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June 3, 2021

Hi Folks,

Summer is starting to wind up now. Many more people in the Valley. Lots more folks out doing stuff in the front and the back-country. And it's only going to get busier. I'm seeing lots of cars at Echo Land and Diana's Baths, and plenty of cars at the trailheads on weekends. Last year was busy, but I think it's only going to get busier.

And yet yesterday, with the exception of a single climber on the right side of Whitehorse (soloist we think), my buddy Jeff and I saw no one else from 10am - noon. We only had a few hours to get out, so we decided to do the first couple of pitches of Cormier-Magness. And like an old pair of gloves, it felt totally comfortable. The only difference between yesterday and the previous tine I did it with Brad a month ago, was my newly resoled pair of TC-Pro's.

It's always entertaining to get out on a climb you know intimately and change something up. Different shoes are the most interesting thing to change, since they are your direct connection to the climb. In this particular case the shoes I used that last time was a very well broken in pair of the same shoe. The soles were thinner, allowing me to feel every nubbin, edge and indentation in the rock, almost like I was climbing barefoot. With the new shoes the rubber was thicker and a bit stiffer, changing the tactile experience. But the rubber was the same as the original, so after a minimal mental adjustment it was just fine and I savored the stickiness and edging they provided.

I was quite intrigued to spot a small fixed nut at the bottom of the Wheat Thin Flake on P2. I've never put anything in right there, but it seemed to be quite well fixed. I tried to wiggle it a bunch and as it seemed quite solid I clipped it as I went by. When Jeff followed the pitch he tried to get it out as well, to no avail. I unsuccessfully tried to funk it out with a sling as I rapped, and so it remains! [LOL]

I rapped first off P1 and one of the double ropes got a little hung up in one of the cracks below the tree. I flipped it a little to see if it would come out, but when it wouldn't move I had a closer look. Turns out the rope had gotten a a loop in it and that loop found the absolute perfect position in the crack to get wedged and I probably could have rapped off it, not that I would have mind you. [sheesh] It took 5 minutes with a nut tool to get it unwedged, being quite careful not to damage the rope. I've had ropes get stuck of course, but never quite like this. It reminded me that BITD climbers in Dresden Germany used knotted slings in the same way we use nuts and cams today.
The numbers are going down in the US as more people get vaccinated. Tho I should say that the numbers are going down BECAUSE more people are getting vaxed! There is a good chance that by July 4th 70% of our citizens will have had at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and that would be a blessing. Unfortunately the rest of the world is not doing as well. Am I saying this just to be a Debbie Downer? Not at all... The world is so connected now that what happens on the other side, affects us sooner rather than later. South America and India are in bad shape. And even our neighbor to the north isn't doing great. We need to work with other countries to get this better under control or it's going to come back, and probably worse. Plus we depend on the workers and supply chains that stretches everywhere. There are shortages in everything from car and bike parts to clothing, to food. Just think it through please...

Thank you...

New Hampshire:
0 new death reported
48 new cases reported
425 Active cases
25 patients are currently hospitalized
1,353 total deaths

Confirmed: 33,308,110
Deaths: 595,849

Confirmed: 171,758,358
Deaths: 3,693,432

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.



As I've mentioned before, the LOCAL trails are generally in good shape. Still somewhat dry, but little mud and riding quite well. There is a lot of wildlife about right now if you are one of those who notice such things, as I am. I did a ride day before yesterday on a local trail, heard a loud curious noise and saw that it was a piliated woodpecker right by the side of the trail. It was quite large, seemed unintimidated by my nearness and was very intent on eating bugs in a rotten tree on the side of the trail. I got a number of very nice pictures.

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

When you get to the summit of the mountain, keep climbing.
Tibetan saying
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