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October 19, 2017

Hi Folks,

Just in case you've haven't been noticing, yes it's been a warm fall. Of course that's no predictor of the upcoming winter, but it is somewhat unusual. In point of fact, if October were to end today it would be the warmest October on record! Couple that with the fact that New Hampshire, and much of New England, is in an abnormal dry spell, and you have altogether a very interesting fall.

The fact is, the river and streams are all low, the forest is quite dry, and down here in the Valley the leaves aren't at peak color yet. I've heard a bunch of different explanations for the latter, most revolving around the abnormal warmth. Up in the Notches the leaves are actually past peak, so it's doubly unusual.

I finally got my woodpile stacked and started cleaning up the debris yesterday. It always makes me feel good to have 4 cord all ready to go and just waiting for the cold to set in. I've had a few small fires so far, but once we get continuous 30-40 degree days the wood stove goes on and rarely goes out for the duration.

While I was stacking wood I noticed an interesting caterpillar on the tree where I had my Bluetooth speaker propped. I have no idea what it is, but it's amazing. Check it out:

I was playing music over at a private party that overlooks the big lake on the weekend and there was an incredible sunset. Almost every night has been a good one, but I did get a couple of pictures of this one.

The weather looks good through the weekend, so it would be a great int to get outside and do something. That said, be sure to bring your headlamp and some warm clothes in case you are out after dark. It gets dark much earlier now and cools off quick.
In case you had forgotten, the 25 annual Ice Fest is coming up. Mark February 2-4 on your calendars and stay tuned. It's going to be a good one!

I've done some fun rides over the past 5-6 days, all right here in the general area. The most fun one was the East Pasture Loop in Jackson. If you haven't done this one, I heartily recommend it. You start at a small pullout parking area just below the entrance to Windy Hill Farm on Black Mountain Road, off Dundee Road. I did this on Monday with my buddy Phil O and his wife Ann. I've done it many times and this time of year it's pretty spectacular. It works out to a little less than 7 miles, with about 1,200 feet of elevation gained. Not too shabby... It's a part of the Jackson Ski Touring trails and fully in the White Mountain National Forest. Here are some pictures: There was an unfortunate incident over on the east side next to the popular Sticks and Stones trails on Sunday. Apparently a man from Maine was riding with a friend when he had a heart attack and died. A very sad scenario for sure.

Well with all this warm weather it's hard to think about the impending ice season, but it will get here sooner or later. I doubt there has been any significant ice in the Black Dike yet or even in Pinnacle, but even tho it was 72 here today it's only a matter of time. That means that I'll be starting the ice season Fundraiser next week so please start putting those nickels and dimes away boys & girls. I will really appreciate your support.

I guess the warm temps have kept some of the bug population around. I'm not saying you need bug dope, but be aware that the mosquitoes ARE out there. PLUS apparently there have been reports of places to our south where EEE mosquitoes have been found! Go figure.

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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Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post 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:

Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Profanity is about the best pro you'll get until the crack starts to narrow. Include doubles of profanity in the #6 to #8 range on your rack for this lead.
Bruce Bindner
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