NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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August 27, 2020

Hi Folks,

I truly hope that this finds you all safe and well, in spite of the turmoil going on around us. Between the pandemic, fires out west, Hurricane Laura, racial unrest and political upheaval, life feels unsettled at best. In my going-on 73 years on this planet, I have never felt (dare I say) this unmoored. I still hold dear my music, and the physical things like riding and climbing. These things that have always kept me centered, but as life around me seems to shudder like a earthquake tremor, it's tough. I'm sure many of you feel the same...

Last weekend I went out to Found Ledge with Brad. It's been a year since I was last there, and I think the last time was actually with Brad! As always finding the exact place to access the trail was tricky. However once we spotted the stream and cairn, it was easy. It actually looked as if people had been up there as the trail was pretty obvious. The Little Slab was generally clean except for Judy Perez's climb Brilliant on the far right. It was unfortunately fully covered in lichen. :-( That said everything else was in good shape. We did pretty much everything else and as always they were fun.

On Monday I got out with my dear friend George Hurley. No handshakes, no hugs and social distancing on a rope, but it was great to see him. At 85 George is still putting up new routes and simply doing what he does. Here's a few pictures of him leading his new route The Stump Slinger (5.5 trad). I think you can get where the name came from...

George is a true inspiration to me, as a climber and human.

Today Brad and I took a walk up to Lost Ledge. The trail was surprisingly well beat-in and it was obvious that the area has been frequently visited. This trip we did 6 fun routes. Several years ago we realized that there was a climb hidden in lichen just right of George's route Lost Arch, this one called Vector. I'd always planned on bringing a brush to clean it off and replace the 3rd bolt, but kept forgetting. This time however we noticed that someone had already done the work. I don't know who it was, but I have to thank them. Although the guides call it 5.8, IMO it is a very bold and committing line and more 5.9+ R/X. The 12 feet or so between the second bolt and the featured rock are extremely thin, and after that is a 30' runout to the next bolt. Needless to say a fall anywhere would put you very close to the ground. Regardless it's an entertaining climb. Here's a few pictures from the day:

I got my copy of Todd's new ice guide the other day and I've spent some time browsing through it. From what I can tell it looks very good. Of course it will be hard to really tell until the ice comes in and I use it to find some of these places that I've never been to before. That's always the test of a good guide. Can I find this stuff. But quality wise, it looks and feels very nice - definitely comparable to the recent Handren and Sykes guides. Printed on good paper with lots of color pictures, maps and topos. Todd has some history and humor mixed in, so it's fun just to poke through.

I know you can get a copy at International Mountain Equipment, and probably at the other usual suspects. I do not know if it's available on line, tho I recommend you buy it locally if at all possible to support your local establishments. Even if that's a big store like REI or EMS.

I'VE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, BUT IT'S WORTH REPEATING. The Laconia/Weirs Bike Week has been going on all this week and ends on Sunday, 8/30. Remember that the roads will be filled with folks on motorcycles, so please keep your eyes open.
5,545,427 million confirmed cases, 173,514 Americans dead and 7789,222 deaths world-wide from the Novel Corona Virus as of Thursday August 20th! I have also found JHUís Daily COVID-19 Data in Motion report to be very informative. It shares critical data on COVID-19 from the last 24 hours in a short 1 minute animated video format.

While New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont are doing a lot better than many parts of the country, cases in Maine have ticked up. This is primarily due to a wedding in Millinocket that started with 53 cases, has now expanded to at least 87 cases and one death so far! Of the 87 cases that have been linked to the wedding/reception:

- 30 are primary cases, meaning people who attended the wedding/reception
- 35 are secondary cases, meaning people who came in close contact with someone who attended the wedding/reception
- 22 are tertiary cases, meaning people who were close contacts of a secondary case

Of the 87 people, about 68 percent are symptomatic. On Tuesday during the Maine CDC coronavirus briefing, Dr. Shah explained how the outbreaks linked. He said a guest who attended the wedding infected their parent. The parent then had contact with one of their other children, who works at Maplecrest. The person who works at Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison then infected five people at the facility - four residents and one staff member.
Dr. Shah said all of this unfolded in a span of about two and a half weeks.

"That's just an example of how quickly this virus can spread. From a wedding to a guest to a parent to another child to a nursing home," Dr. Shah said.

The Weirs Beach Motorcycle Week is in full swing, and while not as big as usual, there are thousands in attendance. The Sturgis event 10 days ago had many more attendees and has already infected several hundred people. Everyone in NH is concerned that it will happen here as well!



For a change I've actually climbed more this week than I've ridden, go figure! I did get in a couple of good rides this week tho. Most recently I did a fairly major ride on the east side including The Knot, Swamp, Rattlesnake, Muffler, Pillar To Pond and Sticks & Stones. All are riding very well. It's a good time to be in the woods.

Bug count is way down right now. Let's hope it stays that way.

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.

NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
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

Alcohol, firearms and a 4 wheel drive can go a long ways towards making a rain day into a fun rest day.
Frank Stock
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