NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 2:59p on 06/28/22 - Temperature: 73.4 °F - Wind speed: 3.0 mph - Wind chill: 73.4 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.972 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 18 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
the American Alpine ClubMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeFriends Of The LedgesNorthEast MountaineeringInternational Mountain Equipment
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May 7, 2020

Hi Folks,

I'm pretty certain I've said before that I rarely have a plan for what to write when I sit down to do up the week's Report. It just comes out of what I've been up to, or what's been going on in the Valley throughout the week. And over the past 20+ years there's almost always something happening that seems worth writing about. Of course 95% of it has always revolved around the outdoors, and for obvious reasons that's become more difficult.

As I've gotten older and become semi-retired, it could have become easy to just basically do nothing - or do little. After all, that's what my dad did after he retired. Al Senior was a very active guy who worked hard and played hard. But once he sold his business, he did a little traveling and then decided he didn't want to do anything more. So he spent the last probably 15 years of his life in front of the TV! He lived with us up here for about 7 years, before he had to go into a nursing home, and I saw what happened. I believe that because he didn't do anything, every day was just like the next. With no reason to get up in the morning to go to work and no weekends to look forward to, there was nothing to distinguish one day from the next. The blue-glow of his television took the place of sunrise and sunset, and the main thing that he had to look forward to were meals.

I think that for many people, that's kind of what it's like now. Maybe not quite as much for people living in places like the Valley, but certainly for most others. No longer going to work, no external schedule, it's like retirement without the benefits. Trapped in a sort of limbo, inside or very near your home, with none of the perks you've used to make life tolerable. When my ex and I lived in Boston, we worked hard all week and then escaped to New Hampshire on the weekends. Climbing, hiking, riding our bikes and doing stuff outdoors were what made our lives tolerable. I talk to many of you, and I know that's the case for you as well. Of course with what's happening now, for the most part that's not possible. Valley hotels, motels, restaurants and stores are for the most part shuttered and even most trailheads are closed. Maine has made things even more difficult, requiring anyone visiting from out of state to quarantine for 2 weeks! In NH while some of the private campgrounds are opening, it's only to New Hampshire residents and you will have to show ID! YUP!

Altho I do have a place to recreate out my back door that many of you don't have, and I certainly make a point of getting out there to utilize it, I too struggle with the schedule thing. The way I avoid the every-day-is-the-same trap is multi-folded. One is to make myself adhere to a daily schedule. I get up early, have my coffee, go for a walk and eat breakfast. Then it's 30 minutes of playing Bach on the bass, work on projects and eat dinner at 7:30. Secondly deliberately differentiate the days. I used to do Taco-Tuesday with my friends at Jalisco. We can't do that obviously, so we do a Tuesday evening Taco-Less Zoom hookup. And there are other similar types of things that make the week feel like a week - like Sunday before noon I go to the dump. The other things is to make lists. Short term lists contain items like cleaning house or watering the garden or going for a ride, medium ones like planting more bulbs in the front flower beds or reseeding and fertilizing the back yard, and bigger ones like fixing the rotting sill on the breezeway door or completely revamping my studio. The latter is a huge task that's been on that list for a month! And yes, I've already gone through all my climbing gear, not that I have any idea when I'm going to use it next... [sigh] But the point is that keeping to a daily schedule and crossing things off my list keeps me focused. Of course I actually do still work to some extent. People hire me to edit and assemble video and even pay me to play bass on their tunes. Those are things that keep me in the NOW. I admit that many of these are things that to some extent I was doing prior to the virus. But I've expanded on them and for me they work.

So what are you doing to keep yourself together in these uncertain times? Post something on my Facebook page, of drop me an email. I'm quite interested in what you folks are doing to cope. We're all in this same boat right now.
The Appalachian Mountain Club has announced that it will be closing its high mountain huts for the season as well as other facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, both Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and the Highland Center at Crawford Notch are still slated to open July 1.


The weather has been pretty nice this week, so I have gotten out on the bike almost every day. I've done short rides close by on the Echo Lake trails, done a bigger loop over to the Mineral Site off High Street and back down what used to be called Sherwood Forest, ridden a still somewhat snowy Town Hall Road past Mountain Pond and Slippery Brook, used a trip to the post office as an excuse to road bike ride into town and ridden some of the East Side trails in the Sticks & Stones area. Everything is in generally good shape. The trail-elves have been doing some leaf blowing and I've moved trees and limbs off the trails where necessary. The big thing has been finding places where the trail traffic is low. As much as I like the Marshall trails and the stuff off the top of Hurricane Mt Road, I've been avoiding them because they are so popular. I rode Sticks & Stones this morning for the first time in a while only because when I rode by there were only a handful of cars. If the lot had been crowded I would have gone elsewhere. Honestly, I wish other folks would do the same. If you go somewhere to ride, or hike or whatever, have a Plan B folks. Don't be the person who wedges their car into an already full lot, or parks half on the road because you're going to do that ride or hike regardless. This is not the time for crowds. Just sayin'...

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mount Washington Observatory along with state and federal officials, strongly advise against unnecessary travel, especially into high-risk backcountry areas of the White Mountains. During this time, the Observatory will continue to update and provide a morning higher summits forecast for operational and education purposes.

A coastal low that moved to our south offshore overnight will pass eastward just as a low moves in from the northwest from over the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, another area of low pressure forms over the southwest United States which will deepen as an upper level trough builds aloft Thursday and Friday. This low pressure system will likely arrive with rain and snow Friday night. With some lingering moisture, some mid-level clouds will remain in the area this morning with some interspersed periods of sunshine later on today. With the approaching low tonight, clouds will thicken as a cold front passes through the region. Friday morning will start with partly cloudy skies as the surface low passes to the northeast and prevailing westerlies take over. Low pressure will move up the coast Friday night, bringing snow and rain across the northeast with the passage of a cold front towards the end of the forecast period, beginning at around midnight.

MY NOTE about the upcoming weekend's weather... It seems that the polar vortex is throwing a tizzy this spring. The prediction for the weekend is for closer temps with rain, sleet, and likely snow up here Saturday and Sunday. It's not like this has never happened before, but it's not really a great thing to have happen in the midst of everything else. Just be aware that it ain't going to be a great weekend.


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

If you take risk out of climbing, it 's not climbing anymore.
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