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Escape Black Flies
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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 29, 2012
Flatirons
I'm thinking ahead a little here, but what does everyone do to escape the black flies once they come out? I'm guessing that rope climbing isn't terrible at some places if there's a breeze, but bouldering seems nearly impossible unless there is a good spot that the flies don't know about.

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By Eric G.
Apr 29, 2012
I would also love to hear a good recommendation or two.

From my experience, roped climbing is just as bad, if not worse, than bouldering. I've even been destroyed by black flies up on Cannon--and I was sure those little fuckers wouldn't want to fly that high up and brave the breeze.

Belaying is what sucks big time. At least the climber is moving.

Multipitch seems like the answer, but when you're imprisoned at a stance while belaying you have no fucking escape.

Head net for the belayer might be a good idea. A better idea is to not go climbing.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 29, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

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By shoo
Apr 30, 2012
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
J Miles wrote:
I'm thinking ahead a little here, but what does everyone do to escape the black flies once they come out? I'm guessing that rope climbing isn't terrible at some places if there's a breeze, but bouldering seems nearly impossible unless there is a good spot that the flies don't know about.


There is no escape. Like Eric said, they'll even come get you on Cannon. Your best bet is wait for breezy days, and only do things where you're going to be moving constantly.

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By stredna
From PA
Apr 30, 2012
Top o' the Preist
During the month of June, when i used to live in the 'daks i would head west for about 3 weeks.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Apr 30, 2012
Rumney
Black flies do not breed at elevation (only in running water, and there's more of that the lower in elevation you go). They get carried to the top of cliffs and mountains on the wind, then settle there until their life cycle ends. That's why they're common on mountains and cliffs.

Windy and cool days are the best prescription. Doing climbs that are high in elevation will help increase the odds of wind and cooler temps. Otherwise - I always bring and wear a headnet, and apply lots of deet.

For lower elevation (bouldering/top roping) we've had some success using this:

walmart.com/ip/ThermaCELL-Inse...

Just don't use it on a windy day because it moves the cloud of repellent away from you, rendering it useless. If it's that windy you shouldn't need it anyway.

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By rogerk
Apr 30, 2012
Boulder at Smugglers Notch

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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 30, 2012
Flatirons
rogerk wrote:
Boulder at Smugglers Notch


Black Flies haven't found that place yet?

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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
Apr 30, 2012
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH
rogerk wrote:
Boulder at Smugglers Notch


There are quite a lot of flies there, probably one of the worst places to go during black fly season.

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By smithb
From Flagstaff, Az
Apr 30, 2012
live in the desert.

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By steitz
From midcoast, maine
Apr 30, 2012
go sailing

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By Raze (Taylor)
Apr 30, 2012
youtu.be/BKm8FolQ7jw

slap this laser thing on your head lol

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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
May 1, 2012
i heard that pee keeps the flies away. Maybe you should try "that" shower.

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By john strand
From southern colo
May 1, 2012
I climbed almost 30 years in new England.. I know its evil stuff but only Ben's 100% deet ever worked. Just keep it away from your nylon.. and your eyes and water and..

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By jake 356
From worcester
May 1, 2012
state issued pestacide licence

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By flynn
May 1, 2012
Insect shield clothing works well, socks to bandana. And we've had good luck with some of the less-toxic insect repellent lotions. Breeze is definitely your friend. Of course, you could just come up here to northern Minnesota and go paddle around in circles in a canoe: the bugs leave you alone while you're on the water.

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By John Husky
May 3, 2012
Cigarettes, stogies or jazz cigarettes if you aren't into tobacco. Tuck in your clothes, tape if necessary. Gloves and a headnet for maximum relief. A lot of people work outside year 'round ya know. They use a technique called "suck it up Stacy"

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By Travis Dustin
From Hollis, NH
May 3, 2012
Lost in the Sun pitch 2
Exactly John. Suck It up. I work outside and have been backpacking/fishing/kayaking/hiking/biking for years and black flies never detered me from anything

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By rogerk
May 3, 2012
Keyan P wrote:
There are quite a lot of flies there, probably one of the worst places to go during black fly season.



We must have different opinions of what "quite a lot" is. I've been bouldering at Smuggs for 12 years and have never once put on any bug spray.

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By Keyan P
From Burlington, VT
May 3, 2012
View from top of Standard Route on Whitehorse, NH
rogerk wrote:
We must have different opinions of what "quite a lot" is. I've been bouldering at Smuggs for 12 years and have never once put on any bug spray.


I have never used bug spray either, although I rarely do anywhere. By "quite a lot" I just mean "enough to be annoying".

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By trundlebum
From Las Vegas NV
May 3, 2012
Somewhere in Tuolumne, sometime early 80's

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