NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 10:59p on 07/04/22 - Temperature: 58.8 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 58.8 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.974 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 45 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
Savage Mountain GearThe ACCESS Fund, Protect America's ClimbingNorthEast MountaineeringMount Washington Valley Climbers Cooperativethe American Alpine Club
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June 22, 2017

Hi Folks,

Sometimes it is just really hard to settle in and write a Report. 18 years is a long time to be writing a weekly blog. it would be one thing if I were a politician or a rock star and had all these fantastic things happening to or around me every week to write about. Imagine if I were working in DC, in the Capital and could first-hand observe all the goings-on in the government. Or I was on the road touring with Roger Waters. Or even was a monster free soloist like Alex Honnold! Now THEN I would have something to talk about.

But I'm just this old guy, bordering on 70, living up here in the hinterlands and trying to stay active and avoid getting old. Like many folks I have a few things bugging me, like a slightly torn left rotator cuff, a little arthritis in my ankle and a back that bugs me on a fairly regular basis. I am confident that there are many of you in similar situations. If you wonder why I do all the stuff that I do - the cycling, climbing, going to the gym daily, playing music, etc. - quite honestly it's 'cause I firmly believe in the "use it or loose it" and "...a body in motion..." adages. Sure they are overused, but I know about it first hand. When my dad retired at 70, he quit doing almost everything. He basically sat around and watched TV all the time, ballooned up to over 300 pounds and lost interest in most of life. He lived to 92, but the last 10 years weren't anything to write home about let me tell you. I don't want that to happen to me!

I had a pretty annoying bout of back pain and getting diagnosed with the rotator cuff problem 3-4 years ago. I didn't want to get my rotator cuff fixed, because it would mean not being able to play music, climb or ride my mountain bike for close to a year according to my Orthopedic surgeon. So I did a couple of rounds of of PT, joined a local gym and started working out. I wasn't excited about it, but I had done it many years ago and knew that to make it work I had to build it into my schedule - make it a part of my life. And that's what I did. Tho I didn't want to get up early in the mornings, I got into a routine of dropping my kid off at the HS at 7:30 and going to the gym then. I do this even on the daze that I'm going cycling or climbing that day. I just adjust my workout appropriately. I started working on the elliptical trainer and have managed to get it up to 30 minutes at a good clip. I do a whole series of free weights that I rotate through every day or so. And possibly most important for my back, I always do 15 minutes of stretches and at least one 3" plank. Yes, I've worked up the weights, but they aren't massive. I can bench 145' 3x and do 3 sets of 115' lat pulldowns, plus a lot of things tailored to strengthen my shoulders and core. I certainly can't say that this would be good for everyone. But it's very good for me. My OT has said repeatedly that as you get older you absolutely benefit from doing weight training to keep your bones strong. I have seen a lot of people my age and older get fragile and then a small fall is catastrophic. That is something I want to avoid as best I can. Since I go to the gym 4-6 times a week at basically the same time I see mostly the same folks every day. Some are in good shape, some great, and some are a big time work in progress. But everybody is striving for the same thing, to stay healthy and feel good. When my back and shoulder were bothering me all the time, I didn't feel good and didn't want to do the things that I love to do. Right now I generally feel good and enjoy living every day to the fullest that I can. We are all going to get older, but if you feel good it won't bother you as much.

Just a thought...or two.
I've ridden on the east and west sides this week. In spite of the rain we had last week and weekend, things have dried out very well. Almost everything is in good shape at this time. I was on the Marshall network this afternoon and it's in excellent condition. The new Muzzy Bench at the top of upper Shumway is a very nice addition, and will be nicer in the fall when there aren't so many mosquitoes. I spotted a new trail that starts on the left side of the landing on the main road uphill of where Lower Shumway crosses the road and becomes Upper Shumway. It's a very nice addition to what is already a great trail network.

Sure, there are hardly any black flies out there, I'll give you that. But don't tell me there aren't any bugs. The fact of the matter is that the mosquitoes are absolutely BRU-TAL! Honestly this are probably the worst, or close to the worst, that I've ever seen. I go for a bike ride and if I don't spray up, I can't stop. Now maybe that's a good thing in a way, 'cause I have to pump it more. [wry grin] Regardless, if you're climbing you surely want to spray up.

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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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

I've tried many sports, but climbing is the best. The beauty of this sport is that no matter how good you get, you can always find a way to challenge yourself.
Randy Leavitt
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