Mark for his amazing accomplishment.
Here are a few interesting pictures taken this morning:

As always the climb-by-climb pics are on Facebook and

I rode several times this week and the riding ranged from mediocre at best to fabulous. The mediocre was anywhere in the sun. The sun is very strong this year and in the sun the snow is soft and the riding is really difficult. Sure you get exercise, but I'm not into beating myself up to ride through slush. That said, an early morning ride on a shady trail is wonderful. And that's what I got on Tuesday morning.

A friend posted that she late Monday afternoon she had ridden the Mt Willard trail. I've been wanting to do that one for years and from what she described, I figured that this was the time. I got up Wednesday morning, did a little work here at the house and headed up to the top of Crawford Notch with my fat-tire bike and parked in the lot at the Highland Center. As I was putting the bike together I chatted for a minute to a nice older couple who were going to hike the same trail and then headed up. I've hiked this trail many times and I knew basically that it was a moderate but unrelenting grade, with a couple of somewhat steeper bits, and I would guess I rode 65% of it. There was no ice on the trail, just packed out snow, but I was happy to have studded tires. There was a tree down over the trail about 2/3 of the way up that I had to slide the bike under and another smaller one that I was able to hop over. I worked up a definite sweat as the temps were probably in the upper 30's and I didn't see a single other person on the way up. Coming out of the tree shaded trail to the sunny overlook was amazing. The sky was totally bluebird, and the view down-valley was spectacular. This is the kind of day you just need to savor so I sat in the sun, had a snack and just soaked it in.

As I was getting ready to go down several groups arrived at the overlook and commented that they had been following my tracks and wondering if they would see me. On the way back down I saw several other folks, including the couple I had met at the parking lot. The whole round trip took 1:02 ride time. What a wonderful morning it was. It left me with a virtual high for the rest of the day. Here's a few pix:

Highly recommended folks...

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

I'm afraid to be afraid.
Catherine Destivelle
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