NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 9:59a on 08/08/20 - Temperature: 73.3 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 73.3 °F - Barometric pressure: 30.052 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 68 %
BugCON 3: blackflys in blood feast and/or bad mosquitoes
3 out of a possible 5
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May 21, 2020

Hi Folks,

Heavens to Murgatroyd folks...it's Memorial Day Weekend! What would normally be a full-on crazy busy weekend with folks coming up here and going crazy for the 3 day weekend, will still see a ton of people coming up here and going crazy! Only this time there are no hotel/motel rooms, the private campgrounds are only open to NH residents and many of the National Forest campgrounds are also closed. Hmmm, gotta wonder if you should make the trip doesn't it?

Last Sunday I went up in Crawford Notch to ride Mt Clinton Road. I've done this many times in all seasons because there is never any traffic and it's a nice 7 mile round trip. On the way back around 3 pm I counted 76 cars from the Notch end of the road down to Elephant Head. I just gotta guess it was a wee bit difficult to socially-distance on the trails, or at the very least on summits like Mt Willard and the like. One would think that folks might consider going some place else when they pull up to a trailhead, find the parking lot closed, cars already parked along the road as far as you can see and you're in the middle of a pandemic. But since it's finally feeling like summer in the White's at last, so I understand the attraction. What can I say tho, after all it was my choice to live in a tourist destination. Not that I ever had any thought it would be like this.

Someone direct-messaged me the other day to ask if Cathedral and Whitehorse were still closed! I thought I had made it clear that they haven't been closed at all, but maybe I didn't. There has been a somewhat confusing shutdown of a mishmash of trailheads in the Whites, and for a while Diana's Baths was closed (it's now reopened) but the cliffs were never closed. In fact there have been climbers out on most nice days.

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/CathedralLedge.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/ElephantHead.jpg

But in general there are far more hikers and walkers out than climbers at this time. The gate to the top of Cathedral has remained closed, but there are constantly cars parked along the road and people walking to the top.

TODD SWAIN ICE GUIDE:
I've known Todd for quite some time, and of course I own all of his guidebooks. I've known for many years that he's had a guide for Southern New England and Eastern New York in progress. But now it's official. The books will be printed in South Korea and should be in hand in 14-16 weeks. It guide covers 200 areas in seven states and is 496 pages long. I've climbed ice at many obscure crags in New England over the years, but this should open up a ton more opportunities. I've read the introduction and history sections and I think he's done a great job. I'm really looking forward to getting my copy and I'm sure it will be a big success.

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/SwainIceGuide.jpg

CLIMBING DURING THE PANDEMIC:
I heard about an Access Fund "webinar" earlier in the week and immediately posted it on the NEClimbs FB page. I expected to get a lot of comments about it. Amazingly there wasn't a single one! While IMO there was a fair amount of fluff, I thought that the comments and observations by Dr Pottinger at 9:20 and again at 57:00 were worth the price of admission. In addition it was quite interesting to hear what the guy from the Gunks had to say. I do think it's well worth watching.

https://vimeo.com/418690906?fbclid=IwAR0AKkixQq6hk4KkaKOOeC-lWNC_RKgHkh-1P68ze3BpPAJXSOzuesW3bZ8

Along the same lines, here is something the Canadian guide and mountaineer Barry Blanchard posted on his FB page that he said was from Patagonia. I think it makes some great points.

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/Patagonia-BarryBlanchard.jpg

And here is a part of an email I received a few days ago from the AMC‘s InterChapter Climbing Committee. I think this makes some very good points.

Local Climbing Organizations, Access Fund, partner organizations and land managers throughout the Northeast have been in discussions regarding what it means for us as society begins to reopen. Between being cooped up inside, gyms being closed, and nicer weather upon us, we sympathize with your desire to get out and climb. However, we are also concerned about how our behavior may impact the current situation as we head back out to the crag. When that time comes or if you do plan on climbing, please keep these notes in mind.

Distance: With high levels of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, traveling outside your local area may adversely affect mitigation efforts in our region, and contribute to the spread of the virus.

Density: We have a lot of climbers and only so many climbing areas. Too many people at a crag will make it difficult to practice social distancing; not only for fellow climbers but also for park employees, rangers, and trailhead volunteers. It may also overwhelm infrastructures such as parking areas, public resources, and trails and belay areas.

WHAT ARE WE ASKING:
-Know and follow government regulations and health guidelines for your area.

-Do not climb at areas that are not currently open, or on private or restricted property - this could impact longer-term access. Check with your Local Climbing Organization, or refer to the list of closures maintained by the Access Fund at  https://bit.ly/CragClosures.

-If you do go climbing, Stay Local - the closer you stay to your home the less chance for you and others to be affected by the virus. Less than a 30-minute distance is ideal.

-Respect rural communities that are still urging climbers not to visit.

-Don’t go to the crag if you’re having any COVID-19 symptoms or think you may have been exposed.

-You could be an asymptomatic carrier, so try to climb with those in your household or those you have been in routine close contact with.

-Try to limit your group size to only you and your partner.

-Don’t add to the burden on our first responders - select objectives that are well within your limit and climb cautiously. If an accident were to occur, it could put more people, besides the climbers, at risk of infection.

-Avoid busy climbing areas and crowded trailheads. If you encounter a busy trailhead or crag, go to a second option, and maybe even a third or go home.

-Don’t put the rope or gear in your mouth.

-Don’t climb directly next to someone. Apply the six to ten-foot social distance guideline to your route selection.

-Use hand sanitizer before and after climbing a route, belaying, and snacking.

-Bring your mask and wear it when passing other parties on the trail or at the base. Consider belaying in your mask as well.

-Be self-sufficient with food and water, and try to limit your use of public resources.

-Be prepared to dig a cat hole or use a wag bag if public restrooms are unavailable.

-Avoid sprawling your belongings at the base of a route. Minimize the need for other people to touch your gear.

Our personal decisions on if, when, and how we climb will impact our communities on a level we could never have imagined before. We are asking for your help to keep our crags and communities safe in an effort to keep them open. Do what you can now so we can all climb in the future.
VALLEY CYCLING:
The trails in the Valley have been quite busy lately, too busy for me actually. So I've ridden up in Crawford Notch twice this week. Last Sunday I rode Mt Clinton Road and on Wednesday Jefferson Notch Road. Both are go-to rides for me, pandemic notwithstanding. Both are generally rarely busy and provide you will around 7 miles of nice riding, tho of course Jefferson Notch Road is 900+ feet of uphill the whole way. This time it had 4 blowdowns, 3 of which I actually had to carry the bike over! I was also pretty disgusted to see that someone had left an N95 right where you park on the road! If I'd had some gloves and something to put it in that sealed I would have picked it up. http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/JeffersonNotch_1.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/JeffersonNotch_2.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/JeffersonNotch_3.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20200521/JeffersonNotch_4.jpg

I also drove up to the base of the Cog and there were 20 cars in the lot!

INSTANT BUG REPORT - BUGCON 1:
Well the black-fly and mosquitoes are out now, and depending on where you are they may be biting. They weren't out at all in the Notch, but they are here in the Valley. Fortunately they aren't biting yet. At least at my house and on the trails around here. But it's looking to be brutal soon.

PLEASE STAY SAFE AND STAY NEAR YOUR HOME FRIENDS

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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


The wall was the ambition. The style bacame the obsession.
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