NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:29p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 89.1 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 89.1 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.912 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 15 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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September 30, 2004

Hi Folks,

I don't think that I've mentioned it before, but I've moved into doing some guiding over the past few years. While most has been done on my own, in ice climbing season, this summer I've been fortunate enough to work fairly regularly with a local climbing school. It has been a superb learning experience for me on so many levels. What I've found most interesting has been the experience of working with total beginners - especially older ones.

Like many other climbers, I've always been into taking my beginner friends out to the crag. Heck, that's how I learned. There is just something really cool about taking someone who has never climbed and introducing them to the rock. The difference with guiding is that since they've paid for the experience, you would hope that they are at least somewhat motivated to enjoy it. Still, they are sometimes simply freaked out. On what many of us consider to be very moderate or minimal exposure, to them it is way over the top. Occasionally you misjudge how people are going to do by their level of fitness and how they talk. Interestingly, the two are often not directly related to a person's performance on the rock. In addition, success climbing on a top rope does not always indicate how someone will perform at the Lunch Ledge on Standard Route on Whitehorse!

With family and camp groups I've had adults who totally wigged out, while the kids have had the times of their lives. Recently I was out with two middle-aged gentlemen, one in great shape and the other perhaps a bit less so. One was generally comfortable with the exposure, while the other practically hyperventilated himself up Upper Refuse. I'll let you decide which was which. Both were totally ecstatic when we topped out over the fence at the tourist overlook. This reminds me of a quote from John Muir:

"My doom appeared fixed...But the terrible eclipse lasted only a moment, when life blazed forth again with prenatural clearness."

I'm sure that legions of beginners have felt this way as they came up the last real pitch of Upper Refuse and looked out right over the arete. So which one do you think has been showing the most interest in coming back for another round? That answer wouldn't have been obvious...

Besides an emphasis on safety, a really important objective in working with beginners is leaving them with that sometimes elusive "positive experience." To do this you have to get out of yourself and into their head in order to help them get into the right place to enjoy the experience. Of course you have to project confidence, but it helps if you're actually having fun yourself. (Why does that sound so actually strange to say?) There's no question about it though, if you're smiling and enjoying the day, the odds are pretty good that they will as well. Of course if you are the kind of person who finds every opportunity to be outside a blessing, that helps. You know, there are a surprising number of guides who actually feel that way about every time they are out on the rock or ice and it shows in the attitude of their clients. Hopefully I fall into that category.

Fall Has Officially, And Obviously, Fallen:
Officially we've moved into the Fall season, and it certainly feels that way. Evenings have been getting much cooler and the foliage has certainly been changing rapidly, especially at the higher elevations. This is my favorite time of the year. There are generally no bugs around except perhaps a few in the evening, and the temps have just enough warmth to make you feel good, but not enough to make you break a sweat. We came pretty close to having a hard freeze last night here in the valley. And if you're coming up and planning on sleeping outside, highly recommended at this time of year BTW, I humbly offer that it might be time to break something other than your summer bag!

Three Weeks And Counting:
The current subscriber base to the White Mountain Report currently totals over 650. The NEClimbs web site gets over 500 UNIQUE VISITS per day. You are obviously in one of these categories. Three weeks into the fundraiser a total of 57 subscribers have made a contribution. That's less than 9% of the White Mountain Report subscribers, and that doesn't include those that read the Report on-line!

For $20, only 38 CENTS per week, you can make sure that the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs are there when you want them. There are lots of other ways to manage this process. We COULD sent the Report out only to those who pay. We COULD restrict access to NEClimbs so that only paid subscribers could access the Route database, the Weather Station, the Forum and the Webcam. There are lots of models that ensure that we get compensated for the effort that goes into all of this. That said, we really DON'T want to do this. For over 4 years we've provided the Whiter Mountain Report and as a FREE service to the New England climbing community. Your contribution to this fundraiser can ensure that we can continue our support of YOU.

For 52 weeks of the year we put out the weekly Report and maintain the NEClimbs web site. This is how you keep up to date on what's going on in climbing in the White Mountains, and in the White Mountain climbing community. We make sure that you have the latest ice and rock information. We continually add new routes to the online database, and report on the events and people in the local climbing community. Make no mistake, this EASILY consumes 10+ hours a week. Your contribution to the organization is what makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site possible. Without a contribution from YOU, we simply wouldn't be able to come close to justifying the effort required to make it happen.

Please don't wait to make a contribution and please DON'T assume that someone else will pick up the slack. YOU'RE on the mailing list! YOU'RE reading it right now! Sit down today and send us a check or money order for at least $20. Or make your contribution ON-LINE via PayPal by clicking here. It's easy & painless and you can use your credit card. Remember, you DON"T need to have a PayPal account to use this service. We aren't asking for a lot. A minimal $20 donation isn't a lot for all the great information provided every single week.

To make it more enticing we're offering even more. Make a contribution and be automatically entered in a raffle for some GREAT prizes. And we're adding more all the time.

A brand new Charlet Moser ice screw
Three brand new snow pickets from an anonymous donor
Robert Frost's acclaimed climbing video, "Auto Road"
"An Ice Climbers Guide to Northern New England" by Lewis & Wilcox
Tim Kemple's "New England Bouldering" guidebook
Peter Lewis' great topo map/guide to Whitehorse Ledge
Anderl Heckmair's climbing autobiography "My Life"

The drawing will be held on October 21st, 2004 and winners will be notified in the Report. Your donation must be postmarked or received by PayPal before October 1, 2004 to be entered. It's a perfect opportunity to support NEClimbs, and a great chance to win a useful prize.

Make out a check for $20 to NEClimbs or donate via PayPal. We'll appreciate WHATEVER you can afford. Make out your check or money order to NEClimbs and send it to:

92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to those who have already contributed. The Donations List contains the names of all of those who have contributed as a part of the 2004/2005 fundraiser as well as the up to date corporate sponsors.


Your Local Guides At Work:
When well known local guide Kurt Winkler noticed that a huge flake on the last pitch of Thin Air moved while a client was climbing past it the other day, he became concerned. He called friend and fellow guide Alain Comeau, and at 6 AM one the morning the offending flake was trundled and the route cleaned. Thanks to Kurt and Alain for helping avoid a potentially very serious situation on the most popular climb in the area. The next time you walk past the start of Windfall, check out the rock on the ground!

Steve Schneider Slideshow:
Acclaimed climber Steve Schneider will be giving a slideshow at IME on October 9th. His slideshow, Driven Crazy, has been getting good reviews and I'm sure will make for a very entertaining evening. It's the first-person report of his solo traverse of the Towers of Paine, Torres del Paine National Parque, Chilean Patagonia. It took 5 attempts to manage the feat. Along the way he climbed the North Tower four times, the Central Tower twice, and the South Tower once, enduring three open bivouacs, two full-blown epic retreats from near the Central Tower's summit, one life threatening rockfall, and an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. It is the first traverse of the Towers of Paine, solo or otherwise.

October 9, 2004 (Saturday)
7:30 PM
Upstairs at IME in North Conway
More info - 356-7013

Seacoast Tri-State Century Windup:
For those who have any interest in road bike riding, this is a really nice ride. If you're thinking at all about riding a Century, this would certainly be one to do. besides the fact that it's amazingly flat, with the exception of the 15 mile excursion south to Newburyport it's absolutely beautiful. You ride almost exclusively along the coast past beautiful homes, rocky coastline and amazing views. Starting in Hampton Beach and extending all the way to Cape Neddick, every mile is a joy. Here's a picture of my friend and riding partner Ian Cruickshank at one of the Lighthouses along the way.

You don't have to do the full 100 miles. You can also ride several shorter sections. it's a great ride and loads of fun. Hope to see you there next year.

New on NEClimbs:
If you haven't already noticed, there are links under many of the area descriptions in the Routes section to a Terraserver topo. Of course you can use this to scope out the general location of a climb. However it may not be as obvious, but you can also zoom out to get a view of where you are in the region and how to get there on the roads. It's a very useful tool and one you can make good use of in many ways. Enjoy...

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

Writing about climbing is boring. I would rather go climbing.
Chuck Pratt
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