NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:59p on 06/28/22 - Temperature: 71.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 71.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.976 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 20 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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April 2, 2020

Hi Folks,

WOW...things have certainly changed a lot over the past week, and they are changing pretty continually at this point. It's difficult to keep up with everything that's happening, and I've been struggling with actually writing at this time. I am doing some music and video work that's keeping me busy, plus taking 1 or 2 short/medium walks every day. But for someone as used to lots of activity as I am, it's tough. And I know it's the same for you all too.

As I mentioned last week here and on FB, Rumney is officially closed. And in the past few days the private owner of The Pound property, the Rumney bouldering area, has posted his property as No Trespassing. This was due to the crowds over the past week and weekend who were obviously not adhering to the Stay At Home order nor Social Distancing guidelines. Frankly it's not at all that surprising, as IMO the climbing and outdoor community overall has not taken this seriously enough. The 400+ people in the Ravine last weekend, 50% or more of whom were not local and traveling in groups, prompted the Forest Service to finally declare the winter season officially closed, and then on Wednesday to officially close the Cutler River Drainage altogether. This includes Tucks, Huntington and Gulf Of Slides. There will be no more Avalanche Bulletins and no SAR for anyone having difficulties! It is my understanding that the parking areas at the trailheads on the Franconia Notch side have been blockaded and posted, which is great news.

This is the real deal, and we have ALL got to do everything we can to flatten the curve of this horrible disease. The predictions coming out of Washington and the infectious disease community have started to somewhat converge over the past several days. Even the President, at least for the moment, has seemingly embraced the reality being put forth by the medical community. At a press conference 2 days ago, Dr's Fauchi and Birk painted a very grim scenario - at BEST 200,000+ Americans are likely to die of Covid-19 over the next 60 days. Think about that for a minute. In a BEST CASE SCENARIO 200,000 individuals are likely to DIE! Looking at this in a very overly simplistic manner, that could be as many as 4,000 people in every state in the Union. Let's cut that number in a quarter - say 1,000, dead in smaller states like NH. That will make it likely that you are personally going to know someone who dies from this disease. Your next door neighbor, parent, grandparent, son, daughter, significant other, friend, climbing partner. Make no mistake - every single one of us will be impacted. No one is immune.

Yup, this is somber. There is no way to sugar coat it. The tragedy is world wide. You can see it in the media - and if you don't believe the national media reports, you can see it in personal written and video reports on social media. This is NO JOKE! My older son David and his girlfriend live in Brooklyn. He assures me that this is FACT - and he has absolutely no reason to bullshit with me. They are isolating the best that they can, but they are terrified. And I don't blame them. I am very worried, and I live here in the hinterlands. I am very cautious when I go out, and as much as possible at this time I simply don't.

Our Governor has imposed a Stay At Home Order, but has unfortunately exempted many businesses, hotels and Air-B&B's. We still have people coming up here from other places and that is putting a significant strain on our resources. I mentioned last week that up here we have limited hospital facilities; in this area only Littleton and Memorial. Sure here in New Hampshire we are a little more isolated from what's going on than in more populous areas, but make no mistake it is right here in our little Valley. The only county in the state with no "confirmed" cases is Coos, where there are very few people to start with. And without testing it's likely that this number is false.

The one thing to be sure of is that this is a NOT hoax, NOT fake news and NOT some kind of plot to scuttle the President's reelection possibilities. I have been posting announcements on FaceBook with information about closings and generally what's happening up here. I have been urging people to NOT come up here, #StayTheFuckAtHome. Please don't come up to climb, to ski, ride or hike. I am urging people not to post pictures of climbs that they are doing on the sly. I see far too many out of state tags on cars for this time of year. While most seem to understand my point of view, there are certainly those with a different attitude and agenda. At least one has posted the concept that it's more important that the economy survive, than the people. My cousin lives in east Texas and on Monday night Dan Patrick, Texas’ Republican lieutenant governor, suggested that he and other grandparents would be willing to risk their health and even lives in order for the United States to “get back to work” amid the coronavirus pandemic. I am sorry, but I am NOT willing to take that risk and frankly, I find this attitude abhorrent! Another person has basically stated that none of this applies to them. That they can will climb wherever and whenever they want - it's their body and they can and will do whatever they want. Again I find this attitude unconscionable. Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. One person does something, it affects us all. If you touch someone else, you have now touched everyone they have touched.

In they past I have allowed people to post whatever they want on my FB page and overall encourage discussion. However, in this case I have changed my mind. I will no longer allow posts that promote doing things that are against what is generally considered the common good. On top of that I will not allow postings that are clearly not true, promote conspiracy theories, or god forbid QAnon. By all means go for it if you like, that is your business of course. However you will not be allowed to promote it on my pages PERIOD! And don't send that stuff to me because I will immediately delete it and block you.

All you have to do is to drive around to the back of Memorial Hospital to see the tent setup for triage and the refrigerator truck that's prepositioned as a possible portable morgue. I have close friends who are doctors and nurses, and all are concerned - to put it mildly. This is the real deal. This is no hoax, no fake news, not bullshit. The pandemic was not started to derail DJT's reelection campaign. It is not a deep state plot.


Stay home, wash your hands and keep your distance. And if you don't like what I say, by all means feel free to unsubscribe.


Please stay safe and do the right thing. I truly hope to see you all on the cliffs when it's safe to do so.

Enjoy a multimedia presentation about a solo ascent of Repentance and Remission, the steps that led to the climb, and the amazing denizens of North Conway who enjoy the bizarre sport of ice climbing! We'll be taking donations for the International Committee of the Red Cross to support their coronavirus relief efforts worldwide.

This fundraiser is going to be held on Facebook Live on April 10 starting at 7PM.

I will no longer be including the local weather with this newsletter. If you don't live here, you have no need of the up to date conditions in the Valley. If you live here, you know already what it is... Read the following -

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) along with state and federal officials, strongly advise against unnecessary travel, especially into high-risk backcountry areas of the White Mountains. MWO will continue to provide its higher summits forecast for operational and educational purposes.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

The grades for crack climbing in Indian Creek are hard, harder, and anatomically incorrect.
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