View Full Version : Oct advice please - first time MW

08-28-2007, 05:29 PM
Hi - I am new to the forum and to MW (other than driving up years ago!). I am a Texan, but I have many years experience hiking the Rockies and desert - just off Elbert on July 4, 5K foot gain over 6 miles with some good scrambles, so terrain is not a problem, BUT this crazy wind you folks have could be. I am thinking about a MW hike the week of Oct 15-18, which I think is a bit late, but the only time I have as I must fit this into another "event" I am coming up East for. I checked the weather page and it looks like low 20s to mid 30s with lots of variation (down) from that. What about the wind and snow? I have the gear for whatever, but I am taking this weather on MW seriously. I would be climbing with an even more experienced Colorado friend - 22 14s and counting - but would appreciate some "heads-up" from the "locals." We have discussed a traverse from Franconia Notch along Garfield to MW, but perhaps that might be a bit ambitious for mid Oct with no experience in the area, so just a day hike up MW might work too. We will have a couple of days to watch the weather, but if it is generally regarded as poor during this time frame, we may want to wait for a more favorable period later, and put our efforts elsewhere. I know it could be a sunny, calm and balmy 35 for three days straight - or the opposite, but any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.

Bill O
08-28-2007, 09:32 PM
It could go either way. More likely than not it will be just fine. I'd plan on hiking and make your weather call that morning.

If it does snow in October it is usually confined to the highest part of the mountain and may be just a dusting or light rime coating.

Come prepared and make weather decisions as needed. Sounds like you guys know what you are doing.

KD Talbot
08-28-2007, 09:49 PM
From your post you seem to be completely aware of what you're getting into, and you are obviously trying to be as well informed as possible. these are all good signs and will definitely help you have a successful trip.

A trip from Franconia is not out of the question, if you have the time. Be prepared for any kind of weather and you'll be OK. There is no camping above treeline in the Whites. All AMC Huts along your route will be closed before your trip, except the Zealand Falls AMC Hut will still be open. It would be a tough haul to get from Lafayette to Zealand for the 1st night, but it could be done. If you travel light, with no camping gear, it would be a lot easier. 2nd night at the Highland Center. Next day take the crawford Path to the summit of Washington. You'd need to spot a car at both ends of the hike, and breakins are always a possibility, so don't leave anything valuable in the cars. It's possible you could get a shuttle, too, you would have to check with AMC. Here's a link:


You should get a copy of the AMC White Mountain Guide, which is available at that link. It will describe the trails and has detailed maps which show campsites if you decide to go that route.

The only way to be sure what to expect, is to go. If the weather is deteriorating, heed the warnings and turn back. These mountains may not be that tall, but they can be just as deadly, especially to someone unfamiliar with the terrain. Here's another helpful link to a page on this site:


Good luck, and when you go, we expect a trip report w/photos!


08-29-2007, 04:31 PM
October is an excellent time to hike. If you feel that Mt W would be out of the running due to the weather of that day, you can still hike many peaks/ranges that will give a taste of treeline with limited exposure to weather. For instance, the Willey Range over in Crawford Notch, a trip to Mt Tom & Field, even Willey if you desire. In Franconia Mt. Flume via the Osseo Trail is an excellent 11 mile round trip.. Mt Moriah via the Carter-Moriah Trail is an option too. If your travel window is narrow, don't let less than ideal weather hinder you totally. Sure you may have to rule out peaks with max exposure, like the Presidentials or Franconia Ridge, but plenty of other hikes abound. Just prepare well, it sounds like fitness is not an issue at all,and post trip reports!

08-29-2007, 10:52 PM
Sounds like the weather is OK during this period, so its a go - we'll take the best option the weather offers - and we'll post, for sure!

Great board - thanks guys! See ya at the top!

08-30-2007, 06:22 PM
Sounds like the weather is OK during this period, so its a go - we'll take the best option the weather offers - and we'll post, for sure!

Great board - thanks guys! See ya at the top!

well you have a safe and good trip and it is a rule here :D that you need to post pictures and a hiking report on your trip , for those who cant make it up there can dream a little .;)