We have been busy with outdoor climbing in the Month of May. We’ve gone to Rose Ledge, Mormon Hollow, Great Barrington, and Rumney. For the most part, they are places we frequent due to close proximity and adoration of the climbs available at each. There are certainly some perks to climbing during this time of year. It feels undeniably amazing to get outside after a winter of road bans and building tall snow banks that kept us primarily indoors. They say you need pain to experience pleasure, and in a similar contrast; the more time you spend cooped up, the more rewarding freedom feels. It has felt remarkable to see the bright colors of springs, feel the warm sunshine, and feel that fantastic rock again.
The thing that makes mild seasons like spring and fall perfect for climbing, is the mild temperatures. While there are days of abnormal heat or cold during these seasons, for the most part it is cool enough for friction, but not so cold that you are miserable and bundled up with an extra 10lbs in clothing. Truth be told, we actually like winter climbing as long as it is isn’t wet, but summer climbing can feel unbearable and pointless with the humidity and complete lack of friction. Spring and fall feel mostly ideal.
There are certain draw backs, however. Well mainly one. Bugs. After our recent trip to Rumney, I am covered head to toe in bug bites everywhere. There is no escaping them. They follow you up the climb in swarms that blur your vision, and drive you nuts. Other than that, spring climbing has been wonderful.
New England may not always be the easiest location to climb in. We have very unpredictable weather, and unlike some of those sunny Western states, we often have a great number of rainy/snowy/wet days. However, when things come together right and climbing can happen, there are some very worth while locations and climbs that you’ll never forget seeing and trying.
Despite worrying about impending death or illness due to various scary bug carried issues like Lyme disease, and west nile, the love for these climbs and these serene locations makes it feel impossible to stay away. It seems like everyone is loving the outdoor feel. At each location, we’ve run into a number of super friendly people. Everyone is smiling and feeling infatuated with the climbs. There were some particularly nice guys at Rumney offering blood oranges and water. Having sweet, low calorie, and relatively healthy treats seems a sure fire way to make friends at the crag.
If you can’t find happiness in a place as beautiful as this, I’m not sure there is much hope for you out there.