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EarlyBird
09-16-2008, 08:29 PM
I'm planning to hike mt.washington this coming weekend and was wondering if anyone had a trail preferance.

i was planning on the ammounuce to jewll trail rather than tuckerman..
mainly because it starts 900ft higher and appears to be not as difficult than the ravine and headwall.

also,what are some suggestions for equipment and clothing to bring/wear?the weather appears to be nice according to weather stations.i also know taht can change quickly.

Bill O
09-16-2008, 08:49 PM
That is a good trail option.

Its starting to get cold up on the summit. Not sure what the forecast is this weekend, but 60s in the valley could translate to 30s and 40s on the summit.

Hat and gloves are always in my bag, no matter what season it is.

TrishandAlex
09-16-2008, 09:05 PM
I found the Ammonoosuc trail to be extremely do-able. Those first two miles are a pleasant walk in the woods. The last mile is hard and steep, but then you're above treeline and the hard work is over, at least for the ascent. Crawford Path to Washington's summit is fairly easy if you've got good weather.

Jewell trail down...different story, at least for me. Too many huge boulders to rock-hop on and over, at least for the first two miles. I found the descent really hard until we got to treeline. So for me, the easiest thing by far would be to ascend AND descend using the Ammonoosuc. That's just my opinion, I'm sure there will be many others. ;)

KD Talbot
09-16-2008, 09:46 PM
Trish is right, the quickest retreat, and probably the easiest is back down the Ammo. Much less time above treeline if bad weather is approaching. I'm not saying don't go Jewell Trail, just keep the retreat in mind as an option. Also, many get confused looking for the Jewell. You must leave the summit near the northwest corner of the Tip-Top House and descend the Trinity Heights Connector, then north along the Gulfside Trail, you actually start to climb Mount Clay a little before you reach the junction with the Jewell. Avoid the Mount Clay Loop unless you plan to visit the summit of Clay. Give yourself plenty of time as the Jewell can be easy to miss if it gets dark which would leave you out on the Presi's over night. Not good.

Bill is also correct, you can pretty much expect it to be cold and windy regardless of the forecast or temp in the parking lot. Be sure to have layers and plenty of food and water.
9/22/06 Crawford Path
http://ghostflowers.com/white_mtns4000/washington92206/images/36washington92206.jpg

KDT

EarlyBird
09-16-2008, 10:07 PM
thanks for the advice.I wasn't aware of the difficulty on the decsent.
I was lead towards tuckermans too.i'm toggling between the 2 on which route to go.
i'm sure after hiking all day,i will not want an extream decent.

EarlyBird
09-16-2008, 10:09 PM
wow,what great advice on the jewl trail.
i'm thinking after reading what you had to say i might search for another route down.
i wasn't planning on bringing any overnight gear so a night out on the presi would definitly be bad.
i have my map spread open wide and i'm looking towards tuckermans and perhaps the other approad of the mountain.

EarlyBird
09-16-2008, 10:11 PM
thanks bill.
Hat and gloves,check!
i have been monitoring the weather via the autoroad section of the site.It always seems to be 20 degrees colder at the summit than at the base...
i'm crazy excited to the summit though weather permitting

EarlyBird
09-16-2008, 10:19 PM
what are yer thoughts on ascending via tuckermans--->decsend via Lion's Head or Boott Spur?

KD Talbot
09-16-2008, 10:26 PM
IMO Tuckerman is a more extreme descent than Jewell, shorter by bout a mile. Once you're down to Hermit Lake it's much easier, but tricky until then.

Bill would tell you none of these meet the extreme criteria, but he's climbed some much bigger mountains. :)

Do not forge on to make the summit if cold or fatigued. Turn around, it will be there another day. Most get in trouble pushing on when they should have turned back. Have a turn around time that gives you plenty of light to get out safely. Despite a road and a train, there is no guaranty of getting a ticket for either to get down.

KDT

Brad
09-17-2008, 05:36 AM
I would not call Jewell, Tuckermans or Lions Head descent "extreme". They are slow going in good weather and you have to watch your step or you must step over and around one more rock. If your knees are not used to it you end up going even slower and then you start to get into the end of day and lower light. Days are starting to get a lot shorter now.

I like up Lions Head and down Tuckermans - but I only do it in good weather as you can not see bad weather coming from the west. Going up Ammo and down Jewell I typically do once a year. Going back down Ammo is a great option if you need to. The hardest part on that Ammo-Jewell route for me is the part above treeline from the summit to just after the start of the Jewell. You are really exposed and committed once you are on Gulfside. That is always where bad weather hits for me on that route. :o

Bill O
09-17-2008, 07:54 AM
!
i have been monitoring the weather via the autoroad section of the site.It always seems to be 20 degrees colder at the summit than at the base...
i'm crazy excited to the summit though weather permitting

The current conditions are good snapshot of what its like right now, but for planning purposes make sure you look at some forecasts:

Higher Summits Forecast (http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/summit_forecast.php)

NWS Valley Forecast (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?site=GYX&llon=-71.867083&rlon=-70.909583&tlat=44.890417&blat=43.935417&smap=1&mp=0&map.x=143&map.y=165)

TrishandAlex
09-17-2008, 07:57 AM
Also, many get confused looking for the Jewell. You must leave the summit near the northwest corner of the Tip-Top House and descend the Trinity Heights Connector, then north along the Gulfside Trail, you actually start to climb Mount Clay a little before you reach the junction with the Jewell. Avoid the Mount Clay Loop unless you plan to visit the summit of Clay. Give yourself plenty of time as the Jewell can be easy to miss if it gets dark which would leave you out on the Presi's over night. KDT

Yes, yes, and yes. I had trouble finding the Jewell trail and navigating it a bit, and this was in broad daylight and great weather. (However, I'm not as experienced as the rest of the folks on this forum.)

If you want an easy (and still very scenic!) descent, go back down the Ammonoosuc.

And I'll repeat what the others have said. Turn back if the weather turns sour. I guarantee you'll regret it if you don't.

mtruman
09-17-2008, 11:57 AM
Having only been up and down Washington once I feel much less qualified to reply than most of the folks here, but here's my opinion anyway. Our one trip was up Lion's Head and down Tuckermans. I found this route very doable and didn't have an issue with the descent on Tucks. I was glad that we did it in this direction since I felt that going down Lion's Head would have been tougher (but not terrible). The key here is probably the weather. Either of these in wet (or worse icy) conditions would make the steep rocky descent quite a challenge. I'll leave it to the more experienced to comment on how that would compare with Ammo/Jewel or the other options

Brad
09-18-2008, 06:05 AM
Mark,

The west side of the mountain is quite different. Going up Ammo is not as steep as either Lions Head or Tuckermans. Roughly at 2 miles on the Tuckerman trail and you are at HoJo's. On the Ammo at 2 miles you are above treeline and at Lakes of the Clouds.

Finding any trail above treeline is hard till you know where to start. The directions of - go to NW corner of Tip Top house and look NW - is excellent to start heading to the Jewell. That works as there is a cairn easily within sight. The trail then goes to the NW to cross the cog tracks.

Going down is - going down. This puts a lot of pressure on your knees and hips. If you step with a stop each step, you will get sore quickly. Your body takes quite a beating. If you think of going down an escalator - your upper body flows down and your feet float from rock to rock without stopping at each step - this is a smoother and easier way of going down. You still need to be in shape to do this.

Either route is doable for someone is good shape.

KD Talbot
09-18-2008, 10:20 AM
Going up Ammo is not as steep as either Lions Head or Tuckermans. Roughly at 2 miles on the Tuckerman trail and you are at HoJo's. On the Ammo at 2 miles you are above treeline and at Lakes of the Clouds.

Correction: 2.4 miles, 1850' elevation gain to Hermit Lake Shelter (Hojo's). Then 1.8 Miles and 2450' elevation gain to summit. Totals 4.2 miles and 4250' elevation gain.

2.1 miles, 950' elevation gain to Gem Pool, then the climb begins. From there 1 mile and 1550' elevation gain to Lakes of the Clouds. 1.4 miles and 1300' elevation gain to summit on Crawford Path. Totals: 4.5 miles and 3800' elevation gain.

Ammo/Crawford is 3/10ths longer and 450' less elevation gain.

Source: White Mountain Guide, (Hiker's Bible, don't plan a trip without one.)

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

KDT

TrishandAlex
09-18-2008, 10:50 AM
If you step with a stop each step, you will get sore quickly. Your body takes quite a beating. If you think of going down an escalator - your upper body flows down and your feet float from rock to rock without stopping at each step - this is a smoother and easier way of going down.

Wow -- great tip, hadn't thought of it like that before.

Brad
09-18-2008, 06:44 PM
I have had people stop me as I go by them and ask what I am doing. It does look different and I can move right along. Well, I used to before I got old. But, that is a different story. When they try it they go a lot faster and it is easier.