NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 10:29a on 07/01/22 - Temperature: 76.3 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 76.3 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.855 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 23 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
The ACCESS Fund, Protect America's ClimbingFriends Of The LedgesMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeNorthEast MountaineeringInternational Mountain Climbing School
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October 9, 2015

Hi Folks,

Yup, it is fall up here in the north country with the blazing blue skies, crisp dry days and frosty nights. It is most certainly one of my favorite times of the year. After a bit of rain and a few days with cooler nights, the foliage has really started showing itís true colors. I had begun to think it wasnít going to be a good one, but apparently thatís not the case at all - at least in places other than the Valley where it seems to be slow in coming.

Iíve been spending a lot of time out of our little haven, like over on the Kanc and up in Berlin where the colors are really starting to pop. Last Friday I was with Joe and Jeff at Lost Ledge. There are a number of nice climbs there and we had a very enjoyable afternoon, each of us leading several area classics. We were very surprised a how well tracked in the trail was to get up there. Someone had even arranged some of the rocks at the stream crossing such that it was very easy to get across. There is a big tree that came down recently directly across the trail on the other side of the stream, but you can get through it. Cutting that one out is going to be a bit of a hassle. We were a bit surprised at how much water was coming down the stream and how much seepage was in some places on the trail going up. I guess there was still a lot of water in the system from the deluge earlier in the week. Still, the climbing was fun and itís nice to get out there.

On this Tuesday and Thursday Joe, Judy and I went up to Mt Forist in Berlin. This is one of those places that was hardly ever done 10 years ago, but has become somewhat popular recently. Tho itís a 45 minute drive from the Valley, itís a pretty ride over Pinkham Notch this time of year and itís a short hike in to the cliff. My first time up there, 2 years ago, was with Paul Cormier. He took me on a magical mystery tour of the cliff, traversing left to right and ending up at the very tip-top. I was surprised at the quality of the rock and decide Iíd have to get back there again. I heard that Brad and a few others had been working on cleaning and putting up routes on the cliff so I got him to take me there and show me some of the routes. We did that and I became a convert and so over the past few years Iíve been up there a couple of times each season.

Iíve been up there a couple of times this already this summer, once with Brad and another with Jeff Lea, and each time always enjoyed myself. This week I went up on Tuesday and Thursday with Joe & Judy. There are many climbs to do there, mostly in the 5.5 to 5.8 range, with just a few more difficult than that. There are very few cracks or places for natural protection, thus the proliferation of bolts. Still, you want to be sure to bring a rack as most climbs take a piece or two of natural gear. One other thing is that, for whatever reasons, the routes donít seem to have any names! Itís pretty strange, and makes it difficult to tell someone whatís what. there is a topo floating around and when I get a chance Iíll try to post it on There are only a few really obvious landmarks that I know of:

1) the left side of the main cliff where the trail meets the cliff
2) the homemade ladder in about the middle of the main cliff that leads up to a ledge where a climb starts
3) the ďsneaker slabĒ at the toe of the main cliff, all the way down on the right (itís further than you would think)
4) the upper wall high up on the left - Iíve never been up there!
5) the tree ledge that bisects the cliff from left to right

Iím sure that folks who climb there more often and know it better have a better sense of whatís what. [wry grin]

Iím digging the area and plan on getting back up there at least once more before it gets cold. If you climb around 5.8 you will really enjoy Mt Forist. I thoroughly recommend it.
Valley Cycling:
Last weekend was the annual Bike For Books benefit ride for the North Conway Library. Iíve done it several years in a row and really enjoy it. Last year I did it with Joe & Judy, Fred Keith and some other friends and it was a blast. This year Judy was unavailable so Joe and I did it alone. We did the Intermediate version of the ride which took us on a 20 mile circumnavigation of North Conway. We started at Whittiker Woods, stayed mostly in the woods over to Cranmore, rode single-track to Sticks & Stones off Artist Falls, more s-t past Redstone to the Conway Police Station off East Conway Road, took the Conway Rec Path along the Saco to Rt 16, crossed the road and went through the covered bridge over the Swift and down West Side Road to the next covered bridge where there was a rest stop. From there we continued down West Side Road, took a left on Passaconaway Road and eventually took a right on High Street. From here we climbed up to the gate where we continued downhill on logging road to the entrance to Joeís Alibi, up the s-t and into the back of Haleís Location, through Haleís to some more s-t that connects to Echo Lake and then on the road back to Whittaker Woods, with a small detour back behind Easter Slope Inn.

I do this ride a couple of times a summer with friends as something different to do and I do recommend it. You can extend it so that you end up doing as much as 30 miles. The only downside is the sections of road, and maybe one day weíll manage to find a way to do it all in the woods. Regardless this great benefit ride happens every summer in late September so keep your ears open for it.

Instant Bug Report - BugCON 1:

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Lightly hazed in blue mist, the tiny, clustered town - pale pebbles and mica flashes of light - was no more than stony shingle at the bottom of a deep pool.
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