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October 22, 2020

Hi Folks,

There are a million places to climb in New England, some more some bigger and obvious than others, some small and off the beaten path. I keep thinking back to how it must have been to find hidden gems like Lost and Found Ledges, Lost Horizon and others. What a cool thing that must have been. Even tho in some cases they aren't visited enough to keep them cleaned up - Craig Y comes to mind.

85 year young George Hurley has been doing his thing recently on a little cliff in an "undisclosed location". We have put up many routes together over the years, so when he invited me to help him put up a new route on Monday I said sure. Then I talked our mutual friends Joe & Judy to come along, at a safe distance of course, just to check it all out.

George had already climbed the line a number of times on his self belay rig and had pre-drilled the holes for the bolts, So it was up to me to scramble around to the top, rap down and hammer in the actual bolts. I thought the line itself was interesting, tho I wasn't enamored with the quality of the rock. That's not all that unusual for a Hurley route tho... That said, George had brought exactly the gear he needed and led it in good style. I had him just leave in his gear, pulled the rope and led it as well. He wasn't sure of the grade, but I thought it was 5.8. He named it the Rugged Arete... Pretty darn cool for an 85 year old, yes!

While we were doing this Joe led 2 nice routes just to the right, with significantly better rock.

George was interested in doing one more route kind of nearby that he said was a well protected 5.9+. Ever the sucker I said sure, so we walked up along the cliff to check it out. It was a short bolted line that had a very interesting series of stemming/boulder moves to get off the ground. I was able to stick-clip the first bolt so if I fell I wouldn't go to the ground and I figured I would give it a try. After one slip right off the ground I grabbed George's wire brush, gave the first 6' a quick buff and gave it another shot. This time I was able to make it up into the real stem/chimney position, turn myself around and grab the crack about 10' up. COOL! 3 more bolts, a couple of 5.8ish moves to get to the anchor and it was done. Needless to say I was pretty psyched to have pulled it off. George struggled a bit on the opening moves, but he acquitted himself quite well on the rest.

All in all a nice day on warm rock. This was the only time this summer that I've been out with more than a single partner. We were all well distanced and had masks for when we were closer than about 10', so it felt pretty safe. These are people that over the past 20 years I have climbed with very regularly, so you can imagine how good it felt just to be outside together. DAMN YOU virus!

Just before the rain started on Monday afternoon/evening I finally got around to covering the woodpile. I'd hoped to let it dry another couple of weeks, but it looks as if we're getting into a regular pattern of rain now so it's time. Also, the last of the tomatoes ripened on the plants I brought in 2 weeks ago. It was a great season for the garden and I will surely miss all the fresh food. But I guess it's that time of year... [sigh] I know everyone is hot-to-trot for ice season, but I'm still hoping for a round of warm rock and Indian Summer. Fingers X-ed.

I'll just leave this here...

Climbers of the North East; in a time where our country feels more divided than ever, let's unite our community in a show of support for JEDI principles in the outdoors. Climbing4Change is a non-profit that was started by Kai Lightner with the mission of breaking down barriers to the amazing sport of climbing. This event was organized in an effort to to bring our community together, raise money for C4C, and help make climbing a more accessible and inclusive sport. While we are at it, lets have some fun and challenge each other to attempt this link-up.

Here is how to participate:

1. Donate to
2. Promote JEDI principles
3. Fill out an IMCS release form at IME
4. Attempt the link-up of Whitehorse - North Moat - Cathedral
5. Report back to IME with your team name, time, combined team age, etc... 6. Have a chance to win some prizes at the end of the month.

This event lasts the month of October. That means you can participate on your own schedule and do it multiple times. Not a climber but support JEDI principles? You can still show support and make a donation to climbing4change, I did.

For more details please visit the web site, or Facebook.
8,184,788 confirmed cases in the US, 219,497 American citizens are dead and 1,126,351 reported deaths world-wide from the Novel Corona Virus as of Thursday October 22th! Over the past 7 days New Hampshire has had 568 new cases of the virus, 11 new deaths and our positivity rate is 1.44%, slightly down from last week.

The NH governor has fully opened up restaurants in the state, and things are starting to change. One local establishment here in the Valley, Mae Kelly's, has reported that one of their servers has tested positive so they have closed for a week. They indicated that all their other employees have tested negative.

And then you have this...

17 people have tested positive after being in Fat Katz restaurant in Hudson where the establishment held karaoke with shared gear. But worse, one person went to the place KNOWING they had tested positive for the virus and were supposed to be in isolation and a second person visited who knew they were supposed to be in quarantine! UNREAL... And frankly a $2000 fine for the restaurant IMO is not nearly enough.

As winter approaches and people spend more time indoors, the scientific opinion is that the pandemic will get worse. Getting a humidifier may help...

On Wednesday the CDC expanded the definition of “close contact” to someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19 from 15 consecutive minutes within six feet to 15 total minutes or more, within six feet, over a 24 hour period. In addition, this may imply this in fact this is an airborne virus!

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.



In between the rains I only got in a couple of local rides over the past week, mostly just 6-8 miles on the west-side. In many ways the best day was Monday, but I went climbing instead. Go Figure... With the rains there is now a little mud here & there. But that's what mountain biking is about, right? Get dirty and throw the bike around in the woods. LOL However, watch out for those off-camber roots. They are slipperier than snot!

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

Why ? Why, why, why do I do this ???
Chuck Pratt
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