NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 7:30a on 07/01/22 - Temperature: 59.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 59.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.909 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 58 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
the American Alpine ClubInternational Mountain Climbing SchoolNorthEast MountaineeringInternational Mountain EquipmentThe ACCESS Fund, Protect America's Climbing
Like reading the White Mountain Report every week? Why not get it delivered to your e-mailbox every Thursday? All you have to do is subscribe. It's fast, painless, and best of all it doesn't cost you a dime!

August 5, 2004

Hi Folks,

An amazing thunderstorm blew through on Wednesday afternoon about 3PM. I had just made it back from a mountain bike ride with my buddy Sam when the huge raindrops started coming down. Numerous bolts of lightning hit all around and the claps of thunder echoing off the cliffs were almost deafening. Fortunately my wife Alyssa was home at the time and was frantically closing windows as Sam and I streaked in. Both our dog Riley and the kiddo were completely freaked and hid in the house! Believe me, it was violent.

As we came out of the snowmobile trail half-way up Cathedral Ledge road we had seen a huge group of school children hiking their way up the road. I'm sure that they were caught in the downpour and can only imagine that they were probably totally freaked by the storm. This was the biggest storm I've seen this summer and it dropped almost 1/4 inch of rain in about 20 minutes. That's right, I said 20 minutes. That's all it rained! 20 minutes after it started it was gone, the skies behind it were blue and it was wonderfully cool.

Fortunately the storm had no impact on the Cliff Cleanup scheduled for later that afternoon. In fact it was nice because it cooled the air off. We had a pretty good turnout and got a pickup-truck-bed full of trash. Right now the cliff looks pretty good. Hopefully it will stay that way, at least for a while. As usual the party was great and it was super seeing all the local climbers. it was THE place to be. Climbers and guides talking shop and avoiding political discussions, kids running around with hot dogs and potato chips in mouths and wives chatting and having fun. Plenty of beer and good cheer abounded. Thanks to all who helped.

Real Fireworks:
A week or so ago I posted something about the fireworks on the top of Cathedral Ledge last July 4th causing a fire. I heard a rumor the other day about couple of well known climbers who threw a military-grade charge off Cathedral Ledge one afternoon/evening in the 70's. As I understand it, the concussion was pretty darn amazing. Kind of makes what the fireworks people are doing look like pretty small potatoes!

The North Road:
I took a bike ride up in Gorham Wednesday with a couple of friends. We rode the North Road from the dam to Bethel and back. This is pretty close to a 40 mile ride on a beautiful rural road with rolling hills and great views. With all the hardwood trees along the road I'm sure it will be a very scenic area in the fall. We passed right by Tumbledown Mountain on our way. I've never been climbing there but my understanding is that it has some very nice routes in a beautiful setting on good Maine schist. Definitely a place I'm going to have to visit. There were several cars parked there and we could hear folks climbing as we passed.

Halfway to Walking:
In the spring I posted the bad news that Dave Benson, an old friend from my Boston AMC days, was seriously injured in an avalanche while skiing in Colorado. Initial estimates were that he was going to be a quadriplegic, and would be lucky to be able to breathe on his own. Well, Dave always was a fighter and I was ecstatic to read an email he sent around to friends that shows he is proving them wrong. I'm taking the liberty of posting the email and hopefully he won't mind. Frankly I find it inspiring...

Yesterday, in physical therapy, I took my first step, on land and on
my own. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

On the 23rd, my therapist Cathy tried something new. While in the
parallel bars, she actively moved my feet in a walking motion. It
felt pretty strange, but still pretty cool. On a second attempt, I
felt like I was helping contribute. Cathy initiated a foot movement
and I could help finish it. With assistance, I got to use a
recumbent bike machine. I needed help keeping my feet from hitting
the frame, but I could turn the pedals pretty well. However, it only
took about five minutes to wear me out.

On the 30th, we pushed the boundaries some more. After being trussed
up in a harness, I was placed into the de-weighting frame. (I
realize I really need pictures here.) The frame was placed over a
standard treadmill, and when standing up, cables from the frame were
attached to my shoulders. The best analogy I can come up with is
that of being a marionette. With a therapist helping move each leg,
I was able to walk with their assistance. At first, I felt like a
cyborg, my legs moving without my control. Eventually, I felt like I
was able control my feet and help with the process. With the
assistance of the de-waiting frame, I was able to pickup and move my
left foot.

On Monday, we returned to the parallel bars. This time, I was
focusing on releasing my knees. The spasticity causes my legs to
lock solid particularly at the knee. With my left knee releasing
nicely, I lifted my left foot and took my first step. While the left
leg was working well, the right was being very uncooperative. Even
with my therapist helping, it was difficult to move the right leg. I
was able to take several steps without assistance using my left
foot. But my leg tired quickly, and on a second pass I could only
manage a few steps. But what an incredible day! Walking, here I


K2 - 50 Year Anniversary:
Teams of climbers have flocked to northern Pakistan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conquest of K2. So far this season, 43 climbers have reached the 8,611 meter summit. On Monday, Spaniard Edurne Pasaban became only the sixth woman to stand on its summit. She is currently the only female K2 summiteer alive today.

Into Pushing The Limits, This Sounds Like Fun:
There will be an excellent 36 hour race hosted in Saint John, New Brunswick on Sept 25/26 weekend. This is about an hour from the Maine border in Calais. Approximate travel times are as follows: Boston 7hrs; North Conway 6hrs; Portland 5hrs; Bangor 3hrs. Disciplines include trekking (trail and off-trail), mountain biking, sea kayaking, ropes (ascending and descending), caving, pack rafting, and possibly horse back riding. Course will be approximately 100 miles and will be a true adventure race with lots of navigation. Entry fee is around $800 CAD or $600 US. For more info see website "" and follow links to Saint John race.

New at NEClimbs:
Well it's not quite done yet, but keep your eye on the Routes section of the site. I've made some really big changes and am in the process of adding in a ton of new routes. Hopefully it will be up and running by the end of the weekend.

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 some 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:

Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Actually, we're just glorified flagpole sitters.
Warren Harding
NEClimbs on Facebook
NEClimbs on Facebook
RSS Reader Feed
RSS Feed for NEClimbs, the New England rock and ice climbing resource
Savage Mountain Gear
Friends Of The Ledges
Equinox Guiding Service LLC
Mooney Mountain Guides
Mount Washington Valley Climbers Cooperative
Sponsors & Donors
View Current List