Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice:
Winter Mt Washington
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Alpine & Ice

Premier Sponsor:

 


mikenj


Dec 23, 2006, 9:05 PM
Post #1 of 16 (1275 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2006
Posts: 30

Winter Mt Washington
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

For anyone who has climbed mt washington in the winter:
I am climbing mt wash with a guide in a couple weeks and I was curious if anyone knew the route that a guide might take a beginner on. I wanted to do a little research on the route I might be climbing.

P.s They say be in good shape for the climb. Can anyone maybe specify or elaborate a bit more on how in shape you really have to be to enjoy the trip as opposed to using everything you got just trying to make it to the summit?

Thanks alot everyone.

Mike


(This post was edited by mikenj on Dec 23, 2006, 9:06 PM)


madclimbr13


Dec 23, 2006, 9:40 PM
Post #2 of 16 (1258 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 30, 2006
Posts: 36

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There are many different routes that the guide could take you up... but probably for a beginner he will take you up the lions head (winter) trail. This goes up the right side of the tuckerman bowl. HOWEVER! You will probably still be able to get up the summer route with the weather that we are currently experiencing! Have a great time on the trip!


majid_sabet


Dec 23, 2006, 10:02 PM
Post #3 of 16 (1255 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8390

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

mikenj wrote:
For anyone who has climbed mt washington in the winter:
I am climbing mt wash with a guide in a couple weeks and I was curious if anyone knew the route that a guide might take a beginner on. I wanted to do a little research on the route I might be climbing.

P.s They say be in good shape for the climb. Can anyone maybe specify or elaborate a bit more on how in shape you really have to be to enjoy the trip as opposed to using everything you got just trying to make it to the summit?

Thanks alot everyone.

Mike

Mike
Since you are going out with a guide in winter, have you ever thought what would you do if your guide goes down ? can you get yourself down without him or no


basilisk


Dec 24, 2006, 1:13 AM
Post #4 of 16 (1233 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2005
Posts: 636

Re: [majid_sabet] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
Mike
Since you are going out with a guide in winter, have you ever thought what would you do if your guide goes down ? can you get yourself down without him or no

why is this relevant?
Lion's Head is on the more technical end of routes on that mountain (which isn't all that much, to be completely honest. it just requires you to be a little more decisive with your foot placements).
not to undermine the mountain by any means, but most people could work just about any trail. it's not such a massive undertaking as it's made out to be. the biggest issue on Washington is exposure. chances are, unless you get a really great day, the moment you get above tree line the win is gonna start tossing you around. dress properly, have warm synthetics/wool, and definitely have a shell to wear.
if you've hired a guide, it would probably be easiest just to ask him or her what they're thinking about. this way you can inform them of your previous experience and current goals, and ultimately pick a trail best suited for you


mikenj


Dec 24, 2006, 6:16 AM
Post #5 of 16 (1219 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2006
Posts: 30

Re: [majid_sabet] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Majid Sabet,
You got to start somewhere right. I mean I am doing my own research and studying the hell out of "freedom Of The Hills" i'm not saying that is any comparison to getting out there and acquiring experience but what options are you left with as a beginnner.
It obviously would be stupid going without a guide and so what would you recommend, not going at all. So that is why I am trying to figure out these routes so if there was an issue I just might be able to get down myself.
I do appreciate your input
Mike


brad84


Dec 24, 2006, 6:44 AM
Post #6 of 16 (1209 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Posts: 149

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

im assuming hes taking you ice climbing, not walking up lions head. that said, i would bet you'll be on pinnacle gully in huntington ravine; its a 3 pitch classic in the northeast.

http://www.neclimbs.com/...utes&RouteID=397

edit- i thought you were someone else...

enjoy


(This post was edited by brad84 on Dec 24, 2006, 6:46 AM)


dylan1


Dec 24, 2006, 6:49 AM
Post #7 of 16 (1203 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 84

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

   Do not be to upset if you do not make the summit as it is a serious undertaking above treeline. Many people turn around beforehand due to lack of visibility, cold temp, time of day, wind-chill, etc. Hiring a guide does no mean you will make the "summit."
Check with the guide before you go to put together a correct equpment list. Most of all have a safe and enjoyable time!


stashyboy


Dec 24, 2006, 7:12 AM
Post #8 of 16 (1197 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 11, 2004
Posts: 33

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Mike-
There are several factors your guide will likely use in deciding your route that day...if it is sane to go up....I worked out of the AMC's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (back when it was a 'camp'!) Routinely is can seem fine down at 2000 feet and be howling up on the 'rockpile'. If the wind chill values are 10-20 below zero, it might be wise to wait for another day. As already mentioned, once above the rim of Tucks, Huntington's, Lion's Head, etc. one is fully exposed to the wind for another mile...plus the summit does not have shelter in the winter so figure on 3-4 hours of exposure before getting back down below treeline. My favorite route is the Boot Spur trail, but this is not used much in winter as it only increases the time and mileage above treeline. Most parties check in with the caretaker at Hermit Lake shelters (base of the bowl) to check current conditions on their way up. As far as conditioning, by many standards the hiking is considered relatively moderate by world standards, but White mountain trails are notorious for taking the direct line often with sustained steep grades that will get your heart pumping! Crampons are sometimes used above treeline esp. when very icy conditions exist.
Have fun, and be safe!
Here's a link to the AMC's website: http://www.outdoors.org/recreation/tripplanner/go/index.cfm

(This post was edited by stashyboy on Dec 24, 2006, 7:16 AM)


slobmonster


Dec 24, 2006, 11:27 AM
Post #9 of 16 (1139 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 28, 2003
Posts: 1586

Re: [stashyboy] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi Mike. Thanks for taking the time to ask your questions. Having worked as a guide in the Mt Washington Valley (for 2 of the historically reputable local outfits) for many years, I can tell you that many clients/students show up without all their mental faculties intact.

Your guide will most certainly take you up Lion Head. Depending on the day's weather, be prepared for nearly anything. I have turned around my clients on about 25% of Mt Washington summit attempts, and the weather is usually so obviously abhorrent that the decision to retreat is not a difficult one. However, the days can be nice clear, and fairly calm.

Check your gear list, go as light as you can, but make sure you bring the particular accessories that can make an ugly day into a reasonable one. Fill your Nalgenes with hot water, and consider bringing a thermos of tea. Bring good goggles, and if you put them on, DON'T take them off, they'll ice over immediately. Bring a face mask and balaclava. Wear light-ish clothing on the approach to the base of Lion Head (long underwear and a softshell can work very well), and have more layers at the ready for when you get close to treeline.

It's a great opportunity to glean some knowledge from your guide, and experience WEATHER if the day is challenging. Pay attention to how your guide walks, dresses, when s/he eats and drinks, etc. The best days up there are long, slow, and well-paced... it's really not a sprint to the top.

Have fun!


majid_sabet


Dec 24, 2006, 2:05 PM
Post #10 of 16 (1110 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8390

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

mikenj wrote:
Majid Sabet,
You got to start somewhere right. I mean I am doing my own research and studying the hell out of "freedom Of The Hills" i'm not saying that is any comparison to getting out there and acquiring experience but what options are you left with as a beginnner.
It obviously would be stupid going without a guide and so what would you recommend, not going at all. So that is why I am trying to figure out these routes so if there was an issue I just might be able to get down myself.
I do appreciate your input
Mike

Mike
It is good that you are reading and doing your homework a head of time, you also need to remember, guides; as much as they love to be working in outdoor environment , they want the cash first. You will sign bunch of papers putting your life in to their hand without any guarantee, however guides are not super man and there will be time that they may make unusual discussion which could put you in a bad situation.

You as a hiker/climber need to know your basic skill first, you should only use the guide to assist you to reach your goals (show you the way not teach you how to survive).

In winter, you do not want to mess around testing your mountaineering skill in the middle of nowhere, if so you need to be with few more people as a team with clear plans.
The incident in Mt. Hood is as fresh as a snow powder and these guys were not students taking basic test, however we saw how storms came and stayed. In winter, getting a cold/snow storm/ spending 1-2 weeks in a hole is guaranteed at any given time without any warning. You need to have a personal plan B in place in case shi* hits the fan and guide goes down with heart attack.

If you always have plan B and plan C in your mind at all the time, you become a better mountaineer and you have better chance to survive .


Partner kimgraves


Dec 24, 2006, 2:14 PM
Post #11 of 16 (1107 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1186

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi Mike,

I have two trip reports about winter climbing on Washington. Part One and Part Deux.

Assuming you're going to "hike" to the top and not do any technical climbing, I feel sure you'll take the same route we did: The Lion's Head trail. It's easy to find the trail on Google Earth.

Be advised that it's a serious arobic workout. You should get some exercise before you go. It's hard to go "off the couch" and enjoy yourself. Read the Andy Kirpatrick article I point to about staying warm and see his website for light reading.

Have fun. Maybe we'll see you up there.

Best, Kim


gunkiemike


Dec 24, 2006, 5:50 PM
Post #12 of 16 (1070 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2266

Re: [kimgraves] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well, it is 4200+ ft of elevation gain. If that is a challenge under ideal conditions, it's going to be doubly hard in the winter. And the day is short, so you might be starting in the dark, or turning around due to lack of time.

But I suspect you know the specifications. Plan on having a great, fun time in a wonderful setting. If you get to the top, that's a bonus. Getting to the Alpine Garden (where the winds hits you) is something of an accomplishment too.

Don't forget to tip the guide if (s)he is instrumental in your enjoying the day.


dalfollo


Dec 25, 2006, 9:33 PM
Post #13 of 16 (1015 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 8, 2006
Posts: 46

Re: [gunkiemike] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Have you thought of asking the guide? It is not like he has a patent on the trail....


kixx


Jan 3, 2007, 4:22 PM
Post #14 of 16 (881 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 23, 2005
Posts: 178

Re: [mikenj] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Mike, It's great that you are asking these questions and doing your research. I've seen and heard of all sorts of things happening to clients who blindly followed guides into the mountains. Get a copy of Accidents In North American Mountaineering for 2006, 2005, 2004 as far back as you care to go. They are available for $9 each on Amazon and carefully explain exactly what has gone wrong and how it could have been avoided. You'll be able to see these situations before they arise.

As for guides on Mt. Washington they are very informative, helpful, and not at all after your cash. However they do have to cater to the group dynamic of the trip, and you may be frustrated by how weak and mentally uprepared your fellow clients are. The guide must look after them and it can stifle your personal experience.

I've run into many guided parties on all routes on the Presidential Range and they always frustrate me with their incompetence. It seems to me most clients simply go into the mountains without learning anything about them and cause major problems for everyone else.

Ever since I began I chose to go without a guide and it has been very rewarding. If you can find someone with some knowledge to go with it would be much better in a smaller two or three person team. Save your guide money for more technical instruction like crevasse rescue, beginner ice climbing, and such.

I'm solo in the area quite often and would be willing to go with you if you like. Drop me line if there is anything else you'd like to know about the area.


Kris


dr_feelgood


Jan 5, 2007, 4:59 AM
Post #15 of 16 (825 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 6, 2004
Posts: 26060

Re: [majid_sabet] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
Mike
It is good that you are reading and doing your homework a head of time, you also need to remember, guides; as much as they love to be working in outdoor environment , they want the cash first. You will sign bunch of papers putting your life in to their hand without any guarantee, however guides are not super man and there will be time that they may make unusual discussion which could put you in a bad situation.

You as a hiker/climber need to know your basic skill first, you should only use the guide to assist you to reach your goals (show you the way not teach you how to survive).

In winter, you do not want to mess around testing your mountaineering skill in the middle of nowhere, if so you need to be with few more people as a team with clear plans.
The incident in Mt. Hood is as fresh as a snow powder and these guys were not students taking basic test, however we saw how storms came and stayed. In winter, getting a cold/snow storm/ spending 1-2 weeks in a hole is guaranteed at any given time without any warning. You need to have a personal plan B in place in case shi* hits the fan and guide goes down with heart attack.

If you always have plan B and plan C in your mind at all the time, you become a better mountaineer and you have better chance to survive .
Simple plan B for above situation...
Hunker down in ice Cave. Eat Guide.


wanderlustmd


Jan 11, 2007, 7:10 AM
Post #16 of 16 (761 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 24, 2006
Posts: 8150

Re: [kixx] Winter Mt Washington [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kixx wrote:
Mike, It's great that you are asking these questions and doing your research. I've seen and heard of all sorts of things happening to clients who blindly followed guides into the mountains. Get a copy of Accidents In North American Mountaineering for 2006, 2005, 2004 as far back as you care to go. They are available for $9 each on Amazon and carefully explain exactly what has gone wrong and how it could have been avoided. You'll be able to see these situations before they arise.

As for guides on Mt. Washington they are very informative, helpful, and not at all after your cash. However they do have to cater to the group dynamic of the trip, and you may be frustrated by how weak and mentally uprepared your fellow clients are. The guide must look after them and it can stifle your personal experience.

I've run into many guided parties on all routes on the Presidential Range and they always frustrate me with their incompetence. It seems to me most clients simply go into the mountains without learning anything about them and cause major problems for everyone else.

Ever since I began I chose to go without a guide and it has been very rewarding. If you can find someone with some knowledge to go with it would be much better in a smaller two or three person team. Save your guide money for more technical instruction like crevasse rescue, beginner ice climbing, and such.

I'm solo in the area quite often and would be willing to go with you if you like. Drop me line if there is anything else you'd like to know about the area.


Kris

I agree with this. I grew up in the Washington area and have climbed it many times (first time was in winter, actually). It is doable without a guide, but I definately would find experienced partners if you go this route and definately do not go up there alone. Washington is one of those mountains that doesn't look impressive at all, but it can be extremely brutal and dangerous. People die every year on it. Bring gear for overnight conditions: bivy sack, etc.

Be in good hiking shape. This part is hard since personal fitness is pretty much one big variable. Getting to the to is a bonus, and having a view is a bigger bonus. The first two time I tried Washingon we turned around due to conditions. It can be perfect in the notch and crazy on the mountain, as was stated above.


(This post was edited by wanderlustmd on Jan 11, 2007, 7:12 AM)


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Alpine & Ice

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook