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Black Fly Season started in NH? Trying to figure out where to climb this weekend
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May 14, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
Hi guys,
Are the black flies out in force now? Just want to know what the black flies conditions are across the different climbing destinations.

Overall I'm leaning towards Cannon/Echo to climb this weekend, but I'm curious to the Kancamagus crags, some of the backcountry stuff like The Captain (probably horrible right?), North Conway, and as a final backup Rumney.

Thanks!
Ming
Joined Nov 11, 2010
261 points
Administrator
May 14, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
If you were up there yesterday and today, things would probably be great; below freezing at night and 50-60 highs in some places. The nights probably put a setback on them for a short while. Other than that, they seemed to have been out in the lower elevations and especially the usual spots like Pway, so we are in the season.

I was out at Owls off the Kanc (~2800' elev)and when I was coming out Monday last week I just started noticing a few black flies in the air, but not biting, nothing at all Sat and Sun. Usually they would be getting bad by now, so heading out to the Captain in the height of bug season is probably not going to be fun unless you have a high tolerance. I'll head back to Owls soon and I will post up on NEClimbs. I'm going armed for bear with a full bug jacket in case. It could be a short miserable trip.

It is pretty day by day as a bit of rain and then warm sun can get the clouds of bugs hatching, but earlier it was looking like we might be lucking out with thinner numbers this year.

If the bugs are out hard, Owls is horrible, Greens not quite as bad, but the hike in is very buggy. The Captain sounds pretty awful bug-wise. Parts of Rumney are probably the best. Woodchuck might be bearable, relatively speaking. It would be a shame to make your first trips out to the backcountry cliffs in the height of bug season and have that color your impression
M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,506 points
May 14, 2013
The captain has had the worst bugs ever, and i mean ever. You MIGHT luck out this time of year though, but watch out for ice fall..we had good ice during the f/a's on Mem Day but..

trybartlett- haystack...easy approach and some nice lines
john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,274 points
May 15, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
Thanks guys. So I'm leaning towards Cannon right now. Would that be wise? Thinking of checking out mountainproject.com/v/our-mine...

So 2 years ago I was checking out Eagle Bluff in Clifton and was literally chased out by black flies - my wife was crying. There was a ring of bites around her ankles that looked like tattoos and they hurt and itch at the same time. My forhead looked like a Jackson Pollock painting. It was that bad.
Ming
Joined Nov 11, 2010
261 points
May 15, 2013
Groove Tube - Tonsai, Thailand
As someone not native to the area - how long are the black flies bad for? PJHeinz83
From Pennsylvania
Joined Feb 19, 2013
15 points
May 15, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
I was at Rumney yesterday, they weren't horrendous, but in shady places without breeze (5.8 Crag) they were getting bad. Main Cliff center was good in the breeze and sun, A&D wall was a little buggy but not as bad as 5.8 Crag. Brendan Blanchard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2010
310 points
May 15, 2013
I think all the "roadside" and shaded crags are going to be bad for another 3~4 weeks. Think Jimmy and Crow's Nest altho they are going to be hot this weekend. S. Neoh
Joined Oct 4, 2009
482 points
May 15, 2013
I wouldn't go anywhere at this point without a bug head net (they're cheap) a white long sleeve shirt and thin nylon pants. Works great if it's not too hot. tommyguns
Joined Jul 27, 2012
318 points
Administrator
May 15, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
If you can get a mesh bug jacket (maybe $20, comes with the hood attached), they really help. Wear a billed hat underneath to keep it off your face. Then you only need to pour on the DEET on the ankles and wrists. You can get away with no shirt or a short one if it is hot then. M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,506 points
May 15, 2013
as a general rule: black fly season is worst from mothers day to fathers day. Told to me by an old time vermonter, and it seems pretty accurate.

FWIW Cannon is not exactly a haven. I've been chomped there as bad as anywhere. I understand they like running water, generally steep streams, and I suspect the runoff on the cliff is perfect habitat.

Cannon is the only place I've been where there were so many bugs I didn't realize it started raining.
JohnnyG
Joined Nov 30, 2009
27 points
May 15, 2013
North Conway hasn't been terrible as soon as you get a pitch or two off the ground. Down in the trees and shade, the bugs are flying around (I haven't been getting bitten too much). sthomas
Joined Apr 5, 2010
47 points
May 16, 2013
My son
No bugs out at longstack joshua corbett
From Wolfeboro NH
Joined Jun 22, 2009
3,200 points
May 16, 2013
mountainproject.com/v/escape-b...

There is no escape.
Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined Apr 18, 2012
53 points
May 16, 2013
Red Rocks
Climbed at Cathedral yesterday and Whitehorse today, no flies seen yesterday one bite today. John Halupowski
From Intervale, N.H.
Joined Apr 11, 2010
641 points
May 16, 2013
They've been biting in the Ossipee area for a few weeks now. That being said, they certainly have not been as bad this year as they have the last couple of years. Possibly due to the dry weather up until last weekend. I can't honestly say how bad they are right now- the last few days at work I've been on the waterfront on Great East lake building a deck and the wind has kept them at bay, haven't used any bug spray. How they are up in the Conway area I do not know. Dan Felix
Joined Aug 24, 2012
46 points
May 20, 2013
Zero black flies at Cannon this past Saturday. Rich Brereton
From Durham, NH
Joined May 25, 2009
119 points
May 21, 2013
Lost in the Sun pitch 2
No black flies around crawford notch over the weekend! Travis Dustin
From Hollis, NH
Joined Jan 8, 2012
1,632 points
May 21, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
Around 20 bites for me from Rumney - went out to NW Territories and Prudential on Saturday. Not bad but not great either. Always forget how much black fly bites itches. Ming
Joined Nov 11, 2010
261 points
May 30, 2013
Any recent reports on the black fly situation at Whitehorse or Cathedral? Kevin D.
From Palo Alto, CA
Joined Jun 1, 2012
92 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
The BugCon on NEClimbs got bumped up to 3 out of 5. The big storm over the start of the weekend set them back, but they were coming back with a vengeance Tuesday late afternoon out at Owls off the Kanc. M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,506 points
May 31, 2013
Red Rocks
Climbed on Whitehorse slabs Thurs 5/30. Beautiful day, saw 1 blackfly just before it died. John Halupowski
From Intervale, N.H.
Joined Apr 11, 2010
641 points
Jun 1, 2013
None of the little devils at Cannon today. Derek Doucet
Joined Apr 26, 2010
189 points
Jun 1, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
Back to Rumney again at wet Orange Crush today but I got only 3 bites in 4 hours in the noon to afternoon range. Deet is working again :) Ming
Joined Nov 11, 2010
261 points
Jun 1, 2013
I bet OC was pretty wet and seeping today. S. Neoh
Joined Oct 4, 2009
482 points
Jun 1, 2013
a lightweight long sleeve shirt does wonders while belaying.. haven't worn Deet at Rumney in years. Jake D.
From Northeast
Joined Nov 23, 2006
477 points
Jun 2, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
OC was super seeping from the middle down to bottom of the crag - even Buried Treasure was seeping. The route Orange Crush was completely drenched and dripping. So I was shocked I got so few bites. Best of all no black fly bites! Ming
Joined Nov 11, 2010
261 points


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