NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:00p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 88.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 88.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.907 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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October 13, 2005

Hi Folks,

When I've been out climbing, riding my bike on the back roads or hiking in the woods over the past couple of weeks I've noticed a lot of those Wooly Bear Caterpillars that you always see around at this time of the year. These are the ones with the thick coat of fur, generally red-brown in the middle and a rich dark brown at the ends. They always seem to be scurrying about, ostensively in a hurry to find a safe place to curl up for the winter. According to superstition, the width of the middle stripe forecasts the severity of the coming winter. If correct, we may be in for a hard winter! Almost all the Wooly's we've been seeing have a very wide stripe.

I'm sure you all have heard about the flooding that's been taking place in mostly western New Hampshire. It looks as if we're in for another bout over this weekend too. I'm getting sick of this. I was over on Passaconaway Road a couple of days ago and the Swift River was very high. I'm not a kayaker, but if I was I'd probably drag the whitewater boat out again. At least it would be something to do in the water.

When I was up in Maine last week I noticed that the foliage up there wasn't as good as I've seen it in the past at this time of year. As we drove back it got a little better as we got closer to the "Whites" and on The north side of Mt. Washington things looked to be about at 70%. However when we started down the hill out of Pinkham there was substantially less and less, until by Jackson it was minimal. I usually judge the foliage status from these two small maples that are in the Story Land parking lot. Well, as of a couple of days ago they were still completely green! Last year, a week earlier than now, they were flaming. The oak and maples in my back yard and around the cliffs aren't really happening yet either. Hmmm...

As is often the case, the weather is a prime topic of conversation between the local climbers, guides and business people. Everyone pretty much agrees that it's been a funny fall. We'd all be kind of surprised if we get another significant dry period before the weather really changes. One guide I was chatting with on Wednesday mentioned that the wet streaks on Whitehorse have formed a bit earlier than in the past. He said that there are often these long wet streaks that form overnight from seeps, especially on the slabs. Usually they dry up by mid-morning, but they last longer as the fall progresses. They were saying that in their opinion the streaks have started to happen earlier this year than in the past. I think that's probably true.

I am sure that there will be quite a few nice days before the snows come, but I can feel the change. We still haven't actually had a hard freeze yet and there was only a smattering of snow on Mt. Washington a week or so ago. Over the past couple of years there have been some very early ascents of the Black Dike, before Halloween even, and some of the Ravines on Mt. Washington. I did Pinnacle on November 10th and it had actually been done several times over a week earlier. I'm not at all convinced that we'll see that kind of action this year. We'll see...

That said AccuWeather folks have made their predictions:
"The Long Range Forecast Team, led by Chief Meteorologist Joe Bastardi, has released its official Winter Forecast for 2005-2006. The forecast calls for colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast, with a milder-than-normal winter in the West. "

"Snowfall in New England and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest are expected to be above normal, while the center of the nation will see as much as half of the normal snowfall. Overall, New England will be the hardest hit, with a cold and snowy winter expected."

Just what I wanted to hear with the price of fuel going through the roof! Good thing we locked in our price in July and had a couple of extra chord of wood delivered.

Oh yeah... The Indians had a good way of dealing with caterpillars. They ate them!

To Blog or Not:
Climbing writer Dougald Macdonald sent me the link to his new Blog the other day. I didn't have time to get a look while I was in Maine, but I checked it out the other day. It's only a couple of weeks old, but he has some nice stuff on it. I've always liked his writing, and he's a nice guy, so you might want to check it out.

I particularly enjoyed the article about Stefan Glowacz and Robert Jasper entitled Hard Core. Man, those guys are that. It's also an interesting observation about the evolution of some who have come up through the sport climbing ranks. Nice job Dougald! RECOMMENDED

Annual Fundraiser Begins Next Week:
It's almost time for our annual fundraiser for NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report. We're going to kick it off next Thursday with the launch of the new look for NEClimbs. Hopefully you all will feel that you have gotten enough from the site and Report that you will make a donation to help justify the amount of time put into maintaining and developing the site and writing the Report. Believe me, any donation will be greatly appreciated.

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

Let's get real here. No one does a figure-four ice climbing.
Karl Nagy
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