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View Full Version : Hesitant on traveling to Mt.Washington



msiesco
02-25-2008, 12:20 AM
Hello,
I'm from Wisconsin and my friend and I are mountain enthusiasts who really only have experience out in the Rockies so far. I recently learned of Mt.Washington and we decided we might make a trip out there this summer, but we later on learned that you can drive to the top and we became kind of worried.. We want to climb the mountain but we are a little worried that the area is a little touristy due to the ease of summiting via vehicle. So, in the least rude way I can(because I truly respect the mountain!) I am wondering if it is worth spending our one summer trip to go all the way out there. We would plan on climbing 2 other peaks in the time as well.
Thanks, I know this is a very general question, but we are broke college students and want to make the most of our travels!

matt

billysinc
02-25-2008, 07:44 AM
It's definitely worth it.

Yes there is an auto road and yes there will be people with little dogs and high heals wandering around the summit buildings but go 100 yards in any direction from the top and you'll get one of the best mountain experiences east of the Rockies.

Deep and wild ravines, above treeline trails exposed to the elements and on clear days views that stretch for a 100 miles.

Take a look around this website at the photographs.

mtruman
02-25-2008, 08:28 AM
I second billysinc's opinion 1000 percent. The summit can be avoided if you want to avoid the tourists but it is worth going to the top for the observatory (and tagging the summit). That said, Mt Washington is just one of the spectacular peaks in the Presidential Range (and the White Mountains in general) and you don't need to just climb it alone. There are many great multi-day options. Backpacking and tenting (although you need to plan since tenting is limited), multiple day hikes to different peaks or a multi-day hike using any of the AMC high mountain huts. Check out the AMC site at http://outdoors.org (http://outdoors.org/) for more info (as well as this forum). If you'd like to see what it can be like in summer on top of the Presidentials check out the album from the Presidential Traverse that my wife and I did last summer. We actually skipped the summit of Washington on this trip since we were having such a great experience and wanted to avoid the tourists. Didn't feel like we lost anything by that choice although I think next time I'd go to the top anyway...

http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/HutToHutPresidentialTraverse


Come to the Whites this summer and you won't be disappointed.

msiesco
02-25-2008, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the replies, I feel reassured and I'll pass this on to my buddy. Can't wait to get out there.

Steve M
02-25-2008, 02:39 PM
Mt Lafayette is the 2nd highest peak in the White Mountains and offers a much less touristy peak as well. I wouldn't skip the Washington hike to the summit but I would add Lafayette to my list of hikes while I was there. You truly won't be disappointed with a trip to the White Mountains. They may not be the Rockies in stature but they have their own charm worth checking out.

mtruman
02-25-2008, 03:11 PM
Mt Lafayette is the 2nd highest peak in the White Mountains and offers a much less touristy peak as well.
Not to be picky, but Lafayette is actually 6th highest in the Whites (although it is the highest outside the Presidential range). I certainly agree to it being a great hike - particularly as a part of a Franconia Ridge loop. The other major peaks in the Presidentials are doable either alone or in combination. There's a list and more information on all the NH 4000 footers here: http://www.amc4000footer.org/

If you want a first-hand look at what they are like take a look at KD Talbot's web site with the trip reports and photo albums from their multiple hikes on all of the 4Ks: http://www.ghostflowers.com/

Steve M
02-25-2008, 04:36 PM
Thanks for putting me straight. I never actually looked it up and I should have. I was told once that it was 2nd highest and I went with that. Don't mean to give false info.

mtruman
02-25-2008, 05:16 PM
Very minor false info - like I said, I hate to be picky. Anyway, mountains should be rated on their challenge, enjoyment, views, etc as opposed to their height. On that basis Lafayette is certainly a good candidate as #2 in the Whites. Of course on that basis there might need to be consideration as to whether Mt Washington is truly #1 (lets see how many people yell at me for this statement). :eek:

Actually, this would make for a fun poll. On the basis of all the factors that make a mountain worth climbing what is the #1 mountain in the White Mountains? To make it even more fun, how about in New England?

KD Talbot
02-25-2008, 07:04 PM
As everyone has already stated, the Whites and especially the Northern Presidentials are well worth the trip. I think you should visit the summit of Washington, just don't make it your ultimate destination. Many do a traverse across the Northern Presi's like Mark Truman. I've got to warn you though, if you really are broke college students, you won't like the prices at the AMC Huts. If you don't already have a map of the Presi's get one:

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=14

Even better, get the White Mountain Guide which includes maps:

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=28

This will be invaluable in giving you what you need to know about the mountains, trails and trip planning in New Hampshire and includes tyvek maps.

If you visit during the week it is usually less crowded than weekends. A great trip to consider would be camping in the Great Gulf. From there you can climb any or all of the Northern Presi's. Believe me, from this vantage you will be more than satisfied with your trip and may find some of the trails quite challenging.

In conclusion, I'd like to say to billysinc: Ok, I'll leave the high heels at home, but the little dog is coming :)!

To wsr88d: Really, you Fla people ;)! You should try the loop on a summer weekend if you want solitude. Not!

To mtruman: My vote is for Owl's Head. 8 miles through the blackfly infested woods, a mile up a landslide waiting to happen and a viewless summit. Classic White Mountains! I've gotta get back there :D!

KDT

msiesco
02-25-2008, 07:51 PM
thanks for all the info. How is Mt.Adams? The one with the "alien healing force" I've read so much about. That was another one that caught our interest.

KD Talbot
02-25-2008, 08:25 PM
Adams, (the second highest mountain in New England and the White Mountains, for those of you keeping track of such things) is awesome! Every bit as interesting as Washington and much less crowded. You can stay at the RMC Huts much cheaper than the AMC ones, too!

http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/index.html

KDT

rockin rex
02-26-2008, 05:33 AM
Actually many people do Adams and Washington in the same day hike. If you get the map that K.D. recommended you will see there are trails that leave from Appalachia parking lot on Rt. 2 that head up to Adams. Once up on the ridge you can climb Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Clay and then finish with Washington. This is an amazing day hike and can be easily done in a day.
For camping you can drop off of Washington on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and stay in one of the shelters at Hermit lake. Now the question how to get back to your car?? Follow the Tuckerman Ravine trail to Pinkham notch and either hitch a ride back (easy to get a ride in the parking lot) or take the offical shuttle back. This is an amazing hike and if only one hike could be done on the East coast this is the one I would recommended. Remember though weather can change everything.

Steve M
02-26-2008, 09:05 AM
This will be invaluable in giving you what you need to know about the mountains, trails and trip planning in New Hampshire and includes tyvek maps.
KDT
Wow, the latest edition of the AMC guide book has tyvek maps? That's awesome. I will have to get one because my paper ones are starting to rip and I thought of laminating the pages but then the wouldn't pack well for a trip.:rolleyes:

msiesco
02-26-2008, 02:54 PM
Actually many people do Adams and Washington in the same day hike. If you get the map that K.D. recommended you will see there are trails that leave from Appalachia parking lot on Rt. 2 that head up to Adams. Once up on the ridge you can climb Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Clay and then finish with Washington. This is an amazing day hike and can be easily done in a day.
For camping you can drop off of Washington on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and stay in one of the shelters at Hermit lake. Now the question how to get back to your car?? Follow the Tuckerman Ravine trail to Pinkham notch and either hitch a ride back (easy to get a ride in the parking lot) or take the offical shuttle back. This is an amazing hike and if only one hike could be done on the East coast this is the one I would recommended. Remember though weather can change everything.
Thats a ton of help because we want to do as much as we can in the given amount of time and that sounds like a great plan. Thank you.

mtruman
02-26-2008, 03:44 PM
Wow, the latest edition of the AMC guide book has tyvek maps?
The new version has better updated maps (with the most useful addition being milage for trail segments) but they are sadly still paper. You can buy the Tyvek ones separately, but I actually like this one better. It's a single waterproof map for the whole White Mountain region and has the same level of trail details as the AMC version (for 1/3 the price).

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=17 (http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/../store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=17)

If you want the AMC Tyvek version you can get them here:

http://amcstore.outdoors.org/amcstore/product.asp?dept_id=&pf_id=PAAAAANOJABKEEEL&

mtruman
02-26-2008, 03:58 PM
I'll actually correct my last post. There is the Centennial Edition of the White Mountain Guide which includes the Tyvek maps instead of the paper ones.

http://amcstore.outdoors.org/amcstore/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=White+Mountain+Centennial+Set&pf_id=PAAAAAKFDAIEBMEN&dept_id=3045

The bad news is that it costs $50 which is basically the same as the cost of the standard version plus the separate Tyvek maps :(

Steve M
02-26-2008, 07:30 PM
I'll actually correct my last post. There is the Centennial Edition of the White Mountain Guide which includes the Tyvek maps instead of the paper ones.

http://amcstore.outdoors.org/amcstore/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=White+Mountain+Centennial+Set&pf_id=PAAAAAKFDAIEBMEN&dept_id=3045

The bad news is that it costs $50 which is basically the same as the cost of the standard version plus the separate Tyvek maps :(
Thanks for sharing that . I looked for them at Amazon.com but they don't have any. I guess they are too new to be used already. Not enough of them out there. I'll just have to save my nickels for one.:)

msiesco
02-27-2008, 01:18 AM
So I have seen that you can stay in the huts, but is there tent camping permitted?

KD Talbot
02-27-2008, 06:15 AM
Only in designated areas. Valley Way, Hermit Lake, Osgood and near some of the RMC's Huts. A map would show you where all of these are.;)

KDT

Bill O
02-27-2008, 06:18 AM
So I have seen that you can stay in the huts, but is there tent camping permitted?

Not like you might be used to out west. Too many people in a relatively small and fragile environment. I encourage people to stick to the designated tent sites. I'll let somebody else chime in with their personal favorites.

TC3
02-29-2008, 02:09 PM
...I am wondering if it is worth spending our one summer trip to go all the way out there. We would plan on climbing 2 other peaks in the time as well.
Thanks, I know this is a very general question, but we are broke college students and want to make the most of our travels!

matt

Matt,

It looks like many others have already tried to convince you that it WOULD be worth coming. I have to throw in with them!

I've hiked in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and California and can honestly say the Whites are as memorable as anything I've done.

Surely hit Washington - but make it part of a 2 or 3 peak trip. There are many ways to do this, even as a Day Hike.

You won't regret it!