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
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May 15, 2020

Hi Folks,

I truly hope this week finds you all safe. Last week I asked what people were doing with themselves during this strange time. I didn't expect a lot of folks to reply, but a few did - and it was about what I expected. Some were looking at this as somewhat of a vacation, some working hard from home, some taking advantage of the time to do some things that they had put off, some not really making any changes in their lives, others are pissed off and resent the concept of stay-at-home, a few are working in their gardens, and some are just hunkering down on their own. Kind of about how society as a whole is doing I would guess.

The weather has been very up and down, with some very nice spring days, and a few crappy ones. Like waking up to this:

And the folks further north got 4+ inches. The weather pundits said that Mt Washington has gotten 2 1/2' of snow this month. SHEESH! We've had a couple of very nice days this week, but it looks like a big front & rain will be coming through this afternoon/tonite. I'm hoping that things will stabilize soon and we can fully embrace spring/summer. Fingers crossed...

While I am not getting out climbing, just riding the bike working on music and walking for the most part, I've started seeing people out climbing on Cathedral and Whitehorse. Today was gorgeous and around 3pm after my bike ride I drove down to check if the gate had been opened. There were a ton of cars parked along Cathedral Ledge Road, from one end to the other. I saw a number of climbers getting gear out of their cars and I could see people on the cliff. Not quite what you would see on a normal spring day, but more than I expected I suppose. I must say that I'm envious. Riding and hiking are good, but I really miss climbing with my friends. However since I don't have a significant other who climbs, I'm not personally quite ready to take that step yet. This "asymptomatic carrier" thing just has me too concerned right now. I suppose there will likely be a time when that will change, but not quite yet.

A few pix from a morning walk on Wednesday. This is the End Of Days craig where the infamous Drip In The Woods pillar forms:

Note the new blazes for the Bryce Path.

So I'm still looking for a way to go out climbing with a non-significant-other and still feel safe about it. I've read a lot of medical stuff that unfortunately just doesn't give me personally a lot of confidence at this point. I dunno, maybe if there was a daily test or I was 30+ years younger, I might feel better about rolling the dice. Or if there was a therapy that seemed to be good, that might swing things in that direction. But from everything I read, that's not here quite yet. I have my fingers crossed tho.

I've been thinking about guiding and guide services as well. I have been a rock and ice guide and have many friends and colleagues who are as well. I know that it's been tough for them. I'm considering talking to the guides and guide services I know to see how they are considering approaching this. I have heard that some private guides are looking towards going back to work. I fully understand how those who are fully dependent on guiding for their incomes might well be assessing the risks. And considering the fact that they all are generally less risk-adverse than most people, I get it. Anyway, I think it would be interesting and informative to get their take on how they're doing and how they think this is going to play out for them. I'm not sure how or if they would respond, but it's on my short list...
As I've said before, being out on the bike is what I do most for exercise right now. But because of crowding at many places, whenever the trailheads are even close to full I've been going other places and doing more exploring. Today was one of my more interesting rides. Last week when I rode Town Hall Road I actually noticed the gated fire road (labeled FR-234) to the right of the main gate by the parking lot. I had some time Thursday between some music projects and the weather was perfect, so I headed back up there. I noticed that there were 5 cars parked in the lot, all from different states: NH, MA, NY, ME and VT!

What was also very interesting is that the fire road is amazingly wide and well maintained. It almost looks like a ski slope. There were a couple of trees down from the winter, but the road itself is in great shape and it is obvious that people walk it regularly. It just keeps going up and up, with the main road itself ending at a landing, with a small trail (more an old logging road) that continues quite a ways. I hiked for another 2/10 of a mile across several small stream-crossings. Eventually it obviously continued, but really narrowed down. I was alone and didn't have any hiking shoes so I decided to save this bit for another day. At home I looked it up on a Forest Service map. Tho it shows the trail ending, it looks as if it might actually end up in Chatham. This would be a fun explore some time, perhaps in the fall. Here's the map...


FWIW there were several marked offshoots from the main road, but they were not maintained so I didn't explore any of them.

Yup.... It's started. The black flies are out there, as are the ticks. You know what to do friends. Bug dope and tick checks!

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.

High pressure builds and passes to our south Thursday as low pressure approaches from the west for passage on Friday. As the ridge builds and slides to the east Thursday, winds will decrease and shift to a milder return flow. Dry air will keep skies generally sunny until the afternoon when high clouds will start to move in from the west. Overnight, low pressure approaches and swings a warm front northeast allowing clouds to thicken and lower. Showers will spread in after midnight and pick up in intensity heading into Friday as the low passes and drags a cold front through. Afternoon instability Friday could lead to pockets of heavier rain and possibly even a stray thunderstorm or two, especially for the southern half of the state. Overnight, steady precipitation will give way to more showery activity. As the low passes and exits, winds will once again be increasing Friday night into Saturday.


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:
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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

I think a lot about climbing still, but not during the daytime. I think about it mostly at night, and on special occasions. I think about climbing when I am fed up with life in general. When I whish I could go over to the rocks or the trees. I enjoy my dreams about climbing.
Fritz Wiessner
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