NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:59p on 06/28/22 - Temperature: 71.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 71.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.976 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 20 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
International Mountain EquipmentMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeFriends Of The LedgesNorthEast MountaineeringInternational Mountain Climbing School
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May 12, 2022

Hi Folks,

So both the weather & my schedule have finally collaborated to get me into a routine that I find very gratifying. I get to the gym 3-4 days a week for upper body work and stretches, and on top of that 2 days climbing and 2 more cycling. Most days add in an hour or two of practicing the bass for upcoming gigs, with only the gym on days when I have a music gig to preserve my hands and elbows. Shucks, if I can maintain this for a few months I might even improve on a couple of fronts. [wry grin]

I actually got out climbing twice this week. WOO WOO... One afternoon up at Mt Forist in Berlin and the other yesterday at Jockey Cap in Fryeburg. Mt Forist being my first rock lead of the season. While I climbed a pretty fair amount of ice this winter, there is just something about those first pitches on rock. Over the past 4-5 years I've done the early season tune-ups with Brad, but since he and his wife Barb are away, this year the task fell to Matty Bowman. I got to be on the sharp end for 5 nice pitches on a very dry Mt Forist. We did 2 pitches of Madigan, a pitch of NIBROCK and 2 pitches of a climb to the right of NIBROCK. The last pitch was a 5.8, and it felt all of that. Interestingly enough I had forgotten to bring my chalk bag that day. I didn't bother me at all on the first four 6/7 climbs. But on the 8, for some reason it really bothered me. I borrowed Matty's chalk bag and that gave me the little bit of confidence I needed to send. Go figure...

Yesterday Matty and I went over to Jockey Cap. This is one of my fave seasonal tune-up spots and it never disappoints. The weather was amazing and the sky was just so incredibly blue! He had never been there before, so it was fun to give him the tour. We started by doing the trad climb that starts on the left toe, goes over a little face, up and left through a broken crack up to the main headwall where you step left out on the face, clip a bolt and pad up to a 2 bolt anchor. From there you can easily sneaker over right to another anchor and either TR or lead several fun bolted lines. Then you can do the same a bit further right. You can also easily access these anchors from the top if you don't want to bring trad gear. This is a very sunny place with wonderful white granite that is wonderful in early and late seasons. The bouldering is also excellent.

And when you're done may I suggest heading to the Saco Brewing Company for one of their most excellent beers. One of the owners is an old climbing & cycling partners, Mason Irish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! And you can even see them from the top of the cliff!

Just so you know, I do generally like dogs. I've had several over my lifetime, the last one was a Rottie-Lab mix named Riley. He was a real sweetheart and great with everyone. I would occasionally take him to the cliff with me and sometimes, when there was no one else there, leave him untied. However, after a time when he tried to follow me from ledge to ledge on a climb at the South Buttress I started tying him up. He didn't like that very much so I eventually stopped bringing him altogether. George Hurley tells a story of a dog, owned by someone he knew well, that got wound up and nipped him - tearing a hole in a brand new pair of pants! Over the past few years I've seen more & more folks bringing their dogs everywhere. Even into the Frontside, Lowe's and once even into Hannaford! The other day in Lowe's two dogs, both on leashes, "got into it" right in the store! [WTF] To me all this seems to be and exercise in the "entitlement" mentality, and a bit out of control.

It came to mind as we were getting geared up yesterday at Jockey Cap when a couple came up with a pair of dogs. We saw them coming up the trail and for some reason, about 50' away, they took their dogs off their leashes. As they walked up, one of the dogs insisted on getting in my face, and then sitting on my pack and gear. It was highly annoying and no matter what I did nicely it wouldn't be shooed away. I finally lost my patience and let the woman know it was unacceptable. She finally dragged the dog away and thankfully they moved on.

Lots of places have restrictions on dogs and leashes. IMO it's important for people with dogs to understand that not everyone loves your dog as much as you do. When I'm out riding the bike in the woods I often come upon folks with dogs, many off leash. The usual statement is "Don't worry, my dog's great..." Which is true, until it isn't. I've had some very close calls with dogs trying to get at me on both road and mountain bike, so I'm pretty skittish about it. Honestly there may be many reasons for someone to not like dogs, including but not limited to previous incidents, allergies, fear and more. IMNSHO if someone lets you know that your dog is not welcome, you really should respond appropriately.
Once again someone has stolen the hangers on the little cliff at the top of Cathedral! [DAMN] This is just frikking STUPID...

Elevated fire weather conditions exist now, amid a continuing dry weather pattern. Extra caution should be taken to prevent wildfires.

1956 film of the making of Grivel ice axes and crampons in Italy.

Todd Swain pointed out that the thought that front points were cheating, is very interesting... [LOL]

Thanks to Todd for sending along these very interesting links.
It seems as if every couple of days either someone I know, or an acquaintance gets COVID. It's everywhere right now, and folks don't seem to be taking it seriously any more. Local bands are cancelling gigs, restaurants are closing temporarily because of one or more employees testing positive. Believe me, I want this all to be over, but it's not. At least being fully vaxed and double boosted gives me a significantly better possibility of not getting really sick. My 22 year old son always says "you do you". So I'm doing me, which means wearing a mask in crowded places, still washing my hands religiously and being pretty cautions who I'm around.

As we get very close to 1 million deaths directly attributed to the virus, PBS has been doing reporting on possible reasons for the resistance to both masking and vaccination. I found this both depressing and revealing. I urge you to have a look, it's short. Jump to 36:50 to see the report.

New Hampshire:
1 New death(s) reported
4,212 Active cases
608 Current hospitalizations for COVID
2,493 Total deaths due to COVID-19

United States:
Confirmed: 82,256,336
Deaths: 998,898

Confirmed: 519,748,728
Deaths: 6,259,219

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map:

I find JHU's Daily COVID-19 Data in Motion report to be very informative. It shares critical data on COVID-19 from the last 24 hours in a short 1 minute animated video format.



I've ridden the Marshall, a West side ride and a jaunt to Tornado, a new downhill trail in the Hurricane Zone off Hurricane Mountain Road. You can find them on Strava and TrailForks, but here's a map of the way I get to Tornado from Cramnore. If you're a high-end intermediate or expert rider I can highly recommend this new trail.

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.

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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

Climbing may be hard, but it's easier than growing up.
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