View Full Version : Looking for Advice on Seek the Peak

07-02-2007, 12:16 PM
A few questions I would like the answer to are, Where do people who know the area suggest we stay overnight? What would people who have done this before advise as far as the trails to go and come down, also, how difficult would this be for a first timer? Approximate length of time for newcomers to make the hike up and the hike down? Are the trails easy to follow for a newcomer? Is there cell phone service on the mountain? I would like to take trails that are popular with other people because I have never done this before, so haing people to ask would be beneficial to us. Does anybody else smoke, although I smoke I am in good shape although the smoking is a concern. There doesn't appear to be much advice for new people wanting to take part in this.

07-02-2007, 01:32 PM
A lot of where you stay will depend on what route of ascent you plan on taking. Generally I stay in North Conway or I camp out. It's more about how I feel than a matter of convieniece. Weather will play a big part in what trails to ascend. If it's a clear dry day I'd go with the Ammo trail to the summit & back down again. You can even summit Mt. Monroe while your at it if you take the Ammo trail.

Most climbers start at Pinkham Notch & go up the Tuckermans Ravine trail to the summit. If you want a less traveled route that is rougher but has better views of the ravine you can go up Tucks trail to Lions Head. Then take the Tucks trail again (at the top of the ravine) to the summit & back down.

Book time is 4-5 hours from Pinkham Notch to the summit (one way) for the average fit hiker & the trails are well marked. Cell service is spotty at best. I can't comment on the smoking issue but it will have some effect on your climbing. How much remains to be seen.

Good luck & I'll see you on the mountain.

Bill O
07-02-2007, 02:02 PM
North Conway is the biggest town nearby with the most options. That doesn't make it the best, but it is a popular place to stay. I'll most likely be camping at Dolly Copp. I've been there before, its close to the trailhead we are using and its close to the after party.

For a first timer I would highly recommend something out of Pinkham Notch. Most likely the Tuckerman Ravine trail and Lion's Head, or a combination. The trails are very well marked and well traveled in this area. Also, Pinkham Notch is only a few minutes drive from the awards dinner after the hike.

Book time on these trails is 4-5 hours one way. I think this is a good time for the average hiker. I might do it in half, but I probably wont enjoy the scenery as much as a slower hiker. Expect the return hike to take just as long, maybe a half hour less.

Cell service is spotty, it can be excellent or it can be dead. Just depends where you are on the mountain and your provider. I wouldn't bet my life on it working, but it could come in handy in an emergency. I'll be bringing mine.

I think only you can be the judge of your smoking. If you're fit it shouldn't matter. I know many people who climb Mount Washington and much higher mountains, sneaking cigarettes the whole way. I'm not advocating smoking but it shouldn't be a deal breaker.

What other advice are you looking for? I encourage you to search around this forum for more info. People here are glad to help.

If you are up for the challenge I don't see any reason why STP can't be your first trip up Mount Washington. Everyone had to make a first trip once, and people were doing it long before they had the internet.

Search the forum, make sure you have adequate clothing, and go climb Mount Washington.

07-03-2007, 10:27 AM
I just found out about this event in the last two days and looking into plans to make the trip up from Virginia to do the hike.

Having never made the hike up the mountain, can anyone give advice as to gear, clothing that I should have to make it an enjoyable hike?

Do most people hike up and back in the same day? Or they camp on the mountain (if that's allowed)? How about a campground or park near the mountain that I could just put up a tent?

Also, does anyone do the hike with a dog?

07-05-2007, 07:27 AM
check out my post dated 6-29....titled 'hi'....people have left great info there....have a great day....

06-22-2008, 03:55 PM
hi.. i plan to drive up from Northern NJ Friday night... thinking of staying in North Conway due to my late night arrival..

- does anyone hike with their dog? i am planning to .. then camp out saturday night..

-- i am a first timer so any help would be great!! thanks - mike..

06-23-2008, 10:33 AM
There are a couple here that hike with their dogs, and I'll let them chime in with their expert advice.

I do a lot of hiking with my dog, but I'm in Virginia and we don't have anything quite like MW. Last year was my first MW hike and I thought about bringing my dogs as well and decided against it for several reasons.

Since as I said it was my first time on the mountain, I didn't want to be hampered or distracted by my dog when I needed to watch what I was doing. Not knowing how easy/hard it was gonna be I didn't want to get to a certain point and end up having to stop or turn around because my pup ran out of gas.

Others have said that the rough rocky surface on much of the climb can be rough on their paws. Having never had to have her hike with booties of apply a coating to her paws before I didn't want her to have to deal with that in a new place either.

Once I get more familiar with the mountain I def plan on bringing her up for a hike!

As far as routes go, we got some really great advice from Dex&Baxter as far as the best route for n00bs, that wasn't too hard and not too easy, provided great views and really experience the mountain. On the trip up we took Tuckerman's to Lion's Head. This gave us a great look down into the ravine and some great views. On the trip down we took Tuckerman's to see the waterfall up closer and look up from the bottom.

06-23-2008, 01:44 PM
Just a little note. The times that are given are your average times with that said someone that isn't used to hiking conditions like these (many places are larger rocks that you have to traverse) can get slowed quite a bit. That doesn't even figure in your health and fitness so plan on it taking longer. If you end up using less time then that means either more time at the top. If you end up taking longer and don't plan on it you can get caught hiking down after dark, or trying to rush and getting hurt. Also, plan on the weather changing RAPIDLY!!! I hiked up the first weekend in June and most of the time it was great weather but a short period of time it was hard to see with winds over 50 MPH. Pack what you need but don't pack too heavy as the more weight will slow you down it is a catch 22 so be smart, pack correctly and enjoy the hike. See you on the trails.

06-23-2008, 05:27 PM
- does anyone hike with their dog? i am planning to .. then camp out saturday night..


Hi Mike,
Lots of dogs do hike to the summit, and most are fine. I, however, despite having a very athletic dog that hikes with me often, do not hike with my dog above treeline for two reasons...

1) The rocks are extremely coarse and rough on their paws. I've participated in two dog rescues where dog wore through their paw pads on the hike.

2) My dog doesn't always keep to the trail, and the area above treeline is very ecologically sensitive. Rare plants above treeline suffer greatly from off trail treading, and I can't morally subject them to my dear Virga.

Again, lots of dogs make the hike fine, but I may ask others on the forum, perhaps in a separate thread for ideas...


06-23-2008, 07:40 PM

I too have reservations about hiking with a dog above treeline. Over the years I have met up with 4-5 groups of people trying to find their dog on Mt Washington and it was getting late in the day. They were calling but no dog. I have no idea what the outcomes were. To do it with my dog I would want to know the trails and know the dog will obey commands and stay close.

Emma is an example of a well adjusted hiking dog. She seems to be able to go anywhere and is in great shape. Plus, she stays real close. So, it can certainly be done - but, I would work into it with a lot of hikes other than MW.

KD Talbot
06-23-2008, 08:01 PM
Most of the major issues have been brought up here. Emma makes the climb with us every year for STP, but she also climbs just about every weekend all year long and usually makes several trips above treeline each year.

Things to consider are:

Recently a friend of ours took her dog above treeline on Mounts Madison and Adams. The dog tore her paw-pads significantly. The rocks above treeline in the Northern Presidentials are made up of quartzite and mica-schist. This is extremely rough as anyone who has taken a tumble on it can tell you. Imagine hiking barefoot across this. That is what a dog does.

On a trip 2 Saturdays ago above treeline Emma overheated and we had to cut the trip short. Above treeline there is no place to get out of the sun. It can be like crossing a desert.

Old dogs may find the trip too much. Young dogs who are new to this type of hiking cannot pace themselves and run mad until they bonk. Also, as Jim points out, dogs who run off trail not only tear up the alpine flora, they put themselves at risk of running off a cliff. Many dogs have gotten themselves hurt or killed here, so have people, the difference is the people had a choice, the dog just wants to please its master.

Dogs pull muscles and get sprains just like we do. Tying up a rescue crew for a dog when there are people who may need them is not considered good form.

Not everyone likes dogs. Even a dog as innocuous as Emma can be a concern to some people.

If the dog bonks at the summit and you decide to take the Cog, they won't let the dog on. Not sure about the shuttles. If you want to tour the Obs while you're there I'm not sure they'll let you in with your dog. Emma has been in, but she has friends there. At least she did, most have moved on including Nin.

I guess this all sounds as though I'm trying to dissuade anyone from bringing their dog up MW. I'm really not, but I want people to consider what the dog will experience. Someone who has never climbed MW before should go first and see what they think before bringing a dog. Maybe they will think "This is nothing, I could have brought my dog", but it's also possible they will think, "Thank God I didn't put Rover through this!".


06-23-2008, 08:12 PM
well if they wont let Emma in then i will sit with her out side she is a cutie :D

06-24-2008, 08:40 AM
Thanks!! i will read this tonight and make some decisions!! thanks

06-24-2008, 08:56 PM
thanks.. i appreciate the feedback... i started thread on this..basically if i dont take the dog it will difficult to go..

06-24-2008, 09:34 PM
There's no rule that says you have to hike Mount Washington for seek the peak. It's a great event that gets people outdoors to support a common cause, with a great party at the end. What about hiking Wildcat, or Moriah, or Hight, mountains right across the street with epic views of Washington, and few concerns for dog paws!