PDA

View Full Version : Mt Washington Hike MLK Weekend



Flippin
12-26-2007, 10:48 AM
Hello all! What a great site to find, thanks to everyone for all the great info.

Planning a trip up the mountain MLK weekend this January. Shooting for the best weather on one of the three days, 1/19, 1/20, or 1/21 via Lions Head.

Anyone else planning to be out there? Im keeping my fingers crossed for good weather. This will be our first attempt in winter and I am very excited.

kaseri
12-26-2007, 02:36 PM
I could be there on any of those days depending on weather. How much experience with winter climbing in the Whites do you have?

Flippin
12-26-2007, 02:55 PM
I could be there on any of those days depending on weather. How much experience with winter climbing in the Whites do you have?

Absolutely none... avid outdoors experience in 3 seasons. First winter fun. My brain has been a sponge lately and Im looking forward to getting out there. Planning a few trials around the area to get some experience using the crampons and axe.

All I can say is that Im very humble and thorough and plan to take it very carefully based on advice Ive read here and other places.

Flippin
12-26-2007, 03:00 PM
reply test...

climbabout
12-26-2007, 03:36 PM
I may be there myself, possibly with my son that weekend - plans are still iffy though.
Tim

kaseri
12-26-2007, 07:09 PM
Flippin...

Please keep me posted regarding your plans. I might be able to join you on a summit attempt.

Flippin
12-27-2007, 08:48 AM
Flippin...

Please keep me posted regarding your plans. I might be able to join you on a summit attempt.

Will do. Staying in N. Conway that weekend driving up from Boston Friday night. Lets keep our fingers crossed for good weather.

kaseri
12-27-2007, 08:56 AM
Flippin...

I'd dive up from Boston the morning of our climb. Hopefully everything works out weather wise. I can give you some istruction on proper Ice Axe & Crampon technique as we ascend. You'll want to take that information and practice it so it becomes second nature.

Even if the weather is not good we should be able to make Lion Head without much problem.

billysinc
12-27-2007, 11:11 AM
As it gets closer I might be up there as well. Probably on the Saturday or Sunday but not the Monday.

I would also be driving up from RI in the morning.

kaseri
12-27-2007, 05:24 PM
would you guys like to exchange email addresses so we can keep in contact?

lordvoldemort
01-09-2008, 02:10 PM
Hello everybody,
We are going to attempt the summit on Sun of the MLK weekend. Although, i will be there with a group as part of a guided trip. I did the same thing last year and it was awesome.
But, the next time i want to do it on my own, for which i would need my own equipment i.e. boots, crampons, ice-axe and such. Does anyone have good advice on where and what to buy to start off ?

Thanks,

the_swede
01-13-2008, 07:28 PM
I will also be climbing Mount Washington on MLK weekend. We're driving up Friday from New Jersey and we are going to start our climb on Saturday morning. I will be with two of my good hiking buddies and we're going to attempt an overnight, weather depending.

We have some pretty good winter experience and we've done Mount Washington in the Spring but we've never involved ourselves in true winter mountaineering. We have ourselves crampons and trekking poles but no ice axes.

If anyone wants to join us, send me a private message.

By the way, anyone know of any cheap accommodations in the area for that Friday night?

kaseri
01-13-2008, 10:04 PM
I'd bring ice axes if I were you. Last winter at Lion Head a wind gust took me off my feet and sent me sliding toward Tucks. If I didn't have my ice axe ready I'm sure that I would have been seriously injured or killed.

KD Talbot
01-13-2008, 10:34 PM
Not only having one but the knowledge and familiarity with how to use it to self-arrest.

KDT

the_swede
01-14-2008, 01:11 AM
Well, there goes more cash. Better safe than sorry, I'd say. I've been iffy about getting an ice axe but you guys and other sources have made it clear that an ice axe is necessary. So, I've ordered one.

I'm familiar with self arrest techniques but I guess I should practice before I go.

Thanks, all. And if anyone is also doing Lion's Head on MLK weekend, let me know!

rockin rex
01-14-2008, 08:13 AM
I would recommend that if you climb Washington in the winter you use an ice ax. Having one is good but you really need to know how to use it. I will admit that I have climbed washington in the winter with out crampons and ice ax and there were spots where I knew I was INSANE. You need to remember that if you need to be rescued you are placing other peoples lives at risk that have to come get you. Crampons and ice ax are two items that should always be with those who decide to climb the rock pile in winter. Those climbing on M.L.K. day have an awesome climb and be sure to give us a trip report with pictures. Climb on.

climbabout
01-14-2008, 12:40 PM
Hello everybody,
We are going to attempt the summit on Sun of the MLK weekend. Although, i will be there with a group as part of a guided trip. I did the same thing last year and it was awesome.
But, the next time i want to do it on my own, for which i would need my own equipment i.e. boots, crampons, ice-axe and such. Does anyone have good advice on where and what to buy to start off ?

Thanks,
If you're hooked on winter mountaineering as I became years ago, the first thing I bought was a pair of boots, crampons and ice ax. I actually bought the boots at a sidewalk sale that ems had during the summer years ago in North Conway - this was before the days of ebay. Bought them for 1/3 of the retail price. These summer sidewalk sales are good place to find a bargain if you can wait - I hate paying full retail as good winter mountaineering equipment is expensive. Ebay is also another good place for bargains. Also there are many good shops in North Conway that have bargains at the end of the season - I like to buy locally and support the local businesses whenever I can. Also the climbing schools routinely sell their rental equipment at years end and often have gear that has lots of life left in it for a lot less than you would pay new. Also when shopping for clothing, think multi-use. Gear that is good for skiing, snowmobiling etc.. is also good for winter climbing. Hope this helps.
Tim

Flippin
01-16-2008, 08:25 AM
So weekend weather looks like snow will be in the forecast. Weather on Sat is looking nicer than Sunday in terms of temps.

Everyone still planning to be there? Our group is still planning to make our way up Lions Head and further weather permitting.

kaseri
01-16-2008, 08:46 AM
I was planning on being up there on sunday but if anyone wants to go to the summit and back down on Saturday please contact me at the following email address-

kaseri(at)gmail(dot)com

Hopefully we can work out the details and make a successful summit attempt.

the_swede
01-16-2008, 09:24 AM
My group and I are still planning on going this weekend. Depending on the weather, we would like to make it an overnight trip.

Does anyone know what the trail conditions are like along Boott Spur? Would snowshoes be required for that route?

kaseri
01-16-2008, 10:33 AM
The trail along Boott Spur is long and seldom traveled in winter. I would take snowshoes on that route. Last year I climbed to the summit via Lion Head and decended via Boott Spur. It's was a long, long day. You are extremely exposed for a long period of time. I took that route on an exceptional weather/conditions day and it was not an easy climb down.

lordvoldemort
01-16-2008, 01:02 PM
If you're hooked on winter mountaineering as I became years ago, the first thing I bought was a pair of boots, crampons and ice ax. I actually bought the boots at a sidewalk sale that ems had during the summer years ago in North Conway - this was before the days of ebay. Bought them for 1/3 of the retail price. These summer sidewalk sales are good place to find a bargain if you can wait - I hate paying full retail as good winter mountaineering equipment is expensive. Ebay is also another good place for bargains. Also there are many good shops in North Conway that have bargains at the end of the season - I like to buy locally and support the local businesses whenever I can. Also the climbing schools routinely sell their rental equipment at years end and often have gear that has lots of life left in it for a lot less than you would pay new. Also when shopping for clothing, think multi-use. Gear that is good for skiing, snowmobiling etc.. is also good for winter climbing. Hope this helps.
Tim
Thanks, Tim. This time around i will get the gear as part of guided trip. I do have all skiing gear, so just need to find myself some mountaineering shoes, crampons and ice-axe.

lord voldemort

nacho_picante
01-16-2008, 04:45 PM
First, I would like to thank the many posters for the time taken in giving out valuable information.

I also will be in the Whites for the Friday-Sunday of MLK weekend.

My initial project was skiing from the Pickham to Nelson Craig via old Jackson trail. Snowshoe up Nelson Craig trail to the summit. Back track on Nelson Craig to the auto-road and ski down the auto road and old Jackson trail to Pickham.

Any comments from people familiar with these trails, especially in winter? Can one still park in winter at the bottom of the auto road. That would help me skip the Pickham to Nelson Craig ski section both ways, in the interest of time. What about skiing down the auto-road? Is it steep, or is it too flat, and with the possibility of Friday's snow, would just make the trip unrealistic in one single day? Anyone has done this solo?

Let me know, and happy weekend!

the_swede
01-17-2008, 01:42 PM
Hmm...looks like snow and bone-chilling temperatures. Anyone still planning on going for Washington this weekend?

rockin rex
01-17-2008, 04:09 PM
Is there any better time?? If I wasn't working I would be up. Snow and cold bring it on. Now throw in high winds and then the story changes. Those who climb in wind chills of 50 below those are the crazy ones. Does it look like high winds for the weekend?? Those who climb this weekend bundle up and have a great climb.

Flippin
01-17-2008, 04:26 PM
Getting the gear all packed up tonight and doing the final check. From the weather reports Ive seen, the Sat temps look good, Sunday though will be bone chillin with the base high temp a whopping 5 degrees... I dont wanna know what summit with wind chill would be.

I cant find a more extending forecast for the mountain so I have no idea what that will be like on Sat, but jusging on the extended forecast for the area, Im hoping for a Summit temp no less than 0 with wind chills no less than -20. I have no idea about wind, but Im keeping my fingers crossed, and hope to come into work tomorrow and see high winds for the day forecasted at 50 mph max....

Anyone out there no where I can find more weather info for Saturday?

the_swede
01-17-2008, 04:29 PM
My friend and I have decided we are going to give it a shot this weekend. We're driving up tomorrow morning from New Jersey so we're going to give the summit a go on Saturday.

lordvoldemort
01-17-2008, 04:35 PM
Sunday looks brutal but that's when we are scheduled to climb on a guided trip. The last time I did Mt. Washington, it was'nt that bad, the conditions were "normal". I guess, i will let you guys know how it goes after i get back.

btw, skiing down auto-road sounds like a great idea, my only concern would if there are any steep cliffs along the road, since i have heard the road to be very narrow.

Also, those who are climbing this weekend and want to get in touch with me, please feel free to send me an email.

the_swede
01-17-2008, 10:36 PM
Dealing with friends is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of planning a trip. Now my trip is canceled because my hiking partner doesn't want to deal with driving up in the snow. :mad:

Last weekend the weather was perfect but we ended up not going because we decided to wait for another friend to come back from a trip to Chicago. Just yesterday, he bailed out because he can't get out of tennis practice. :mad:

This sucks...

Bill O
01-17-2008, 10:43 PM
Dealing with friends is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of planning a trip. Now my trip is canceled because my hiking partner doesn't want to deal with driving up in the snow. :mad:

Last weekend the weather was perfect but we ended up not going because we decided to wait for another friend to come back from a trip to Chicago. Just yesterday, he bailed out because he can't get out of tennis practice. :mad:

This sucks...

What snow? I see some advisories up tonight for 2-4", but the plows will make quick work of that in the morning. That's pretty much a non-issue. Think of what would happen to the economies of VT & NH if nobody went out when it snowed 4".

Now, temps are a different story. Single digits on Saturday falling into the -10's for Sunday. Winds 40-60 knots. Still climbable if you are well prepared, but little room for error.

the_swede
01-17-2008, 10:49 PM
My friend called up Pinkham Notch and asked about the conditions. I think the woman scared him out of this trip. :rolleyes:

Mike D
01-17-2008, 10:59 PM
Early estimates have summit temps at -20 to -25 F on Monday.

the_swede
01-17-2008, 11:00 PM
Yeah, Monday looks pretty frigid but we were supposed to give the summit a go on Saturday.

Bill O
01-17-2008, 11:03 PM
My friend called up Pinkham Notch and asked about the conditions. I think the woman scared him out of this trip. :rolleyes:

That's pretty much their job. They have no idea who you are, how much experience you have, and they certainly don't want to give your trip a seal of approval. You know what the forecast is. Their information is one piece of the puzzle. The rest is up for you to fill in.

the_swede
01-17-2008, 11:08 PM
Yeah, I wish I could tell him that. He is probably the most indecisive person I have ever met. It's very frustrating because one minute he'll be psyched to go and then an hour later, he'll decide that he doesn't think it's a good idea. Looks like I need to find a more motivated group to deal with.

Bill O
01-17-2008, 11:11 PM
Yeah, Monday looks pretty frigid but we were supposed to give the summit a go on Saturday.

If you're dead set on making it to the summit of Mount Washington then maybe staying home is a good idea. Otherwise, I'd still go to NH for the weekend. Maybe the forecast will be a bust and you'll sneak up to the top Saturday morning. Or maybe it will be terrible and you'll poke your head above treeline then get down as fast as possible. As long as you are willing to alter your plans you should be able to have a good time in the White Mountains.

kaseri
01-17-2008, 11:19 PM
You could always make a few turns on the Sherbie.

I'm thinking of skinning up in the morning and sliding down to Pinkham. Stop into the visitors center for lunch and then head back up for one more run.

the_swede
01-17-2008, 11:20 PM
The idea of not making it to the summit doesn't bother me. I'm not dead set on getting to the top. I would like to get a taste of the White Mountains in the winter and if that means just making it to Lion's Head and then heading back, I'll be satisfied.

I believe it is my friend who is more interested in getting to the top than I am. He thinks it would be a waste of time to travel all the way up to NH only to turn around if the weather goes sour.

If the weather turns out to be OK, perhaps the summit is a good goal. Maybe if the weather is bad, we'll only get as far as treeline. From the comfort of my room I can only speculate what it will be like. The best option to me is to at least head out and see what it's like and then assess what is feasible depending on the conditions.

Flippin
01-18-2008, 08:15 AM
Swede, I feel for you. Im frustrated just reading your posts. Tell your buddy to suck it up and get in the car. Its going to be a great weekend and plenty of opportunity to learn and get winter climbing experience is in the forecast. Its raining in Boston right now and if your in NJ, then by the time you get to the NH state line, weather will be a non-issue. New England laughs in the face of 6 inches, thats a dusting. Further, weather forecasting in New England is a crap shoot, it changes by the minute and you can never predict a thing. Worst that can happen is a great road trip.... sorry for ranting, but I feel for you.

Myself and two friends will be at the parking lot at Pinkham Notch by 645-700 AM. You are more than welcome to join up with us. Were heading up Lions Head and further weather permitting.

the_swede
01-18-2008, 12:19 PM
Flippin, thanks for the invite. I had sort of depended on my two hiking buddies for a trip this winter break and we had been planning on one for several months. Our original plan called for backpacking in the ADKs but two weeks ago we decided to change it to the Whites. Week after week of delays and now it's my last weekend of winter break and still no trip. Oh well. I've got something local planned now with another friend instead. :)

Flippin
01-18-2008, 01:22 PM
Question: Snow shoes this weekend? Going up and down Lions Head... Will they be needed above or below?

Brad
01-18-2008, 01:37 PM
I hate to tell you but today's weather in Maine is awesome!

Flippin
01-18-2008, 02:16 PM
so jealous...

Magpie
01-20-2008, 12:00 PM
Its a nice weekend but frigid -56 wind Chill ? NECN is reporting for the summit. Please stay together and turn around if any problems occur. Lets us know how it go's.
:cool:

Brad
01-20-2008, 02:19 PM
Question: Snow shoes this weekend? Going up and down Lions Head... Will they be needed above or below?
Generally snowshoes are not needed below Lions Head on Tuckermans Trail. It is well packed. Reasonably good tread on boots is all that is needed. Others will have to comment on lower and upper Lions Head winter trail conditions.

kaseri
01-20-2008, 10:33 PM
I've never needed snowshoes on the lower or upper portions of Lion Head. Crampons have been all I've needed.

lordvoldemort
01-22-2008, 03:50 PM
So we took the lion's head trail on Sun of MLK weekend. The forecast was brutal and the guide sounded discouraging right from the beginning of the hike. We made it to Lion's head on time, around noon (considering that we started after 9:00), but the guide was advising us to turn back because of the wind gusts. He had a device to measure wind and temp, he recorded it at 44mph and said it gets worse as we head to the top. Most people in the group wanted to head back, too, so alas, we headed back.

There was lots of snow, but still relatively packed in most places. You would definitely need crampons. There is one tricky spot at lions head , but except for that the trail is non-technical. But it is steep.

Brad
01-22-2008, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the update and glad you all turned back and are safe. It has to be a great view from up on Lions Head in the winter!

Steve M
01-22-2008, 06:55 PM
Glad to hear you had a great time up there. Any pics?

the_swede
01-23-2008, 12:16 AM
Awesome! You're lucky to have made it that far. I'm envious!

billysinc
01-23-2008, 08:11 AM
Your guide and group made the right decision. The summit reports for that day had temps at -15 and winds above 60mph with the temps dropping and winds climbing. One small mistake there and the day would go from memorable to really memorable but in a bad way.

I'm going up in early March, hopefully the weather cooperates.

Flippin
01-23-2008, 09:16 AM
Made our way to the summit on Saturday, 1/19. Weather was great all day. Only felt a little bit cold after about 10 mins at the top. Awesome day all in all. Slid down most of Lions Head and it was a blast. Good adrenaline rush at the end of the day.

83

DirtyItalian
01-23-2008, 09:32 AM
I may be down for the 26th if anyone else is going?

lordvoldemort
01-23-2008, 03:46 PM
We may have made the right decision, better safe than sorry i guess. I think the weather matters mostly once you are above the tree line and beyond Lion's Head. Till that time, you are mostly shielded by the mountain and the trees. I am going to give it another shot, this time on my own. Right now I am shopping for boots/crampons/axe etc.

Bill O
01-23-2008, 05:13 PM
Question: Snow shoes this weekend? Going up and down Lions Head... Will they be needed above or below?

For the record, snowshoes are almost never needed on that route.

For the most part everything below treeline is packed down daily by a snow tractor or is too steep for snowshoes.