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Summit Adventures: Equipment List

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Please note that an average mid-summer day on Mount Washington has a high temperature of about 53 degrees Fahrenheit, and an overnight low temperature of about 42 degrees Fahrenheit. It has never been warmer than 72 degrees Fahrenheit (and that only happened twice!). Temperatures below freezing can occur even in summer. Average winds in summer are about 25 miles per hour, with hurricane force gusts possible. Thick, wet fog occurs on about 90% of the days in summer; and measurable precipitation occurs on more than half of summer's days. Never underestimate the severity of summit weather conditions!

Participants need to be in good health and good physical condition, properly prepared with warm clothing and wind and rain gear, to be safe and comfortable in sometimes cold, wet and windy weather. Participants should bring sturdy footgear for clambering over the rough summit rocks.

You will need layers of warm clothing; we do get winter-like conditions in the summer! Cotton clothing of any sort is unsuitable for use on the mountain because of its tendency to absorb and hold moisture. Suggested materials are listed for each item:

  1. Wicking base layer: wool or synthetic tops and bottoms to pull moisture from the skin.
  2. Insulating layers: wool, synthetic or down tops and bottoms. (Jeans, corduroys, or any cotton pants can be used for casual wear, but must be supplemented with wool or synthetic pants).
  3. Wool or synthetic (e.g. fleece, pile) shirt and/or sweater, plus spare.
  4. Sturdy hiking boots, well fitting and broken-in
  5. Wool or synthetic socks (not cotton) to fit comfortably in boots, plus spares.
  6. Wind-proof layer: durable synthetic jacket and pants.
  7. Rugged rain parka and rain pants. This can also work as wind gear. (Lightweight plastic raingear is inadequate, as wind and rough rocks can destroy it. Ponchos are unsuitable for use in the above treeline areas of Mount Washington).
  8. Hat: Wool or synthetic cap that covers your ears.
  9. Mittens or gloves: windproof with water resistant shell.
  10. Glove liners: thin wool or synthetic gloves to use in lieu of insulated gloves when weather is warmer.
  11. Sunglasses: sturdy sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
  12. Daypack, water bottle, sunblock, shorts (be optimistic!)
  13. Walking stick or (a) ski pole(s). (Optional)
  14. Loungewear and/or pajamas: a comfortable top and bottom to wear when you are indoors and sleeping. Since you will be going indoors and outdoors several times throughout the day, you will remain in your outerwear and do not need more than one change of clothes

Toiletries
Bring all necessary toiletries and medications, including an extra couple of days worth of medications in case adverse weather delays departure. There is nowhere to purchase toiletries or medications on the summit.

Bedding
Mattress, sheets, pillow and blankets are provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own sleeping bag for optimal comfort. If you are a light sleeper, we suggest also bringing earplugs, as you will be sharing a bunkroom with fellow participants.

Special Equipment
If you are bringing a camera or other special equipment, remember to bring plenty of film, batteries and battery chargers. There is nowhere to purchase electronic equipment on the summit.

Other Gear
Personal gear not listed above should be kept to a minimum, since space and carrying capacity of the vehicle, and storage area in the bunkroom, is very limited.

Home of the World's Worst Weather
Administration: 2779 White Mountain Highway, P. O. Box 2310, North Conway, NH 03860 • Tel: 603-356-2137 • Fax: 603-356-0307 • contact us
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