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Great Guinness Ghost
12-27-2007, 08:23 PM
My brother in law and I are considring going up Huntington for STP'08. We did Lions' Head last year with no problem. In fact we've been up a lot of the trails to the summit including the headwall at Tuck's. We understand the dangers of early exposure, descending and the no no of going in the rain. However, if the conditions are right, is this a technical climb? Is there room for faster hikers to pass? Is it anything like the headwall? Any info or experiences would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks, see you on the trail!G.G.G.

KD Talbot
12-27-2007, 09:10 PM
This is not a technical climb, but, to quote the AMC White Mountain Guidebook:

Caution:This is the most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains. Many of the ledges demand proper use of handholds for safe passage, and extreme caution must be exercised at all times. Although experienced hikers who are reasonably comfortable on steep rock will probably encounter little difficulty when conditions are good, the exposure on several of the steeper ledges is likely to prove extremely unnerving to novices and to those who are uncomfortable in steep places. Do not attempt this trail if you tend to feel queasy or have difficulty on ledges on ordinary trails. Hikers encumbered with large or heavy packs may experience great difficulty in some places. This trail is very dangerous when wet or icy, and its use for descent at any time is strongly discouraged. Since retreat under unfavorable conditions can be extremely difficult and hazardous, one should never venture beyond The Fan in deteriorating conditions or when weather on the Alpine Garden is likely to be severe.

I've climbed it twice. I'm not sure it was the hardest trail I ever did, but that is a subject for endless conjecture. It was steep and difficult. Above The Fan, there is little or no room for hikers to pass. To answer your other specific questions, no, it is nothing like Tucks Headwall. When you climbed through Tucks picture yourself climbing off trail up over the ledges where the waterfalls were and you will get an idea of the climb above The Fan.

All this being said, it is still quite doable. Remember, once you're up to the Alpine Garden, it is still a long rock hop to the summit. A good retreat from here is across the AG to Lion Head or even to Tucks. If you make it to the AG, make an honest evaluation of your fatigue level, time, weather, etc. before heading to the summit. You still have a long way to go back to Pinkham Notch. I always find the hike down more difficult because my energy levels are tapped, my legs are beat, and to me, the strain on my knees is just worse going down.

I could go on, but I'll spare you. Rockin Rex and his son climbed it last STP. I don't remember if they went all the way to the summit, I'm pretty sure they did. Rex said it was the most awesome hike he's ever had in the Whites and I know he's been on some of the more intense trails up here. It certainly is one of my more memorable. Just heed all the warnings and be honest to yourselves. You'll be fine.

KDT

rockin rex
12-28-2007, 08:52 AM
K.D. I guess you remember how stoked my son Baxter (14 yrs old) and myself were after doing Huntington this past Seek The Peak. I had been up H.R. before but doing it with Baxter was a trip I will NEVER forget!! Huntington is an intense hike and once above the fan there is NO TURNING BACK. After you make that turn off the well trodden tucks trail you then realize you are in for an experience. The hike up to the floor of the Ravine is amazing and very difficult in and of its self.. The stream crossings can get interesting and there are some steep and rough parts of the trail just getting to the floor of the ravine. Once on the floor of the ravine you then get to see where you will be heading. As Baxter said " Dad there is no way a trail goes up there". Well there is some what of a trail if you can call it that. From the floor up to just above the fan the trail climbs up and over some steep rock sections and thru some low alpine to the point of no return. This is the section where most people wonder if they made the right choice. This part is all on steep slabs with few hand holds and if you are scared of hights can be very intimidating. There is no place to pass other people on this section so if you freeze up you hold up the line. This section of trail is one of the most intense in the Whites. Once you commit to it you have to make it up to the Alpine Garden. There is no turning around. This is the reason that you ALWAYS check the weather before heading up to Huntington and only do H.R. if you are going to have a dry day. I would not want to be on this trail in rain!!!!! As difficult as this trail is it is one of my favorites and that is why I brought my son up with me. Take your time doing it, take in the awesome views and beauty of the ravine and this will be a hike you will remember for a life time. Once up at the Alpine Garden you then have a 45 minute hike to the summit. If you are tired from the hike up the ravine this last section from the alpine garden to the summit can seem like eternity. When you reach the top of the rock pile congrats, You made it!!

Steve M
12-28-2007, 10:12 AM
Thanks for the blow by blow Rex. My son wants to do H.R. in the worst way and I must admit I would like to do it as well. I think I will wait until he is a few years older before we take it on. It sounds like a great challenge.

Brad
12-28-2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the blow by blow Rex. My son wants to do H.R. in the worst way and I must admit I would like to do it as well. I think I will wait until he is a few years older before we take it on. It sounds like a great challenge.
What would be nice would be up HR - summit - then stay the night at Lakes of The Clouds. That way you are not having to push to get all the way back to Pinkham.

Steve M
12-28-2007, 12:50 PM
What would be nice would be up HR - summit - then stay the night at Lakes of The Clouds. That way you are not having to push to get all the way back to Pinkham.
Good point. I know how we all felt last year on the way out...hurtin!

rockin rex
12-28-2007, 01:28 PM
The way I got my son to do it was to bribe him with a turkey dinner at the end. Seek The Peak was the perfect time to take him. An amazing tour at the top (Thanks OBS staff) and an all you can eat turkey dinner at the end. Any father or mother looking to do a hike with their children that will be remembered for a lifetime this is the hike. I recommend you do it at Seek The Peak. WHAT AN AMAZING TIME!!!!!!!!!

Brad
12-28-2007, 02:59 PM
Yes, it was a great time and the turkey dinner was excellent. I hope the same folks do it again in 2008.

Steve M
12-28-2007, 08:28 PM
Yes, it was a great time and the turkey dinner was excellent. I hope the same folks do it again in 2008.
Make sure you all take the tour at the top so I can say hello to you all. I'll try to have a treat for you when you come through.

Charlie
12-28-2007, 10:09 PM
i hope you make a special treat for your forum friends :D

Brad
12-28-2007, 10:11 PM
Probably a picture of me playing in the snow with my dog. :-)

Great Guinness Ghost
12-31-2007, 09:06 AM
KDT, Rockin'Rex..
Thanks for the input on Huntington. It sounds wonderful as well as challenging! We'll be working hard to be in our top shape for it. We'll know that morning if conditions aren't right to wave it off for another time. Thanks again for relaying your experience on H.R. We'll keep everything in mind.
I wish everyone a Happy and safe New Year!!! See you on the trail in '08. Talk to you soon, G.G.G.

Alpinist08
01-09-2008, 12:29 PM
For the last two years I have hiked up Huntington Ravine and down Tuckermans. Huntington trail is great and challenging. After coming up the Fan your faced with a steep slab and its fairly smooth. That's the only place I found to be sketchy. Its a great experience! I highly recomend it!!!

sm0421
01-23-2008, 07:19 PM
Hi there,

We hiked Huntington Ravine last September, with the Random Hiking Group, we have a group of 8 people, it could be intimidate if you are afraid of height (like me) but not that hard, my friend who had a hangover and weared jeans made it (it's tough for him though)

On our way up, there are a couple and a family who passed us (and we passed them later), but in certain areas there is only one way up.

We made a mistake by going off trail, we have to do some paralled move on the bare steep rocks, which really SCARED me, but if you stick with the yellow sign you will be good, don't worry.

The hard part is the beginning, after that just believe in your boots or like me use more upper-body strength.

It's a lot of fun, needless to say; please take a look at our pictures.

http://hiking.meetup.com/305/photos/?photoAlbumId=220662&photoId=2158407

Good luck!

Alex

KD Talbot
01-23-2008, 08:02 PM
Great shots! Some really show the steepness. The shots of everyone crossing The Fan are good, too!

KDT

Steve M
01-23-2008, 09:41 PM
Wow, those really put into perspective that trail. That is the kink of climbing I did as a kid only on a smaller scale in CT. I will wait until the kids are much older to attempt that for sure.:eek:

sm0421
01-23-2008, 11:11 PM
Great shots! Some really show the steepness. The shots of everyone crossing The Fan are good, too!

KDT

Thanks KD, The Fan is the hardest part, my backpack was so heavy I could barely hold myself on the rocks, but my friend who was a scrambler before make it easy like walking on the ground, he just trusted the friction of his boots.

We have also done Mt. Washington twice in a day: Amanoosuc Ravine trail---Lion Head Trail to Pinkam Notch---Tuckerman Ravine trail---Jewell trail, it was a lot of fun too!

mtruman
01-24-2008, 03:01 PM
We hiked Huntington Ravine last September, with the Random Hiking Group, we have a group of 8 people, it could be intimidate if you are afraid of height (like me) but not that hard, my friend who had a hangover and weared jeans made it (it's tough for him though)

Very nice photos covering the trail views of the hike. Best shots that I've seen for Huntington that give an idea what it's like to hike the trail. The fear of heights thing is a big problem for me and has kept me from even considering doing this trail (particularly after the AMC guide description). The pictures here as well as your description make it seem much more reasonable (as long as conditions are good). Maybe we will actually try it someday...

Great Guinness Ghost
01-24-2008, 03:48 PM
sm0421 great pix of H.R. Congrats to everyone on your team! I got some good tips from KDT and Rockin Rex. Put that together with your pictures and I really get an idea what I'll be in for. The challenge is exciting! I think I'll get a heavier set of ankle weights though.

MelNino
01-24-2008, 03:58 PM
Lovely shots.....scary too. I'd like to think I can do Huntington, but need way more practice. I think I'll stick with Tux. :D

Great Guinness Ghost
01-24-2008, 04:35 PM
MelNino, where abouts in Ct. are you? I'm in Willimantic

MelNino
01-24-2008, 09:01 PM
Near New Haven, on the shore :)

rockin rex
01-26-2008, 07:37 AM
After reading the thread " Climbed Washington 2x in one day " a light went off. Park at Pinkham, trail run up Tucks or Lions head to the summit, head over to the Jewell, down to the cog lot, back up to the summit via Ammo Ravine trail and then back down to Pinkham. Wow what an incredible day that would be!!!! Washington climbed /ran twice in one day. If I did this hike / run for Seek The Peak it would end with an all I could eat turky dinner.
I guess there is always a challange to be found in the Whites!!