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 4, 2019

Hi Folks,

Here we are on yet another 4th of July, Independence Day. The day that celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776; affirming that we were no longer subjects of Great Britain. And in fact we were a free and united entity of 13 original colonies. So, here's to a very Happy Birthday to our nation, and to all of us. At this difficult time in our history, may we savor this moment and look forward towards many more.

I was away all last week on Star Island, off from Portsmouth on the Isle of Shoals. I was ostensively on vacation but I worked a lot as well. I didn't have as much time to boulder on the cut in the island as I've had in the past, but I did get in a few hours my last day there and as always it really was a lot of fun. Here's a few pics:

I had this morning, the 4th, free so the Perez's and I headed up to Mt Forist for a few hours. We thought it was going to be really hot, but quite honestly it wasn't too bad at all. As we only did single pitches, the belayer was always in the shade and there was a light breeze. The bugs were pretty bad so we were happy to have repellant and I think it would have been undoable without it. We did Madigan and the next 2 climbs to its right. I did them all with Jeff Lea a few weeks ago, but they were fun nonetheless. All very moderate and all quite fun. A few pix of Joe leading Madigan with Judy belaying:
The trails are great right now. Sure a little mud here & there, where it always is, but not bad at all. I had a hankering yesterday to check out the work that's been done on the newish Parking Lot Smoothie trail that runs down along side the Red Tail Trail, off Hurricane Mountain Road. I got a later start than I'd hoped, starting up the road from the Landing at 10. There were more cars than I'd expected to see, but everyone was respectful so that it was fine. As I pulled into the parking lot at the Black Cap Trail there was a rider just heading up. He had driven up and was planning to do the same ride I was so we rode together. While it would be nice to drive up, I didn't envy him the ride back up to his car at the end. I like to get the brutal bit out of the way first. [wry grin]

First we rode up the trail all the way to the top of Black Cap. It's decent trail until you get to the bike/snowmobile trail on the right. There are a series of very obnoxious water-bar/steps that I can't ride up. [baaahhh] But it was fun riding around on the rocks at the top and the view was fabulous, in spite of the haze from the Canadian forest fires!

I rode back down the trail to the Cranmore Connector intersection, hung a left and 300 yards later took a right onto Smoothie. I rode it twice before, last year. It's a great trail, but I think that the berms in the clearcut were better last year. You absolutely have to stay high on them or you'll get into trouble. It has a little reroute that brings you into the Red Tail a little higher now. The Red Tail to the landing berms is always fun and those berms are great, better than Smoothie right now IMO. I'm not a fan of the lower section of the Red Tail, but I rode all the way down to the water tank and then pounded back uphill to the car. All in all a good time. I want to do it again soon to check out how Kettle Ridge is riding.

I keep hoping I can lower the rating to a 4, or perhaps a more moderate, tho still annoying, BugCON 3! But alas that is not to be this week. Every time I go for a ride in the woods, belay at the base of a climb or even go out to weed in my garden I get eaten up. So once again, a 5 it is!

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

To truly raise the standards of free climbing, you can't sacrifice style or purity for a higher number.
Ron Kauk
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