NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 2:29p on 06/28/22 - Temperature: 74.0 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 74.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.967 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 18 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
Equinox Guiding Service LLCSavage Mountain GearMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeInternational Mountain Climbing Schoolthe American Alpine Club
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July 18, 2020

Hi Folks,

I know I keep talking abut the weather, but holy cow Batman! We had a couple of days earlier this week when my phone and the TV literally went nuts giving me alerts about storms and possible Flash Floods. Tuesday morning it really got very real with the sky turning almost black, constant thunder and lightning, pea sized hail coming down and almost 2 inches of rain falling in less than an hour! And on Monday a storm brought what was probably the loudest clap of thunder I've ever heard. Truly amazing...

Every day I wanted to go climbing, it rained. So no rock for me this week. [SNIF] I have used some of that time to further embrace my battery powered chain saw. I've scavenged over a cord of wood this spring, so that's good. Further on the plus side, I have gotten in some good rides. I had to drop off my car at the Subaru dealer this morning on Rt 302 and rode the road-bike home. It was the first time on the road since May when the traffic in town started to increase and my friend Dick Devellian was killed on his bike near the Scenic Vista. When I pulled out of the dealer onto Rt 16 I was VERY aware of just how much traffic was on the road, and how many big trucks there were. I hung a right at the cutoff by Dunkin Donuts the takes you past the Ham Arena to avoid some of the traffic and came home via West Side Road. It's only a paltry 9 miles, but I'll take it. I think I'll ride back over there on the mountain bike via the Red's Trail logging road. No reason to temp the fates a second time.

It looks as if the weather tomorrow will be funky, but the weekend will be mostly rain-free. Of course it's mid-July, so there is always a possibility of a thunderstorm and the pundits are predicting it to be very hot and humid. Pretty typical for this time of year.

The country is clearly doing poorly overall managing the spread of the virus, and in many places in taking care of those who are sick. As of Thursday morning we have lost over 137,000 American citizens to this disease and some models are calling for over 225,000 deaths by November 1st! To my mind those are crazy numbers. As I predicted 3 months ago, we are starting to reach the point where every one of us will know someone who has gotten seriously ill or died from the virus! I grew up in the South and have close family in both Texas and California, where it is running rampant. I talk weekly with by 80 year old cousin in East Texas. She lives alone in her house, rarely goes anywhere, and she is afraid. Friends and family in Florida are definitely worried, especially those in South Florida.

As I'm sure you are aware, there are only a few states, mostly in New England, that are doing reasonably well at this time. One of them of course is New Hampshire. We have had 394 deaths with a fatality rate of 6.44%, compared to 114 in Maine and 56 in Vermont. Our southern neighbor Massachusetts has tallied over 8,000 deaths, while Canada has had less than 9,000! [HMMM] While NH is seemingly doing well, the numbers are starting to creep up. Initially 80% of our deaths were related to nursing homes and long term care facilities, that has started to shift somewhat to the general population. As a small state we have only 43 available ICU beds available at this time. NH has "opened up" now, and with the influx of tourists (basically from everywhere) an increase in cases is not surprising at all. There are plans to open the schools this fall and that has many parents justifiably concerned. I know if I was a teacher, I wouldn't go back into a classroom at this time; nor would I send my child back into a school and I have many friends who feel the same...

Word has it that Walmart, SAM'S Club and a group of other large retailers are joining COSTCO in requiring masks. This will start either next week or by the end of the month. Considering how this thing is going, most folks up here think that's a good idea. If Hannaford and Shaw's would join in, it would set the tone for retail in the community and definitely have a positive impact. While some would certainly resist, with all grocery stores on board, it would send quite a message.

As someone who has played music in pretty much every restaurant and bar in the community, I know all the owners. It is disturbing to hear how many are getting significant blow-back from customers about their requiring masks. Everyone is simply trying to manage what is a difficult situation, so if you come up here PLEASE be nice. As you come into Conway Village on Rt 16the sign below is on your right. If you want us to stay open, please take it to heart.

I came across this the other day & it's quite interesting.

Prior to the big storms earlier in the week, all the MTB trails were in very good shape. During Tuesday's downpour my front yard was literally under water, however, the ground is still very dry and it soaked right in. So I really doubt we have a lot of mud anywhere out there. That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there wasn't a fair amount of blow-down. If you have a folding saw I would bring it with you. Trail work is always appreciated!

Last Friday was again a very hot one so I decided to head back up to Crawford Notch and ride the almost fully shaded Mt Clinton Road down to the Base Road. The road was quite nice and as always there were very few cars. For some reason when I got to the intersection I decided to continue on up to the Cog. It's not that much of a climb, but it was fully in the sun on the blacktop and it was brutal. The Cog was running with only a single car. As I was riding up the Base Rd I noticed this interesting slash that looked like it was right of the Andrusacoggin Ravine Trail, quite a ways right of the Cog. I hadn't noticed it before. It looks kind of like a slide.

I get the feeling that the bugs are starting be be on the decline right now. I'm not getting clobbered every time I go out, tho I'm also not standing around at a belay stance or walking slowly in the deep woods. When I'm sitting in the back yard at my fire-ring in the evening, it's not bad either. I still keep the bug-dope in the pack, but if this trend continues I'll definitely drop the rating next week. Stay tuned.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

I was once bouldering in solitude in the Needles, when a young female walked up and introduced herself and asked who I was. I told her and continued bouldering. She turned and walked away after a few minutes, saying over her shoulder: 'you can't be John Gill. He climbs much better than that'.
John Gill
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