NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 11:29p on 07/04/22 - Temperature: 57.8 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 57.8 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.976 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 49 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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June 18, 2020

Hi Folks,

The weather right now is a strong case for the old - be careful what you wish for. I have been very annoyed at the cool days and downright chilly nights we've been having lately. So when I've been forced to pull up my quilt in the middle of the night, I've thought "Damnit, when is it going to get hot. It's mid-June already!" Well here we are... 80+ yesterday, 90's in the works for the rest of the week and a heat-wave for all. Time to grab the early morning hikes and late evening pitches, assuming you have a safe partner...

I did get out climbing for a bit this Monday and it felt wonderful. As I don't have a significant other to climb with, I have to trust that my partner is as cautious as I am about my health. We went to a location we knew would not be crowded, and it was not. We climbed only bolted routes, each brought our own draws, had and used hand sanitizer and had masks available for use any time we got close - tho since we were effectively top-roping that was not necessary. We did 3 routes. Each of us lead the route, putting the rope through the rings and being lowered, and pulling our own gear on the way down. We still had to touch the rope, but use of hand sanitizer and being careful not to touch our faces made us feel at least reasonably protected.

For those of you who live to the South and go to the Gunks, they are reopening for climbing on Monday, June 22nd!

“Since our phased reopening began, we have experienced an unprecedented surge in visitation and have been actively expanding our capacity by hiring and training new trailhead staff and engaging volunteers to help with parking and visitor management. With these additional resources in place, we’re now confident that we can safely reintroduce climbing, bouldering, scrambling, and horseback riding at the Preserve.”

Parking will be limited and hours strictly enforced, so be aware. You don't want to be locked in and/or ticketed!

-- Gunks Climbing/Bouldering Guidelines

Limit your group size to no more than four.
Don’t add to the burden on our first responders – climb, or boulder cautiously.
Avoid busy climbing areas and crowded trailheads.
Don’t climb or boulder directly next to someone – use the 6- to 10-foot social distance guideline.
Avoid sprawling your belongings at the base of a route.
Don’t put the rope or gear in your mouth and use hand sanitizer.
Bring your mask and wear it on the trail or at the base.
Consider belaying, bouldering or scrambling wearing your mask.
Consider weekday visits for less-crowded conditions.
Due to increased visitation, consider alternative routes with less pedestrian and cyclist traffic.

HEY - These sound like good suggestions for anywhere these days...

For more information and updates go here:

If you were climbing on Cathedral Ledge in the Thin Air area this week you might have noticed the trail work going on. This is part of a planned effort to deal with erosion and overuse on one of the more popular areas in the Valley. While they will be winding up today, they will be back the week of July 15th or so and work will continue through early October. Thanks to Yohann Hanley of the White Mountain Trail Collective and the Access Fund for their tireless efforts to preserve and maintain what we have.

The interview linked below is of disease expert and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering global pandemics Laurie Garrett, and is from the NPR show on Here And Now. I was driving to the grocery store on Tuesday when it came on NHPH and I pulled over to listen to the whole thing because it was so compelling. I urge you to listen to it's entire 11 minutes, but at least the last 3.

“Most of America doesn't think about people in nursing homes,” she says. “They're warehoused old people. We've already written them off.”

“It's time that we stop having such a callous attitude. You might not see it. They're (the dead) not rolled out on the sidewalk for your public viewing, and maybe you don't care about people over 80 years old,” she says. “Maybe you think anybody that's lived to be 70 has had an adequate life. I don't happen to agree. I find it deeply offensive.”

We're definitely in bug-city right now. Bug spray is darn close to mandatory now. You have been warned!!!

Yesterday, Wednesday, I decided to ride the access road at Cranmore to the top. I had no idea what I was thinking about! I've done it many times over the years, summer and winter, but not on a 80+ degree day. And on top of that I forgot to fully fill my water bottle! [sheesh] The access road is surprisingly popular as a hike year 'round, and as I rode up I saw a couple of folks on their way down. On the plus side, it's mostly in the shade all day. On the down side it's pretty rocky and there are a couple of steep sections. I've never been able to ride the whole thing, and yesterday was no different. I got about 2/3 of they way up the first steep bit, halfway up the second (not as long or as steep) and just got off and walked the third. If I'd brought a full water bottle I would have ridden the Cranmore Connector to the Red Tail, come down that one and ridden back to my car in the Cranmore lot. But I was just too dehydrated for that extended ride. Maybe next time.

I had to make a delivery to Tamworth today, so I decided to bring the bike and ride the gravel roads out from Chocorua Lake. These connect all over the area and you can easily get in several nice loops or out and backs. I've seen recent maps of various loops from my friends over the spring and since it's been a very long time since I've ridden out there, I figured what the heck. It was 90 degrees, but the gravel sections of the road is mostly in the shade and it wasn't too bad. I had a full water bottle this time, with ice and diluted Gatorade, and that helped a lot.

Plus you can jump in the lake when you're done. Highly recommended!

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

When you consider the ratio of adrenaline to dollars spent, I think ice climbing is a pretty economical.
Mike T (from the NEClimbs forum)
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