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October 1, 2020

Hi Folks,

September was a tough month on many levels, and last week was particularly rough. And that's on top of the virus deaths going over 200,000, craziness in the political arena, the horrible economy and everything else that's going on! Over the week there were 2 fatal climbing and a hiking death - very sad...

The first accident involved a party on Moby Grape on Cannon Cliff. As I understand it, the party got off route on the last pitch. One of the climbers in the party pulled off a "refrigerator size" block which severed the rope causing them to fall 100-150 feet onto a ledge!

The second death occurred at Rumney on the Parking Lot Wall. The victim was leading Dead Sea Equestrian (5.7), when he requested a "take" 3/4 of the way up the climb, at which time his "jerry rigged harness" failed! Reports are that he forgot his actual harness and had fashioned one from "kayak straps additionally secured with a leather belt"! Apparently the makeshift harness and belt broke and he fell 50+ feet leading to his death. Reportedly he was a male in his 60s who had been climbing for a number of years. He had been offered a safer alternative by other climbers who saw him in the parking lot, but chose to use his own straps and belt. (Thnx to Kristen Nielsen for the information)

The third incident involved a hiker who died in a fall from the top of Arethusa Falls. According to F & G the hiker had attempted to walk across a slab at the top of the falls, slipped and fell to their death. This was the second such fatal incident in about 10 years.

Our Community: As we process the climbing accident and loss of life from this past weekend, we wanted to share a valuable tool for our community. The Climbing Grief Fund (CGF) acts as a resource hub connecting individuals to effective mental health professionals and resources. CGF is working to evolve the conversation around grief and trauma in the climbing, alpinism and ski mountaineering community. This resource is free, and additionally we offer grants to help support people financially in their grieving process. Climbing accidents and grief can be a hard topic to talk about, and part of this program can provide a safe space to explore. For further support, please email Madeleine ( or Sky (

We are a ways away from ice season, but I figured I'd take a few pix today of Crawford Notch just for giggles. I hope you like them.

I think that the colors are a bit dull this year, with not as many bright reds as I normally expect. But regardless it's quite pretty.

Most of New Hampshire is in a Severe Drought. That means pretty much no fires, no lawn watering, minimal garden watering and overall restriction of water use. Yes, we did get a couple of inches of rain on Tuesday/Wednesday, but it wasn't nearly enough to kick us out of the situation we are in. The month of September was abnormally dry and many personal wells in the state have run dry. Well-drilling companies are saying that it will be months before they can get to many customers. PLEASE conserve water use and be very careful with fires! It would be very easy for us to have a problem like what is taking place on the West coast.

I received an email this week from the Friends Of The Ledges. They will be doing cleanup and trail maintenance events starting at 9am on the third Saturday's in September, October and November. "The increase in visitors to Cathedral Ledge State Park and Echo Lake State Park spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a more critical need for trash clean-up and trail maintenance within these beloved natural areas." Boy I sure agree with this. You can read more about it and signup here:
2021 ICE FEST:
People have been asking me if there will be an Ice Fest this year, so I asked Brad and the response was a resoundingly qualified YES. Needless to say with the Covid thing happening it will be quite different, but there almost assuredly will be something going on. So get those axes and crampons sharpened up and stay tuned for the details.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission today issued a voluntary recall, performed by Petzl, of its Low-Stretch Kernmantle Ropes. According to the notice, the ropes “can have a deep cut or tape securing the ropes together,” potentially leading to a break and fall or injury hazard.

The Friends Of The Ledges are sponsoring cleanup and trail maintenance events starting at 9am on the third Saturday's in October and November. "The increase in visitors to Cathedral Ledge State Park and Echo Lake State Park spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a more critical need for trash clean-up and trail maintenance within these beloved natural areas." Please signup here:

7,233,042 confirmed cases in the US, 206,932 American citizens are dead and 1,016,406 reported deaths world-wide from the Novel Corona Virus as of Thursday October 1st! Over the past 7 days New Hampshire has had 259 new cases of the virus, 1 new death and our positivity rate is 0.81%, up from last week.

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map:

I find JHU's 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.



I've been out several times this past week. The two most interesting rides were up Bear Notch Road on the pavement, and back down the Experimental Forest dirt road; and today up Jefferson Notch Road. I should know better than riding Bear Notch at this time of year, but I figured that a morning ride would be OK. However there were many cars, some of which came far too close to me even with plenty of room on the other side to give me a fair berth! For what it's worth, the 2 who came closest had NY plates! Needless to say there was nobody on the Experimental Forest road, which was quite nice. The lat time I'd been up there they were working on installing a new culvert about halfway up. It's quite something...

Today I decided to do one of my go-to rides up Jefferson Notch Road, figuring that on a Thursday there would be pretty minimal traffic. I was correct and there were only 2 vehicles on the ride up. Unfortunately one was a pickup truck with a couple of assholes who went by me at high speed and accelerated as they passed, spraying me with gravel! Needless to say I gave a loud yell, not that it made any difference. Other than that, it was a really nice ride.

Still a few annoying bugs at times, but pretty much nothing.

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

The best climber in the world is the one who is having the most fun.
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