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ityler
03-03-2008, 08:26 PM
me and a group of friends plan on hiking Mt. Washington in mid April. the last time we went there was alot of snow on the ground and most of us were not prepared at all... what would be the best thing to wear (jacket, pants, shorts? boots etc) for Mt. Washington in April?

Bill O
03-03-2008, 08:35 PM
me and a group of friends plan on hiking Mt. Washington in mid April. the last time we went there was alot of snow on the ground and most of us were not prepared at all... what would be the best thing to wear (jacket, pants, shorts? boots etc) for Mt. Washington in April?

Seems like you answered your own question. If you were too cold you needed more clothes.

The best bet is to layer your clothes. If its sunny and warm you may want to be in shorts for the hike up. But if it gets cloudy it can get cold quickly so you want warm clothes. A hat goes a long way to keeping you warm.

Considering I saw five people almost get trapped in an avalanche in mid-April its too early to be playing around on Mount Washington. April can be very winter like.

Steve M
03-03-2008, 09:06 PM
Even May can be very winter like. We were up there towards the end of May two years ago and my daughter and I hiked up into 6-8 inches of snow on the southern Presidential's with temps in the low to mid 30's.

KD Talbot
03-03-2008, 09:22 PM
http://www.ghostflowers.com/forumshots/52washington7106.jpg

Nuff said!

KDT

billysinc
03-04-2008, 07:43 AM
This year you might be able to put August 1st on that picture.

mtruman
03-04-2008, 08:53 AM
This year you might be able to put August 1st on that picture.

Good point. Should we plan on bringing crampons for STP? :rolleyes:

mocomedic
03-04-2008, 10:14 AM
the average temp @ mt washington in april is 22.9 degrees with a record low of -20 in 1995. definetly use the layering system http://www.rei.com/learn/Camping/rei/learn/camp/bkclothf?vcat=REI_EXPERT_ADVICE_CAMPING

REI has a crazy library of free information heres they link that will give you the information to make a perfect clothing set-up.

above all realize that this peak is known for its title having "the worlds worst weather" we all need to respect that and prepare for the worst.

billysinc
03-04-2008, 11:13 AM
I actually believe those transition months in the early spring and late fall are the most dangerous. The middle of February is easy, just plan for cold. April? Who knows what you're going to get.

Steve M
03-04-2008, 11:21 AM
I actually believe those transition months in the early spring and late fall are the most dangerous. The middle of February is easy, just plan for cold. April? Who knows what you're going to get.
Not to mention stream crossings and other trail conditions.

climbabout
03-04-2008, 01:02 PM
I would generally be taking the same clothing for an April Climb as I would mid-winter - the seasons on Mount Washington follow their own schedule. Synthetic skin layer top and bottom/wool or synthetic socks/mountaineering boots/crampons/ice ax/windproof pants/goretex pants with side zips/lightweight fleece top/heavier fleece top/goretex jacket/ hat/gloves/mittens/down or synthetic parka for rest breaks or emergency/ and a sleeping bag/and bivy sack and shovel. In all likelihood, most of this would be in my pack, but I would have it with me nonetheless. Warm sunny starts turn into bitter cold windy afternoons with astounding regularity.
Tim

Knapper
03-04-2008, 04:12 PM
Come prepared for anything and everything. Your day pack should essential be backed for any kind of condition as well as protection for an overnight in the worst case scenario since it takes hours to help someone and you don't want to be sitting out in the open while you wait. April is in what we call the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) and are usually when we have the most rescues. This is because people start off in 40+F weather at the base thinking it is like that at the top and get caught in 10-20F (or worst) weather at the top with higher winds making it feel colder. Most wear tennis shoes and cotton which are the enemy up here. And some of the largest snow storms I have experienced up here have occured in either April/May and October/November. Also take caution coming up any trail because the excessive snow is causing avalanches and sluff off in locations that have not seen activity in neary 30-40 years. If you read the avalanche report today, you'll see what I mean. Bottom line, be careful, be prepared, and be aware.

Ryan Knapp
Staff Meteorologist, KMWN

forestgnome
03-09-2008, 07:35 AM
CHECK AVALANCHE DANDER FIRST!

Personally, if the danger is not rated low I stay well away from anything that is known to slide. That would include the winter route up to Lion Head, a trail designed to avoid avalanche danger on the summer route.

Consider hiking Boot Spur Trail. It is longer, but it is safer, has steadier grades, and it's incredibly scenic. Along the way is an outlook called Harvard Rock. I witnessed an avalanche from this safe viewpoint, which is perhaps a mile away. The noise of that avalanche was amazing. I will never go anywhere near avalanche danger because of that experience.

I assume that Tuckerman Ravine will be more full of snow than in recent years. There will be many people skiing the bowl in mid-April, especially on a weekend. The easiest route to the summit just might be TRT to the bottom of the bowl, and then follow the skiiers, as they will have kicked steps into the snow all the way up to the snowfields, where you can continue to the summit. As you look up, to the right is about the most popular/easy way up. I've only done this once with my snowboard, on May 1st, 2002 (?). There was so much snow in the bowl that part of the lip was gone. It was just a steady slope of snow from bottom to above where the lip usually is. These conditions may be the case this April.

For clothes, I agree about layers. Bring extra shirts and hats so you can change out of your sweaty shirts and hats once you get to the top. Bring extra neck gators and mitts.

happy trails :)

Bill O
03-09-2008, 08:31 AM
What's your plan if a sunny, warm 40 degree day turns into a windy 25 degree day or colder? I'm not talking about clothing, but your lack of ice axe, mountaineering boots and crampons.

It was probably easy stomping up the trail in the soft snow, but if that freezes up on you that is a big problem.

forestgnome
03-09-2008, 08:53 AM
Absolutely, they should have traction. I don't use mountaineering boots or ice axe, but I would recommend them.

When I went, I used snowshoes and my snowboard boots (warm and comfy) on the well-packed TRT all the to the bowl. Then I traded the snowshoes for 10pt. crampons, which also fit well over the snowboard boots, for the ascent up to the snowfields, then back to snowshoes to the summit. So, I essentially had three different modes of travel, and luckily, the ride down was the most pleasant and exhilarating ride of my life.:D

forestgnome
03-09-2008, 10:33 AM
http://www.ghostflowers.com/forumshots/52washington7106.jpg

Nuff said!

KDT

Excellent! I've never seen the famed arch, just missed it once.