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 25, 2020

Hi Folks,

After days of 90 degrees daytime and mid 70's at night, last night was incredibly refreshing. This may sound funny but I have this chenille spread on my bed that actually was my mother's and it's prefect sleeping weather when I have the windows and slider open in the bedroom and only pull up that spread. LOL

Things are dry right now, that's for sure. People like me who don't water their lawns have brown instead of green. And my little water company sent around a notice asking us NOT to water the lawn. Apparently we're 2+" down this month and 5" down for the year! That's quite a lot.

I do thoroughly water the garden a couple of times a week in the early morning, and it's doing very well. Lots of lettuce & greens with beans and peas on the way, as well as tomatoes, basil and tarragon. I'm also starting to see the farm stands opening up with fresh veggies. It's my understanding that pretty soon Schartner's will be opening for strawberries as well.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get out climbing so far this week. tho I'm planning to get out tomorrow and Sunday. My 2 possible partners have been busy, so I've just been working on music projects and riding the bike. Today would have been fabulous days to be out on the rock no question about it, and many were. Moderate temps and low humidity made it feel like early spring or fall, except for how green it is now.

I must point out that even tho it's summer, we are all getting outside and things are starting to open up. New Hampshire. Maine and Vermont are a bit off the beaten track and our numbers have been lower than many other places. HOWEVER this pandemic is assuredly NOT over. And with the Governor easing restrictions, we will see an increase in visitors and almost assuredly see an increase in cases. In fact we are already seeing summer visitor traffic everywhere in the Valley. I avoid going into town pretty much for any reason on the weekends as many, if not most, visitors are wandering around unmasked. You will likely notice that I ride in places that other people don't usually visit, and when I do climb it is at mostly obscure crags.

I have family in California, Texas, Florida and New York City. All places that are pretty hot spots, the first 3 with precipitously rising cases. And these cases are not just in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Eating outside after climbing, instead of going into a bar or restaurant is a smart move. Wearing your mask when you go into a coffee shop or store or are just wandering around on the street is highly recommended; plus regularly washing and sanitizing your hands religiously absolutely makes a difference. It is unfortunate that after all the effort that we went through to get our numbers down through May, they are now climbing substantially. Take this seriously friends. We need your help to get through this crisis. The virus is not magically going to go away on its own and I assure you it is not just another flu. I personally know people who have gotten sick and died from this, and they were NOT in a nursing home!

Nope, Rumney Rocks is not open yet. But here is some information to help you make your plans for when it DOES reopen. Thanks to Dave Cook and the Barn Door Hostel for putting this together.

In yet another round of shameless self-promotions, here's a link to music video by my friends and musical partners The Shoal Survivors. This one is Carole King's classic So Far Away. I played bass on this and created the video. I hope you enjoy it.

Even tho it was brutally hot early in the week, I did quite a bit of riding. I did a East Side ride up towards Outer Limits that was cut short by a big thunder boomer, a very neat adventure ride up off Town Hall Road that took me almost over to Chatham on a snowmobile trail and a West Side loop from my driveway.

The Town Hall ride was particularly neat because it went so far over the ridge and because I saw amazing butterflies, grouse, frogs, rare white lady slippers and a huge field of thorn bushes as far as the eye could see. It was quite a special ride. My East Side ride was interesting because it was 90 degrees when I started, a thunder boomer came through at my furthest point with lightning and torrential rain that dropped the temperature 15 degrees and yet 30 minutes after it cleared the temperature spiked back to upper 80's and the road was steaming/ It felt for all the world like the summer afternoon storms that blew through Jacksonville when I was a kid. The ride today That started from home, went up through Hales to the old Carrol reed Trail off Moat Lane, up to Whitehorse, back down to the fire road and down the Red's snowmobile trail. It had its own level of entertainment value that included more startled grouse, a startled hiker at the Bryce Path/Whitehorse Trail intersection and a surprisingly muddy decent down Red's snowmobile trail. Yes, in spite of the almost drought conditions it was muddy! [sigh] Here's a few pictures:

For some reason everywhere I've been this week those pesky mosquitoes and blackflys haven't been that bad, albeit I admit that I'm not generally just standing around. That said, some friends were at a craig in the deeper woods in the early part of the week and both said it was brutal. When I was riding some overgrown trails early in the week I did pick up a few ticks and got nicked by some deerflys. I hate those things 'cause they can bite right through my bike shorts! So my suggestion is to bring the good bug dope, and of course be sure to do a good tick-check when you get dome recreating.

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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Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out:

Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

The vias normales had perfect lines but new rock was the essence of climbing for us; throwing loose holds over the shoulder, feeling the exposed grains crush like sugar on footholes....
Paul Pritchard
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