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b1029384756
01-14-2009, 07:26 PM
First post here. As the title states, I want to try Mt. Washington, preferably in the next week or so. I've got most of my equipment together, as far as warm clothing and boots. I bought an ice axe and will be renting crampons when I get up to the area. I'll bring some military rations so I have food, but I don't know what to do about water. Is there anything I can put it in where it's not likely to freeze up while I climb?

Also, what about cameras? I'll want to have a few pictures, but I'm not sure what camera will stand up to the conditions. I have an older Canon digital camera, but if that would be likely to be ruined by the cold, would some kind of disposable film camera work? I'm clueless when it comes to photography.

Finally, what about cheap places to stay nearby? I'll be driving up from Trenton, probably about 8 hours in a truck with no heat, and I'll need to get there the day before to rent the crampons so I can get an early start at around 4 or 5 am on climbing. I'll also probably be tired after a full day of climbing, so I'm not sure if I'll want to drive another 8 hours after climbing without sleeping a bit first. I can sleep in my truck if I have to but I'd rather have someplace with heat that won't run me a fortune.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 08:02 AM
What are you putting the crampons on? Do you know how to use an ice axe?

Military rations are great for the army, but don't sound ideal for a winter hike. I'd consider doing more research on what hikers carry for food in the winter.

Water should be kept in lexan or equivalent water bottles purchased from a mountaineering/outdoor store. If freezing is an issue carry the bottle in your jacket or bring heated water in an insulated container. Stay away from cheap "canteens" from Wal-Mart or the military surplus store. Even the top end bottles aren't that expensive. But its important to buy a good brand. You can't afford to have your water bottle leak.

climbabout
01-15-2009, 08:47 AM
There are several good threads here covering all you need to know regarding climbing Mount Washington in the winter - here's a good one to start with:

http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=228

Also, if you sort this category by thread rating - five stars first - you can find many other threads as well in the first few pages alone. Regarding something Bill pointed out - make sure you know how to use an ice ax - your life could depend on it depending on the snow or ice conditions you encounter. Carrying one without knowing how to use it can me more dangerous than not carrying one - those sharp points can injure easily.

Regarding some of your specific questions - cameras are difficult to predict whether or not they will work in extreme cold. I usually carry one in my pocket, but then you need to worry about condensation on the lens when you take it out. Keep it in an outside pocket where it will stay a little warm, but where your body sweat won't affect it - pretty much a trial and error thing. You could also try a zip lock bag to keep it in as a vapor barrier.

There's plenty of lodging to be had in the Mount Washington Valley - try here:
http://www.mountwashingtonvalley.com/lodging.lasso

You can also try the AMC lodge at the base of the trail you'll be taking here:
http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/lodges/pnvc/index.cfm

You can get last minute supplies here, a hot breakfast(very important) as well as current weather conditions at the summit and above treeline and a host of other great advice. You'll also want to sign in there and out when you descend.

Regarding your water - get yourself a wide mouth nalgene or similar - make sure it's a wide mouth as the smaller necks will freeze in a heartbeat - if you can't drink regularly, then that's a recipe for disaster - hypothermia will accelerate if you are even slightly dehydrated. Make sure the cap is screwed on tight and then put it in a sock and put it upside down in your pack - that way any ice that forms will be on the bottom of the bottle.

For food - bring things that are easily accessible and won't become hard as a rock in the cold - peanut butter on bagels is a favorite of mine - take a break every hour or so and have a bit to eat and drink at regular intervals.

Hope this helps - keep the questions coming.
Tim

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 09:28 AM
What are you putting the crampons on? Do you know how to use an ice axe?

I'm putting the crampons on my boots, obviously. I bought new ones just for this, military issue cold weather. I've seen videos on using an ice axe, so I should be alright.


Military rations are great for the army, but don't sound ideal for a winter hike. I'd consider doing more research on what hikers carry for food in the winter.

Well, they're convenient because they have a flameless heater and I can have a hot meal while I climb without having to worry about bringing a stove. I don't really see a downside to them.


Water should be kept in lexan or equivalent water bottles purchased from a mountaineering/outdoor store. If freezing is an issue carry the bottle in your jacket or bring heated water in an insulated container. Stay away from cheap "canteens" from Wal-Mart or the military surplus store. Even the top end bottles aren't that expensive. But its important to buy a good brand. You can't afford to have your water bottle leak.

Would a steel Thermos be alright? I'll need to find one big enough (or just bring two), I'm assuming at a bare minimum I'll need 1/2 gallon, preferably more.


There are several good threads here covering all you need to know regarding climbing Mount Washington in the winter - here's a good one to start with:

http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=228

Also, if you sort this category by thread rating - five stars first - you can find many other threads as well in the first few pages alone. Regarding something Bill pointed out - make sure you know how to use an ice ax - your life could depend on it depending on the snow or ice conditions you encounter. Carrying one without knowing how to use it can me more dangerous than not carrying one - those sharp points can injure easily.

I'll check out those threads shortly, thanks. I have the basic idea of how to use it and will figure out the rest as I go along.


Regarding some of your specific questions - cameras are difficult to predict whether or not they will work in extreme cold. I usually carry one in my pocket, but then you need to worry about condensation on the lens when you take it out. Keep it in an outside pocket where it will stay a little warm, but where your body sweat won't affect it - pretty much a trial and error thing. You could also try a zip lock bag to keep it in as a vapor barrier.

Disposable waterproof camera, then? Will they take acceptable pictures?


There's plenty of lodging to be had in the Mount Washington Valley - try here:
http://www.mountwashingtonvalley.com/lodging.lasso

You can also try the AMC lodge at the base of the trail you'll be taking here:
http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/lodges/pnvc/index.cfm

You can get last minute supplies here, a hot breakfast(very important) as well as current weather conditions at the summit and above treeline and a host of other great advice. You'll also want to sign in there and out when you descend.

AMC is way too expensive...$67 a night for bunkhouse lodging? I don't know if that's normal for New Hampshire, but around here you get a night in a cheap motel for $40 a night. I browsed through those links but it looks like they're all significantly more expensive.


Regarding your water - get yourself a wide mouth nalgene or similar - make sure it's a wide mouth as the smaller necks will freeze in a heartbeat - if you can't drink regularly, then that's a recipe for disaster - hypothermia will accelerate if you are even slightly dehydrated. Make sure the cap is screwed on tight and then put it in a sock and put it upside down in your pack - that way any ice that forms will be on the bottom of the bottle.

Will they work better than a Thermos? They don't seem to offer much protection, but I don't know too much about this as I've never encountered this problem before.


For food - bring things that are easily accessible and won't become hard as a rock in the cold - peanut butter on bagels is a favorite of mine - take a break every hour or so and have a bit to eat and drink at regular intervals.

Hope this helps - keep the questions coming.
Tim

That's why I think the rations are great, although I couldn't find any MCW ration packs, the standard MREs will not only easily survive the cold but can be heated, so I can have a hot meal and even a cup of coffee up there, which is normally difficult to do without a camp stove.

Thanks for the info, if anyone has any more it'd help.

Uncas
01-15-2009, 10:28 AM
I think he meant what kind of boots, most climbers use the plastic boots this time of year I believe. But then hikers 30 years ago were using the normal leather hiking boots most of the time.

I know most of the mickey mouse boots are factored for -20 degrees below zero- Today its -15 and -53 with wind chill. Something to keep in mind.

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 11:04 AM
I think he meant what kind of boots, most climbers use the plastic boots this time of year I believe. But then hikers 30 years ago were using the normal leather hiking boots most of the time.

I know most of the mickey mouse boots are factored for -20 degrees below zero- Today its -15 and -53 with wind chill. Something to keep in mind.

Yeah, they're the mickey boots. They should arrive today by UPS, so I'll practice walking around in them to make sure they fit right. I'm not used to having to wear so much cold weather gear, so I had to mostly buy new stuff. I managed to keep the costs less than $200 so far, but still need to buy some rations, a water bottle or thermos, and maybe a disposable camera, and rent the crampons. There's a place called IME around there that told me that they have plenty of them and have no problems with bigger ones to fit a size 14. I've never been in wind chills below -40?F, and was pretty cold in that wearing a T-shirt, but with warm clothing I should be fine.

JimS
01-15-2009, 12:22 PM
I'm gonna be honest, your scaring me just a bit. It sounds like you have most of the gear in order, but haven't put in the time testing your skills. Under ideal conditions, you might be fine, but if something goes wrong, you simply don't have the winter route finding skills, alpine skills and general knowledge of mountain environment to pull this off...

There are specific alpine techiques for walking in crampons on steep pitches, and a mis-step can easily mean sliding down the upper slopes at 35mph. Without working extensively with an axe, that video will not make the technique to stop yourself very ready in your mind.

My rec to you is to hire a guide. There are many good ones int he valley, and the money is short compared to the price of the rescue and recovery that you may face. IME, EMS and Chauvin in North Conway are great choices. They will teach you how to use your gear, will help you nav, and provide ropes if necessary.

As for lodging, both Conway and Gorham have hostels for under 25 a night. The one in Gorham is called Hikers Paradise, Conway is just the conway hostel.

Hope that helps...

billysinc
01-15-2009, 12:31 PM
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/images/smilies/popcorn.gif

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 01:11 PM
I'm gonna be honest, your scaring me just a bit. It sounds like you have most of the gear in order, but haven't put in the time testing your skills. Under ideal conditions, you might be fine, but if something goes wrong, you simply don't have the winter route finding skills, alpine skills and general knowledge of mountain environment to pull this off...

There are specific alpine techiques for walking in crampons on steep pitches, and a mis-step can easily mean sliding down the upper slopes at 35mph. Without working extensively with an axe, that video will not make the technique to stop yourself very ready in your mind.

My rec to you is to hire a guide. There are many good ones int he valley, and the money is short compared to the price of the rescue and recovery that you may face. IME, EMS and Chauvin in North Conway are great choices. They will teach you how to use your gear, will help you nav, and provide ropes if necessary.

I've thought about this but I'm confident in my ability to acquire skills while doing a task, as there's really no better way to learn most things. Truth be told, the price is part of the reason, but more importantly I'd want to be in charge of myself rather than have to place my complete trust in someone I don't know. It's unfortunate that I don't have any friends who've done this type of thing, but after I manage to do this, I'll be in a position of being able to introduce the sport to them and perhaps be able to tackle something a bit more difficult like Mt. Rainer. But, that's getting too far ahead for now. I realize that this trip isn't without danger.


As for lodging, both Conway and Gorham have hostels for under 25 a night. The one in Gorham is called Hikers Paradise, Conway is just the conway hostel.

Hope that helps...

That'd work well, thanks. Hope they don't mind me setting an alarm for 3:00 am or so. Since you seem to be familiar with the area, are there places to eat 24 hours up there? As another poster mentioned, a hot breakfast would be a good idea.

climbabout
01-15-2009, 01:27 PM
Regarding follow up some things in my post that you replied to:

There's nothing wrong with a thermos, but a nalgene bottle is much lighter in weight - wrapped in a sock and put upside down in your pack - freezing should not become a problem. And again - whatever you buy, make sure it has a wide mouth. I find for a day trip up and down 2-3 liters is just right.

Regarding the AMC lodging - remember, that 67.00 includes dinner and breakfast - you'd be hard pressed to find a much cheaper option when you factor in the cost of 2 meals on top of lodging, not to mention it's convenience to the trailhead, and availability of expertise and weather info. - no need to rise at 3am.

Regarding snacks - if the weather is severe and the wind is blowing - the less fuss you encounter eating the better - most experienced winter alpinists will tell you to bring food you enjoy and can eat and digest easily - this is no place for experimentation.

Lastly - do as much research as you can regarding this mountain and the perils of climbing it alone. I'm not one to preach, but this is NOT a good mountain, nor time of year to experiment and learn on your own. Simple mistakes here often result in death. And it's rarely a big mistake, but a string of small ones that lead to disaster. None of us here point these things out to scare people, we just like to see people safely enjoy Mt Washington.

A guide, while not cheap, can be the best investment you can make in your own life.

All that said, the best advice I can give you, is don't be afraid to turn back if things aren't going well - the mountain will be here long after we're all gone.
Good Luck,
Tim

p.s. - let us know your name - it makes communicating more pleasant

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 01:46 PM
Regarding follow up some things in my post that you replied to:

There's nothing wrong with a thermos, but a nalgene bottle is much lighter in weight - wrapped in a sock and put upside down in your pack - freezing should not become a problem. And again - whatever you buy, make sure it has a wide mouth. I find for a day trip up and down 2-3 liters is just right.

Okay, that's what I'll go with, then.


Regarding the AMC lodging - remember, that 67.00 includes dinner and breakfast - you'd be hard pressed to find a much cheaper option when you factor in the cost of 2 meals on top of lodging, not to mention it's convenience to the trailhead, and availability of expertise and weather info. - no need to rise at 3am.

True, but when another poster gave me an alternative for $25, I don't think the breakfast and dinner justifies spending an extra $40 a night. It's rare that I spend $20 on a meal most days, I'm usually fine with half that, and I didn't become 280 lbs by not eating well, even though I don't really know how to cook. I'd rather get an early start anyway, so I won't have to turn back only due to losing daylight if I find that it takes me a bit longer than I expect.


Regarding snacks - if the weather is severe and the wind is blowing - the less fuss you encounter eating the better - most experienced winter alpinists will tell you to bring food you enjoy and can eat and digest easily - this is no place for experimentation.

Understood, but it's not really experimentation, since I've eaten them before in jail, and while I'd prefer McDonald's food, they're adequate and do provide plenty of calories.


Lastly - do as much research as you can regarding this mountain and the perils of climbing it alone. I'm not one to preach, but this is NOT a good mountain, nor time of year to experiment and learn on your own. Simple mistakes here often result in death. And it's rarely a big mistake, but a string of small ones that lead to disaster. None of us here point these things out to scare people, we just like to see people safely enjoy Mt Washington.

A guide, while not cheap, can be the best investment you can make in your own life.

All that said, the best advice I can give you, is don't be afraid to turn back if things aren't going well - the mountain will be here long after we're all gone.
Good Luck,
Tim

I'll keep that in mind, and will turn back if I get to a point where I don't think I can make it.


p.s. - let us know your name - it makes communicating more pleasant

Thanks again for the info.

I still need more specific info on cameras from anyone who's been there before, if anyone can help with that.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 05:26 PM
Is this thread for real?

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 06:09 PM
Is this thread for real?

Meaning that I'm planning to go about this the wrong way? I'm not here to ask for advice and then be unwilling to follow any of it (I'm going with the recommendations for water bottles and lodging that the posters here suggested), but the whole guide thing isn't really my style for the reasons I stated above. I'm not putting anyone but myself in danger by not following that one piece of advice, and will try to mitigate the risk in other ways as much as is practical. I realize that I'm inexperienced and may be asking some questions that the rest of you consider to be stupid, but we all have to start somewhere. All attempts to help are appreciated even if I don't plan to do everything suggested. I'm sure someone from here will end up seeing me in person within the next week to confirm that I am indeed a real person if that's necessary.

Still need camera help, I'll go with the ziploc bag that someone suggested, but still don't know whether to bring my Canon digital or a disposable (film? disposable digital? waterproof?), and someone said it's hit or miss, but I just need info that's a little more substantive. I thought this'd be a good place to ask, since there's an entire subforum devoted to photography, so there's bound to be people here that have climbed in the winter with their cameras.

One thing in favor of bringing my digital is that it has a self timer so I can have a picture of myself next to the signpost at the top (if I make it there), but I hear that there's usually plenty of people at the summit, so most likely someone wouldn't mind taking my picture for me.

krummholz
01-15-2009, 06:20 PM
Okay, I'm going to jump into this! For what it's worth:

If you're going up the Lion Head winter route on the weekend and the weather is decent, you'll have plenty of company and won't be alone. If going by another route or on a week day or when the weather isn't good (meaning mainly low enough winds), you're definitely taking a risk.

If you fill your canteen/water bottle/whatever with hot water, you'll probably be okay unless the temp is well below zero.

I don't know what your military winter boots are like, but IME might not have crampons that fit with those. Personally, as I've discussed on this forum before, I like Sorel boots with strap-on crampons, but I seem to be the oddball in that respect. Most people seem to use plastic mountaineering boots with step-in crampons. IME has the step-in type and maybe not the others, but I don't know for sure.

Your main chance for needing to use an ice axe is on the steep part of the Lions Head winter route. It is amazingly steep. If conditions are icy, you should go up into the lower part of Tucks and practice on a steep slope with a good runout before you go up the Lions Head.

The weather is the big deal. Wait for a day with low winds. Have face protection, and decide at the Lions Head above treeline if it's good enough conditions to continue.

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 06:51 PM
Okay, I'm going to jump into this! For what it's worth:

If you're going up the Lion Head winter route on the weekend and the weather is decent, you'll have plenty of company and won't be alone. If going by another route or on a week day or when the weather isn't good (meaning mainly low enough winds), you're definitely taking a risk.

If you fill your canteen/water bottle/whatever with hot water, you'll probably be okay unless the temp is well below zero.

I'm going up Lion Head, as all information I've found suggests that it's the route most suited to beginners. It will be on a weekend, most likely on a Saturday, the 24th. So, I'm good in that regard. I'm sure the temperature definitely will be below zero though.

I assume I can fill my water bottles at the cabin at the start of the trail? Also, I know that hot water freezes before cold water outside (seems counterintuitive but it's due to mass loss from evaporation of the hot water), are you sure I shouldn't just use room temperature water? Maybe you're right in a waterproof container as opposed to an open bucket. In any case, it seems I'll be bringing more than one water bottle, so I'd fill up at least one with room temperature water so I could drink it right away as opposed to being unable (or at least not wanting to) drink for the first couple of hours because my water bottles only have warm water in them.


I don't know what your military winter boots are like, but IME might not have crampons that fit with those. Personally, as I've discussed on this forum before, I like Sorel boots with strap-on crampons, but I seem to be the oddball in that respect. Most people seem to use plastic mountaineering boots with step-in crampons. IME has the step-in type and maybe not the others, but I don't know for sure.

http://store.colemans.com/cart/extreme-cold-temperature-boots-white-40%C2%B0-f-unissued-p-751.html

These are the boots I have (bought from eBay for $60). They just arrived via UPS as I finished with my previous post. Hmm...when I talked to IME on the phone, the guy there told me he wasn't familiar with military boots but assured me he had crampons for larger feet, but I guess now I don't know if they'll fit those particular boots. Any backup options in the area if IME doesn't have anything? I talked to EMS and they said that they only rent boots and crampons together, at some high price (I think it was $40). Buying a set might be an option but I'm really trying to keep the costs down for now. Are there any other stores that rent in the area?


Your main chance for needing to use an ice axe is on the steep part of the Lions Head winter route. It is amazingly steep. If conditions are icy, you should go up into the lower part of Tucks and practice on a steep slope with a good runout before you go up the Lions Head.

The weather is the big deal. Wait for a day with low winds. Have face protection, and decide at the Lions Head above treeline if it's good enough conditions to continue.

Noted. I have face protection (just bought a waterproof balaclava at Dick's). Thanks for the info.

Steve M
01-15-2009, 07:02 PM
Meaning that I'm planning to go about this the wrong way? I'm not here to ask for advice and then be unwilling to follow any of it (I'm going with the recommendations for water bottles and lodging that the posters here suggested), but the whole guide thing isn't really my style for the reasons I stated above. I'm not putting anyone but myself in danger by not following that one piece of advice, and will try to mitigate the risk in other ways as much as is practical. I realize that I'm inexperienced and may be asking some questions that the rest of you consider to be stupid, but we all have to start somewhere. All attempts to help are appreciated even if I don't plan to do everything suggested. I'm sure someone from here will end up seeing me in person within the next week to confirm that I am indeed a real person if that's necessary.

Still need camera help, I'll go with the ziploc bag that someone suggested, but still don't know whether to bring my Canon digital or a disposable (film? disposable digital? waterproof?), and someone said it's hit or miss, but I just need info that's a little more substantive. I thought this'd be a good place to ask, since there's an entire subforum devoted to photography, so there's bound to be people here that have climbed in the winter with their cameras.

One thing in favor of bringing my digital is that it has a self timer so I can have a picture of myself next to the signpost at the top (if I make it there), but I hear that there's usually plenty of people at the summit, so most likely someone wouldn't mind taking my picture for me.

In no way do I mean this to be rude or demeaning to you. If you haven't already, take a look at this link: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/02/mt-washington/shea-text/1

and if you have a chance read the book "Not without Peril" by Nicholas Howe. It is very interesting stuff. If you have then just disregard my post and have a safe trip. Make sure you post a trip report and photos when you get back.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 07:11 PM
First. Let's stop quoting long paragraphs.

Second. No really, is this thread for real?

Third. Hot water does not freeze before cold. That's just dump science. Like standing an egg on end on the equinox.

krummholz
01-15-2009, 07:13 PM
1. Lions Head can be considered the beginner's route because more people go up that way in winter than any other way, it's the shortest route, it starts at Pinkham, it's on the leeward side of the mountain, and you almost never need snowshoes. But there's one stretch of it that can be a bit tricky, between 4000 and 5000 feet in elevation, when it climbs 1000+ vertical feet in less than half a mile. That's the "ice axe" section that can be dangerous.

2. I tried clicking on the Coleman link but for some reason it didn't work. If your boots are soft leather with felt liners, like my Sorel boots, they're great in winter but won't take the step-in crampons. If they're the hard plastic boots, they'll take those crampons. I'm guessing by the price they're not the plastic boots, but I could be wrong. Maybe give IME a call and ask. It's just that those soft winter boots need strap-on crampons. Like I said, I personally prefer those, but a lot of people use the plastic boots, and I'm guessing IME is oriented toward the plastics. Could be wrong.

3. Hot water freezing faster---interesting. I did a quick Google of that. Apparently faster evaporation of hot water can be a factor in faster freezing. Don't see how that could be a problem in a closed container. I always fill my water bottle with hot water when I go winter hiking. It seems to stay warm a long time.

4. Face protection--you'll be glad you have it!

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 07:13 PM
In no way do I mean this to be rude or demeaning to you. If you haven't already, take a look at this link: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/02/mt-washington/shea-text/1

and if you have a chance read the book "Not without Peril" by Nicholas Howe. It is very interesting stuff. If you have then just disregard my post and have a safe trip. Make sure you post a trip report and photos when you get back.

Just looked at the link, a good read. Perfect timing, I'm actually heading out the door right now to drop something off to a friend who works in a book store, so I'll look for the book while I'm there.

Since you have your own photo page and all, can you tell me anything about my camera dilemma? I'll definitely post something when I get back, hopefully, and pictures as well if I can find out what to use to take them. Thanks in advance.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 07:16 PM
Fourth. Consider hiking up to Tuckerman Ravine and taking a look around. You won't need crampons and you can see how unprepared you are to go higher.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 07:19 PM
Fifth. Don't worry about your camera.

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 07:23 PM
To Bill O: Ok, you see I'm not quoting this time. Didn't realize that wasn't standard protocol on this forum. As for this being "for real", I still don't know what your issue is with me but if you're bothered by this, go ahead and delete this thread if you want, and I'll take the hint and not post here anymore.

To krummholz: The link isn't working for me either for some reason, try this one:

http://www.armysurpluswarehouse.com/product/white-mickey-mouse-or-bunny-boot-with-valve-4030.cfm

Thanks for the rest of the info about the route as well. As for hot water freezing faster, I've tried it and seen firsthand that it's true (in buckets, anyway). I suppose it probably wouldn't matter in a waterproof container, though, so I'll try one cooler (for immediate use) and the other hot (for longevity).

Steve M
01-15-2009, 07:37 PM
Just looked at the link, a good read. Perfect timing, I'm actually heading out the door right now to drop something off to a friend who works in a book store, so I'll look for the book while I'm there.

Since you have your own photo page and all, can you tell me anything about my camera dilemma? I'll definitely post something when I get back, hopefully, and pictures as well if I can find out what to use to take them. Thanks in advance.

If I were you I would just take a point and shoot. Keep it in a plastic bag and put it in and insulated glove and keep it inside your jacket. If it is cold enough out it won't matter what camera you have. Batteries don't work well when they get cold but what does? Keep this in mind also if you intend to bring a GPS or your cell phone. You can't count on these in case of trouble.

KD Talbot
01-15-2009, 07:53 PM
this with some amusement. When Bill starts asking is this for real I know it's time for me to jump in! ;)

Get a lot of these every year. I will say this. At least you're asking questions. Hundreds don't bother.

The best advice you've had so far is this: Don't be afraid to turn back. Most people who get in trouble in the Whites, (there are deaths just about every year on lesser mountains than Washington) get themselves in trouble because they consider it their only chance. They won't turn around because they've come all the way from, I don't know, say New Jersey, and this is their only chance. They've spent a lot of money, given up their vacation time and damnit, they're going to concur this mountain no matter what the weather, the temperature, what the fatigue factor may be, whether they're truly prepared or not. Skip "Not Without Peril and read this. The only people who fail have their names right here:

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

Check this, too:

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/winter.php

Now go back and read "Not Without Peril".

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=37

I'll only enter into the camera department in this discussion. Take your Canon digital. Keep the batteries warm. Keep the camera cold. If it's near zero take the batteries out and keep them in a warm pocket near your body heat. I hiked 13 miles in -7 degrees last weekend. 8 hours. Your hike will be significantly less distance, but 2000' more elevation. Everyone I know who hikes these mountains says it's not the distance, it's the elevation gain. Temps may be colder. Had no issues with my lithium batteries or Nikon camera. I carry 2 lithiums. Obviously, the more you have the camera out facing the elements, the faster the batteries will drain.

Get this for your water bottle:

http://www.rei.com/product/770795

And this for a thermos:

http://www.rei.com/product/752887

Send us pictures.

KDT

Bill O
01-15-2009, 08:13 PM
I just want to make sure we're not getting trolled.

Quoting is perfectly fine, and I encourage it. It just happened to be getting a little out of hand in this particular thread.

Those boots are probably warm, but it doesn't look like they offer much physical protection for your feet. From your ice axe or your crampons.

JimS
01-15-2009, 08:30 PM
You have to understand that we get A LOT of trolls sturring the pot here...we have to question new members...feel free to stick around...you WILL learn things...

To the group...It seems he is for real, though the attempt on the surface seems a bit absurd. What we as a forum have to remember is that people who share his dream and inexperience try this peak every weekend. Most make it back, some even summit. All return humbled with respect. I agree, atleast he is asking questions, and as much as we are all biting our tongues to keep from saying "don't do it"...many each weekend are much worse prepared.

I echo Kevin's advice, don't wait until you feel like you can't go higher, because often times it's too late to go down too...

You can get a good taste of the mountain at treeline...assess from there.

Your camera will work fine...I think that's why noone is addressing that.

Bill O
01-15-2009, 09:00 PM
Good advice and points Jim.

Knowing when to turn around probably prevents most accidents. That's one of the major uses for a guide service. They pretty much force you to turn around, and they don't get emotional.

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 10:15 PM
Steve M: Thanks for the info on the cameras. As for GPS, I don't own one, since I've never had any trouble driving and finding my way around. A particularly fun moment was when I drove to Buffalo, NY, and about 3 hours into my trip, realized I'd accidentally grabbed a blank sheet of paper heading out the door instead of the driving directions I'd written. Still managed to find the place. I'm sure it'd be much more useful on a mountain but people have been climbing for a long time, and they're relatively new, so I'm sure I can get by without one. I will be bringing a cell phone, and I don't plan to depend on it (though in the unlikely event of an actual emergency, I'd certainly try to use it). I'll try to avoid getting into a situation where I'd even to call for help anyway.

KD Talbot: Thanks for your info, I'll do as you suggest, put the batteries in my pocket and the camera in my backpack in a ziploc. Looks like I'll be bringing lots of ziplocs and socks to put things in. I've already read the links you've posted to pages on this site. Just came back from the book store, they didn't have the book in stock, but will try to find it at another store. Those last few posts were all the info I needed about cameras, so I should be good with that. I'll definitely post the pictures I take.

I'll check into those water bottles as well, they seem a lot more rugged than the previous suggestion I got here. I'm sure those would be fine as well, but better to have too much protection than too little, so I might just get the ones you suggested. I'll see if they sell them at EMS, since we have a store around here.

Bill O: I understand the need to deal with trolling. This doesn't seem like the type of forum to attract immaturity such as goatse spammers, though. I was getting a bit defensive because it seemed like you were being elitist and didn't want noobs in "your" sport. Maybe I was wrong about that assessment. I just want to add that the way you seemed to come off might actually endanger people, though, making it that much more difficult for us noobs to turn back when it'd be wise to do so, in order to avoid having to hear "Told you so!". Maybe others don't have my type of defiant personality, though...I've accomplished some difficult things simply because others have told me that I couldn't do it or that it couldn't be done. I've also put myself at sometimes unnecessary risk in the process. Still, if I've seemed like I'm trolling, I'd like to know what particular points made me seem that way, as that then makes me think I'm making some bad decisions and I'd like to know exactly what they are for safety reasons.

I tried the boots out tonight. They're almost uncomfortably warm here at 10?F, so it seems like they'd be just right at -30?F. They're otherwise very comfortable to walk in, without the need to break them in as with other boots. They're unissued and would appear new if not for the fact that they've probably been stored and shipped around surplus dealers for years. I don't know about protection from other things. I never thought about impaling myself with my own ice axe (everyone would be right to laugh at me if that happens), or the crampons (stepping on my own feet is a possibility, I suppose). They're designed to take snowshoes, so if crampons attach the same way, I might be able to rent them. I suppose if I get to IME and find out I can't, I can always swallow the loss and pay $40 to rent boots and crampons from EMS. I'll call them tomorrow and see if they have a size 14 just in case.

JimS: Same thing, as above, if you think I'm being absurd about something, tell me exactly what, as that just might be the thing that keeps me alive.

To all: I understand not to try to press on at all costs (I have no desire to have my name added the list). I suppose a good rule of thumb would be to turn back when I feel I've exhausted about half of my strength? Obviously that's difficult for me to measure objectively, but I'll do the best I can. And I do realize that it might seem unwise to go without a guide, and maybe it is, but I don't think I can budge on that issue. If I were to go with someone, it'd have to be someone I knew and trusted. None of my friends want to go on this, though. Since I'll be going alone, I'll need to trust in my own instincts, along with information I've gathered from trip reports I've read, and mountain climbers I've spoken to (including on here, of course). I'll be the first to admit I've made some very poor decisions in the past (swimming out off the north shore of Oahu might top that list), and most of the reason I'm posting here is to avoid doing so again.

b1029384756
01-15-2009, 10:18 PM
One more thing...if a moderator here could do me a favor, could you edit my name out of post #11? I'm unable to do so, and I don't mind everyone here knowing my name but would rather it not come up in a google search of my username, which I wasn't considering when I posted it.

Acrophobe
01-15-2009, 10:32 PM
I'll just pop in here to say good luck, if you decide to go. Washington can be, if it decides to be, quite an enjoyable little mountain. I'm actually planning to go up myself, either this Saturday or two weeks from then.

Coincidentally, I'm reading Not Without Peril myself now. Good book, it is.

dangergirl
01-16-2009, 07:01 AM
I want to wish you luck. My advice would be to either spend the money on a guide or to watch the forum and meet people to do this with. I know it sucks to spend money to have a "babysitter", but you will learn so much and be on your way to a safe and exciting life of mountaineering. Any mountain can be extremely dangerous, especially without working your way up to a more challenging mountain. Proper training and PRACTICE with your equipment in harsh conditions is a must. Your practice should be done in a safe and easy to retreat environment.
IME rents double plastic boots. That is what I did before I bought my own. They are very cheap too. Make sure you have lots of good clothing (no regular cotton!) Gortex shells, good ventilation, etc. Goggles are good to have too. You should heat your water as it wont freeze as quickly. I bring 2 nalgenes in bottle coozies.
Please be safe and bring a GPS, compass, and map. Whiteouts are terryifying without all of these and I truly believe I would not be here today if I did not bring those items with me on my Presi traverse last winter.
Be safe, have fun, and try to hook up with someone to climb with.
p.s. practice your selfarresting before heading out. An ice axe impalement can be deadly.

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 08:18 AM
I won't bring a GPS, but a compass I could do. Where can I get a map of the mountain? I was planning to look at the one in the cabin, try to memorize the trail as best I can. I've got decent clothing, not goggles, though. I'll see if it snows here enough to practice with the axe. We got about an inch yesterday. It's rare that we get much here anymore. Ten years ago most winters had heavy snowfall.

mtruman
01-16-2009, 08:27 AM
... I'm not putting anyone but myself in danger by not following that one piece of advice, and will try to mitigate the risk in other ways as much as is practical.


I've avoided saying anything till now (particularly since I'm not qualified to give the kind of advice that the many other very experienced people on this thread have already given) but I can't avoid responding to this. You are not just putting yourself in danger. If something goes wrong and you need to be rescued you are putting a SAR team in danger as well. This has been the subject of much discussion on this forum and I know that there are varying opinions, but it can't be ignored.

I'm also surprised that nobody has asked about your orienteering skills before now other than the references in dangergirl's last post. Do you know how to do route finding with a map and compass (particularly in 0 visibility conditions)? Definitely could save you life.

If you do decide to go forward with this, best of luck. You couldn't find a better group of people to advise you on this than those here (with the exception of a guide).

Bill O
01-16-2009, 08:32 AM
I won't bring a GPS, but a compass I could do. Where can I get a map of the mountain? I was planning to look at the one in the cabin, try to memorize the trail as best I can. I've got decent clothing, not goggles, though. I'll see if it snows here enough to practice with the axe. We got about an inch yesterday. It's rare that we get much here anymore. Ten years ago most winters had heavy snowfall.

You can purchase a map at the Pinkham Notch visitors center, your "cabin". And you can study the large 3-D map on display there.

When the weather turns bad goggles are indispensable. I consider that to be a mandatory item.

Keep watching your video and reading about proper ice axe use. A few minutes up the trail you will approach a steep section of the Sherburne ski trail that is very close to the hiking trail. That is a great place to spend a few minutes practicing your ice axe skills. Remember, no crampons when practicing.

Another thing to remember...just don't fall! If you do you need to step back and do serious research into what went wrong.

Rich
01-16-2009, 09:27 AM
You are not just putting yourself in danger. If something goes wrong and you need to be rescued you are putting a SAR team in danger as well. This has been the subject of much discussion on this forum and I know that there are varying opinions, but it can't be ignored.

Not to mention the strain on your bank account. You're worried about spending too much money? A SAR team sent out to fetch you or your body is NOT cheap!

I have to say it too....get a guide. Don't be so anti-. Just go with it BUT, enjoy the trip and especially what you'll learn from him. Then go back and lead your friends the next time.

JimS
01-16-2009, 09:44 AM
JimS: Same thing, as above, if you think I'm being absurd about something, tell me exactly what, as that just might be the thing that keeps me alive.



I do not mean to come off as elitist. My feeling of absurdity comes from the fact that despite spending four winters on the summit of the mountain, it still scares the crud out of me. There were many days when I would be looking over the models in the morning and say to the night observer that I hoped no one got in any trouble today because I didn't feel comfortable in going out to get them. Or, flatly, I wasn't going and I'd have to have that hanging over my head. That would be tough to deal with!

I admire your drive to challenge yourself, your spirit for adventure, and your passion for the outdoors, and I'll fill you in with what scares me. I can come back later and explain how to become aware of these. But first, I must draw an analogy.

What you are trying to do is like sitting down at a high stakes poker table and asking which is higher, a two pair or a three of a kind. You're playing a game where people have put in their time to learn, and while you might get lucky, you are really just gambling, and could lose it all. If you get a nice day, you'll wonder what all the fuss is about. But, many things could drain your bankroll fast!

I've lived at the top, know the mountain blind, have studied snow science, and how to read the sky and terrain. I have taken mountaineering classes, but with all this I still couldn't handle a summit of Washington on but a third of winter days!

Here's a list of what scares me...
Avalanches
Ice falls
Whiteouts
Becoming disoriented
Winds
Hypothermia
Frostbite
Falling
Small injury limiting mobility

If I were doing this for the first time alone, I wouldn't think about not hiring a guide. That or I would set my sites on mountains in the vicinity with as much reward but less risk, like Pierce, or Moriah, where the trails are clearly marked, there is less exposure above treeline, and the weather far less severe. But you have set a goal, and we'll give you as much info as we can without being there...

However, as I said in the last post, many people with little or no experience have experience on the mountain, and most are fine. You are asking the right questions, and will have all of our "voices" in your head shouting advice as you are heading up. That will prove invaluable.

CHRIS
01-16-2009, 09:47 AM
I have been following this thing since it started but I have to say. I have learned alot from the people on this forum and repect their feedback as I only started hiking last year. I have a dream of someday summiting Washington in the winter and I have been buying good winter gear for the last 6 months and I still have more to buy with the hopes of getting to the summit next winter with a guide or someone experinced. You can go half prepared but the thought of putting other people in danger because you do not want to be fully prepared is just crazy.The mountain will always be there so waiting and purchaseing the right gear (or renting)and knowing how to use it and getting a guide or other to me is the only way to go. You may go and you may make it or not but don't go and become a statistic with your name on the summit wall forever becuase you were not ready. Sorry if this is out of line but I had to speak up. People that put there life or others in harms way bothers me.
I wish you all the luck in the world and if you make it good for you but be smart and safe.

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 10:15 AM
mtruman: I'll try to manage not to need a team to pull me out. I'm sure I can find my way around with a map and a compass. In zero visibility, how will I follow a map if I can't even see it? I don't know what you mean about whether I have orienting skills. If it's just map and compass skills, then yes, I have those. That's something I would have taken for granted from anyone until last year when I asked a woman facetiously if she knew how to use to use a road map, and she took that question seriously and responded "No". I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't know how to follow a map, but I'm not among those people who can't.

Bill O: Good to know about purchasing maps there, I'll make sure to do that. I'll try some ice axe arrests before I start the steep part of the climb if there's not enough snow here. Will sunglasses suffice in place of goggles? If not, I'll make sure to get some before I go.

JimS: It wasn't you that I thought was being elitist, it was someone else that I now realize was trying to prevent trolling though probably not in the best possible way, so I'd consider that issue to be over with now.

I get what you're saying about me possibly being in over my head, but this does seem much easier in comparison to winters on Elbrus or McKinley, so that I can experience winter mountain conditions before I'd even consider trying to do any of the larger ones. And, as you said, it seems much more likely than not that I'll come back okay. I'm doing my best to prepare, and it can't be made completely safe. I could be killed in a car accident on my way to the mountain, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't drive. Besides, if I get out there and it really turns out to be too much for me to handle, I'll do as everyone suggested and turn around.

Bringing a guide might be the best choice for most people, but I just couldn't see myself doing it.

Bill O
01-16-2009, 10:48 AM
I'm trying so hard to let this go, but I was doing some research on "internet trolls".

I just have to highlight some comments that stand out:


In zero visibility, how will I follow a map if I can't even see it?

I'll see if it snows here enough to practice with the axe. We got about an inch yesterday.

Ten years ago most winters had heavy snowfall.

I'm assuming at a bare minimum I'll need 1/2 gallon, preferably more.

I've never been in wind chills below -40?F, and was pretty cold in that wearing a T-shirt, but with warm clothing I should be fine.

Understood, but it's not really experimentation, since I've eaten them before in jail, and while I'd prefer McDonald's food, they're adequate and do provide plenty of calories.

Also, I know that hot water freezes before cold water outside (seems counterintuitive but it's due to mass loss from evaporation of the hot water), are you sure I shouldn't just use room temperature water?

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 11:08 AM
Maybe I don't know what zero visibility means, I assumed it was literally not being able to see your hand in front of you. I'm not familiar at all with whiteouts, we've never had them around here as far as I know.

I don't see how what I said about snow here is a problem. It's just like I said, in the 90's, most winters here had a couple of snowfalls of several feet, in '96 we had a huge one of over 4 feet. Now, we're lucky to get a couple inches, so unless that changes I won't be able to practice my axe skills until I'm in the area. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

And why is 1/2 gallon of water a problem? Someone here recommended 2-3 liters, so my estimate was close.

I wasn't planning on mentioning the whole having been in jail thing but it just kind of came up for the MREs, and was making a joke about how most lockup facilities around here have switched from McDonald's to MREs in recent years, not to save costs (they cost more) but because of the public perception that McDonald's is a luxury. In retrospect I realize no one else would probably have gotten that joke. I've heard nothing but good things about the freedoms people in the state of live free or die enjoy, but in this state where nearly every human action is legislated in some way, it's easy to run afoul of the law. I've had a few run ins. If you use tools for your job, and one of them could conceivably be used as a weapon, you can only have it with you if you're going directly to or from a place where you need to use it. So, let's say you were a truck driver, don't leave your tools in your car after work when going to a party, or you could end up in jail.

As for the hot water thing, get a couple of buckets and try it yourself before dismissing it outright. Here's something from a reputable source that explains it better than I can.

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/hot_water.html

Like I said before, I'm sure someone here will be able to confirm that I'm an actual person next week, so you'll be able to lay the issue to rest then.

Rich
01-16-2009, 11:57 AM
Bill, what are "internet trolls"?

climbabout
01-16-2009, 12:45 PM
Bill, I can answer this one...
Rich - internet trolls are people who have nothing better to do than to post to a forum, with the sole intention of starting controversy and heated discussion stemming from absurd or ridiculous points of view. They get their jollies seeing forum members getting up in arms and excited over things said in their posts. The more responses they ellicit, the more they enjoy it and the more they post more ridiculous questions, opinions and points of view. If you google "internet troll" - you'll get quite an education. I belong to other forums in other areas of interest to me and these people pop up everywhere. No different than meeting a know-it-all, done-it-all type at a public gathering, except here on the internet, they can operate anonymously. Bill, I don't envy the job you have to do here to keep things orderly. Whether this thread is the victim of trolling, I can't say. But as we certainly discuss life and death issues here, I always try to take every poster seriously, their life might depend on it. I figure if you respond in a calm rational manner, then the troll has no fuel to spread his or her flames. But again, our moderators are perhaps best equipped and have more experience recognizing these matters, and I respect their efforts.

Perhaps, the biggest negative effect of trolls is that they discourage other new members from joining a discussion as well as discouraging long time respected members from being active.
Tim

Rich
01-16-2009, 01:49 PM
Huh...thanks Tim. Didn't realize there were such people.

Steve M
01-16-2009, 02:21 PM
Yes, thanks for the info. I was in the dark also. I am not a huge forum person. I have to be reallllly into the subject matter.:)

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 04:26 PM
Perhaps, the biggest negative effect of trolls is that they discourage other new members from joining a discussion as well as discouraging long time respected members from being active.
Tim

No, the biggest negative effect is when new members are routinely accused of being trolls. The overwhelming majority of members here have been helpful in responding to me, and I'm assuming good faith on Bill O's part with trying to keep the forum orderly even though I think he's being overzealous with this. I'm sure the insinuations would eventually stop over time, but I'm not sure if I have the patience to stick around that long. I've been here a couple of days and it's already tiring having to wonder if anything I say could be construed as trolling.

Even once my identity is confirmed, there's also the issue that perhaps the reason I'm suspected of trolling is that what I'm saying isn't too popular, so then I might not mesh well with this group anyway, leaving the possibility that I'd go from suspected troll to merely being disliked. Or it could be that there isn't much patience for ignorance that should be expected from any beginner, and if I learned enough about mountaineering to be better able to participate in discussions, I'd be better received. Again, I'm not sure if I have the patience to find that out either. I don't know...we'll see what happens.

KD Talbot
01-16-2009, 04:43 PM
"Will sunglasses suffice in place of goggles? If not, I'll make sure to get some before I go."

Absolutely not. You can use sunglasses until you need goggles. I cannot predict that you will need them for your entire hike, or if you will need them at all, but they are absolutely essential equipment on this climb. You will need these, a balaclava and a face mask so that you can cover every inch of exposed skin should you be climbing, at the summit, or descending and the temperature should suddenly drop. Wind chill can freeze exposed skin in about 10 minutes resulting in frostbite.

Never mind a white out, or reading a map in one. If your eyelids are frozen shut, crusted with ice, you won't be going anywhere.

KDT

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 04:56 PM
Alright, goggles it is then. Can you recommend any inexpensive ones? A quick search for them on the internet shows that mountaineering goggles are costly. I bought a balaclava for this, it covers my entire head and face except for around my eyes and the bridge of my nose, so what do you mean by "face mask", I thought the balaclava is the face mask. I'm hoping to get a friend who was in the army to take me to the PX today so I can buy rations and a compass, and some windproof matches.

mtruman
01-16-2009, 05:00 PM
No, the biggest negative effect is when new members are routinely accused of being trolls. The overwhelming majority of members here have been helpful in responding to me, and I'm assuming good faith on Bill O's part with trying to keep the forum orderly even though I think he's being overzealous with this. I'm sure the insinuations would eventually stop over time, but I'm not sure if I have the patience to stick around that long. I've been here a couple of days and it's already tiring having to wonder if anything I say could be construed as trolling.

Even once my identity is confirmed, there's also the issue that perhaps the reason I'm suspected of trolling is that what I'm saying isn't too popular, so then I might not mesh well with this group anyway, leaving the possibility that I'd go from suspected troll to merely being disliked. Or it could be that there isn't much patience for ignorance that should be expected from any beginner, and if I learned enough about mountaineering to be better able to participate in discussions, I'd be better received. Again, I'm not sure if I have the patience to find that out either. I don't know...we'll see what happens.

Having spent a part of almost every day for the last year or so hanging out with the great folks here I can tell you that everyone only has your best interest at heart. I have never seen a single instance of anyone being elitist or wanting to "keep someone out of the club". More simply, there isn't a club here - just a bunch of really good and helpful folks that like to share their experiences on a number of common favorite subjects revolving around Mount Washington, the White Mountains, weather, etc. You're going to have to trust me on this.

If you are a troll then you've accomplished your goal in getting me to post this. ;) I tend to have more faith in human nature however and I don't believe that this is what you are doing. If we all felt that you were just out to stir things up this thread would have died long ago. When you go (and I no longer have any doubt that you will) please be prepared and take all of the suggestions that have been made here very seriously. They are all intended to ensure that you are safe.

KD Talbot
01-16-2009, 05:06 PM
Most balaclavas don't cover your mouth or nose. Unless it's an ultra-clava or a combo-clava you will need something like this:

http://www.rei.com/product/725711

There are some reasonably priced goggles here:

http://www.rei.com/category/40004356

KDT

Bill O
01-16-2009, 05:10 PM
No elitists here. There is plenty of room in the mountains for everyone. We welcome noobs and try to help all.

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 05:22 PM
KD Talbot: Mine does cover my mouth and nose, with a bunch small holes so I can breathe, so I shouldn't need an additional face mask. Some of those goggles are very expensive but I can swing the $29 for the cheaper ones. I see there's an REI in Marlton, NJ. I'll try to get down there this week.

mtruman and Bill O: Fair enough, I'll see how things go from here on.

Bill O
01-16-2009, 05:27 PM
Cheap googles are fine for now.

There is a great article in Appalachia about the progression mountaineers take when aspiring to climb big mountains. It is especially relevant when you choose not to use a guide.

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 05:36 PM
Cheap googles are fine for now.

There is a great article in Appalachia about the progression mountaineers take when aspiring to climb big mountains. It is especially relevant when you choose not to use a guide.

Have a link? I was thinking Washington -> Rainier -> McKinley, but don't want to make any plans for the future just yet, since if this does turn out to be more than I can handle I'll need to rethink things.

climbabout
01-16-2009, 05:41 PM
Here's a link to the AMC magazine page, but I don't believe this article is available online:
http://www.outdoors.org/publications/appalachia/index.cfm
Also here's another link to a great equipment list with details put together by experts:
http://www.ime-usa.com/imcs/winter/winter_gear_day.html
Tim

Knapper
01-16-2009, 05:45 PM
Some good sites to find cheap goggles (and other outdoor/mountaineering equipment) is steepandcheap.com, whiskeymilitia.com, or tramdock.com. These are "bargain a minute" sites meaning that a new item for well below price is put up every few minutes or until they sell out. The right hand side has the amount available and the time remaining for each item. If you refresh your browser every few minutes or get an RSS feed, you might find some really good deals from time to time. I got good goggles for 10 dollars once there among some other good buys.

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 05:55 PM
Didn't know it was a magazine. If a regular bookstore would have it, I'll look for it when I go to get a copy of Not without Peril. I have most of the necessary equipment, I'll look into those sites for good deals on the rest. I've found that military surplus is often much cheaper than professional gear, though. A new pair of boots for $60 is a good deal, I'll definitely hit up the surplus store and/or the PX before I go as well.

dangergirl
01-16-2009, 06:23 PM
Well, for the map, you can actually take a photo of it with your digital camera and use it as a worst case scenerio. I have done that before when our group had to split up and we did not have enough maps. It works, but keep your camera warm or it will not work.
You should bring lots to drink. I usually bring a hot bottle with tea because the warm fluids feel good to drink. Again, if you can keep the bottle in a coozy or inside your jacket it will not freeze. Bring hand warmers and gortex. If the weather is good you should be fine. I wouldn't go without a map because often times there is not a packed trail above treeline. You will need to rely on cairns and in a whiteout you can't always see them.
Here is what I do for a dayhike of mt washington summit.
1. stay at the white trelliss and pack that night
2. get breakfast at peaches when they open ( 6am I think )
3. drive to pinkham notch
4. be on the trail around 8am
5. constantly watch the weather
6. summit and change into a dry layer
7. descend and go get dinner

Depending on your fitness level and snow conditions you can do this quickly or it can take forever. Don't be stupid. If weather looks bad or things seem dangerous turn back. We have been in whiteouts where you can't even see your feet. These whiteouts can happen quickly.
If I did not have other plans on the 24th we would go with you. We are planning to do the pemi loop.
My advice is to make wise decisions. I learned a lot from trial and error but also have taken many classes and read a ton about mountaineering. Have fun and be safe. Try to hook up with another party if possible.

dangergirl
01-16-2009, 06:29 PM
KD Talbot: Mine does cover my mouth and nose, with a bunch small holes so I can breathe, so I shouldn't need an additional face mask. Some of those goggles are very expensive but I can swing the $29 for the cheaper ones. I see there's an REI in Marlton, NJ. I'll try to get down there this week.

mtruman and Bill O: Fair enough, I'll see how things go from here on.

You sound like me when I first started. It took one bad night where I became hypothermic to rethink my plan and spend the time and money to learn important skills. I used to be cocky and thought that I would be climbing Denali unguided with one other person within two years. We are at year 4 in our mountaineering career and will be attempting Rainier unguided with 2 other friends this summer and hiring a guide to climb Denali in 2010.

I will tell you from experience that Mount Washington is nothing like stepping onto a heavily crevassed glacier with many avalanches. We took a mountaineering course in Alaska last summer and we both had a big eyeopener! We are taking another course this summer in Alaska and are taking an avalanche course with Chauvin guides at the end of this month.

KD Talbot
01-16-2009, 07:16 PM
I think the only death on MW last winter was from and avy in Huntington Ravine.

Incident reports from'07-'08 season:

http://tuckerman.org/accident/20072008.htm

KDT

ColdWeatherClimber
01-16-2009, 07:22 PM
I see a lot of problems with your trip, but I can recall when I was very young doing a lot of crazy climbing with a lot less than 'acceptable' gear. Like soloing 5.9 in matterhorn combat boots with a pack and other sort of things other people thought were nutty.

Your boots are sketchy at best. Mickey Mouse boots (what the military calls em) aren't for cramponing. I'd suggest renting a set of plastic double boots if available nearby (locals on here can suggest a place more than likely).

When selecting goggles, just remember the UV rating is important. I have been out of mountaineering for a few years now and getting back to it recently. The goggles I always used before were Bolle, but I have recently read about Julbo having designed some goggles specifically for alpinists and am going to purchase a set.

If you're serious about climbing, and going to go on to other mountains or adventures my advice is to save and buy the best gear you can. Also, I suggest not being a hard head and going with someone who has some experience so you don't end up dead. Just because Washington isn't K2 doesn't mean it cannot kill you. I was watching the temperatures online to get an idea of the weather up there while I was offshore working and noted a day when the wind chill was -74 degrees.

Even I with over 20 years of climbing was on here asking questions. The reputation of Mt. Washington preceeds itself. I and my climbing partner were considering taking our down suits because of the cold I just mentioned, however with the constant changing of climate have decided to layer.

You have talked of food, water etc, but I hadn't seen mention of clothing other than boots. I suggest you start with a base layer such as a one piece underwear as Duofold or equivalent. Capilene and underarmor seem to be popular these days as well. A second heavier long underwear layer, then possibly wool or fleece pants on bottom, waterproof/breathable alpinist bibs, and heavy fleece jacket and then a waterproof/breathable shell parka such as a The North Face mountain guide jacket or equivalent, Outdoor Research mountaineering gloves, wool socks etc etc. For the face and head I suggest a balaclava and neck gaiter, and fleece beanie over all.

What kind of pack are you taking? Have you considered snow shoes and trekking poles as well?

One thing I have learned is that the better you are equipped, the better the time you have. If you are ill-equipped, you will probably be miserable at best.

dangergirl
01-16-2009, 07:31 PM
Cold Weather Climber-you have stated everything nicely. I agree with what you said.
IME rents boots, crampons, and axes for cheap. That is how I started. They also have a bargain basement where you may be able to find some cheap but good equipment.

MelNino
01-16-2009, 07:55 PM
I do want to chime in by saying if you have to dole the cash for gear (ie, ya cant find it discounted or rent it), do it, good gear lasts a lifetime, you will not regret it.

Be safe on your adventure, and do tell us all the details.....I'm going up late May and I very concerned about snow (buying crampons and testing them this weekend, hopefully)


Oh, Peaches.....drool. :D

b1029384756
01-16-2009, 09:18 PM
dangergirl: I'll buy a copy of the map as was suggested so I'll be prepared in that sense. I'll probably want to get an earlier start, as I'm not by any means in bad shape but I'm not 18 anymore either, and could stand to lose a bit of weight. Hope there's at least a Sev nearby for breakfast, as I'd plan to start before 6 am. Good to know about IME's cheap equipment, but I don't want to drive all the way up there hoping for a good deal on something I'll really need right away that may or may not be there. The only thing I'm not bringing are crampons because I plan to rent them. As for my plans for the future, I'm just speculating because I don't think I'm in a position to really know what I'll end up doing yet. I'll probably have more to say after I try this. Good luck with Rainier and Denali..are you planning to try Denali in the winter or is that also a summer climb?

ColdWeatherClimber: The mickey mouse boots are listed as acceptable for winter trips up the mountain on this very site, so I'm fairly confident that they'll keep me plenty warm. My clothing isn't quite as good as your list but I've done plenty of research into that so I think I'm reasonably well prepared with some decent cold weather gear, and of course wool socks and thermal underwear (not cotton), windproof and waterproof gloves and balaclava. I know I'm going to catch some flak for saying this, but I'm also one of those people you encounter every now and again who are ridiculously tolerant to cold conditions. I've swam for well over an hour, on numerous occasions, in ocean water below 35?F, and also once in fresh water with giant slabs of ice floating in it. I found out as a young child that I was capable of this. I'm normally comfortable in a T-shirt on a cold winter night here, around 0?F with light winds (light compared to up there). I've also spent 3 days in the Poconos in the winter, without sleeping but usually every night spend a couple of hours in the cabins, playing a game of manhunt with some of my friends. So, I do have a bit of experience with that. Wind chills never reached -74?F, but were around -40?F. If I've misjudged my clothing and realize this by feeling cold, like most other problems, I'll turn around rather than push on. More than likely, I'll be too warm and will need to remove some layers.

As for what type of pack, I've managed to dig up my backpack from high school. I highly doubt that's ideal but it's what I already have. I haven't considered snow shoes or trekking poles. My ice axe is about 3 feet long, so it probably should double as a trekking pole? I don't know if I'll really need snowshoes. At my weight I tend to sink like a stone into snow. Everything I've read says that Lion's Head is normally packed down, though, so I shouldn't need them.

I'll buy better equipment no doubt if and when I go on to something bigger, such as warmer clothing, a sleeping bag, stove, decent pack, tent, etc. I'll have more money for such things, hopefully, by then.

You might think I'm being stubborn by going solo, and I don't really know how to explain it any better than I already have, but it's just what I need to do.

MelNino: I'm sure you're right about the value of high quality gear, but I just don't have that money available right now even if I wanted to.

I also need to get my truck in order this week. With 238,000 miles, it leaks and burns some oil so I've been in the habit of using straight 30 weight in the winter and 40 or 50 weight in the summer. This results in hard starts at 0?F, but not enough to ever leave me stranded. I'll want to switch to 10W-40 for -20?F (it shouldn't be much colder than this at the base I'd assume), and make sure I have a 70% antifreeze mixture. I should probably check how old the battery is as well. If it's more than 5 years, I'll temporarily swap it with a friend's just in case. The engine always runs cold because I've removed the thermostat long ago due them constantly clogging. Hearing the engine detonating and then seeing that it's at 300?F is NOT a good feeling, but as long as I flush it out annually, it doesn't clog anymore. Once I take care of all that it should be fine for the trip.

Thanks for all of the replies.

JimS
01-17-2009, 01:30 PM
ColdWeatherClimber: The mickey mouse boots are listed as acceptable for winter trips up the mountain on this very site, so I'm fairly confident that they'll keep me plenty warm.


Just to clarify, the mickey mouse boots are listed as acceptable for those on overnight edu-trips, in which participants ride up the mountain in a snowcat. I've no doubt they are plenty warm, but ideal for hiking in...I cannot say...

http://www.mountwashington.org/education/edutrips/equipment.php

mtruman
01-17-2009, 01:47 PM
Just to clarify, the mickey mouse boots are listed as acceptable for those on overnight edu-trips, in which participants ride up the mountain in a snowcat. I've no doubt they are plenty warm, but ideal for hiking in...I cannot say...


I researched these a bit today since I hadn't heard of them before. The opinions seem to vary. There are several places that said they aren't suitable for crampons because the sole isn't stiff enough. A couple of others indicated that they could be used with strap-on crampons. Might be worth calling IME to see if the crampons that they have are compatible with these.

The comfort for hiking in general is another question. Should be plenty warm though. Another note that I saw about them in a couple of places is the fact that they are rubber inside and out and while your feet stay warm they also get very wet (from sweat) and you should plan on extra socks. Two layers of socks if they fit comfortably in the boots with a backup pair is probably a good idea.

b1029384756
01-17-2009, 01:59 PM
JimS: Yeah, but isn't the list of gear written so as to be prepared if the snowcat breaks down and everyone has to climb? I figured that's why crampons and such are on that list.

mtruman: I'll be wearing 2 pair of wool socks (since the boots are actually on the large side, I might have been able to get away with a size 13), so that should help with the sweat problem. I'll bring extras as well. I'll see what the deal is with the crampons also.

KD Talbot
01-17-2009, 06:15 PM
Here's some more info for you. Definitely watch the video/slideshow.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/travel/escapes/16washington.html

KDT

BlueDog
01-17-2009, 07:20 PM
b1029384756, if I missed it I appologize, but you might be able to set some on here at ease ... I don't see any reference as to your climbing/hiking experience. If you've been climbing a lot and then decided to dive into winter hiking then you probably have the skills.

However, I will say that some things you say put me at unease... for one, this mountain demands respect, especially in the winter. Its been known to kill people. So you seem to be offended by some peoples suggestions of caution. If you don't have alot of climbing experience, and no winter experience its my opinion you are a fool for going it alone. I never hiked this mountain, even in the summer, without consulting people that know it well and go over the route, help inventory what I'm taking with me, etc.

One thing that stands out to me is your comment about 'where do you buy a map?' This suggests to me that you haven't been on this mountain for one, and not a lot of experience with hiking. I haven't been hiking for more than a few years and I never even leave the house without already having a topo map of the place. Downloading many trail maps, etc. So if you don't know where to get maps, that may be an issue.

I realize this is probably falling on deaf ears, but I'll put it out there... do not waste your money on cheap equipment. If you are resourceful, you can find good deals on high quality equipment. Having gone from racing into hiking/kayaking/mountain biking/adventure racing I have learned the hard (and ultimately the more expensive) way that cheap equipment will not last you long. Either it breaks down quickly, you you'll use it once and find out that you should have spent more for the better, strong, lighter, more comfortable gear.

I sincerely wish you the most ideal weather and safest trip. And ultimately make it back here with some outstanding photos and prove us all wrong.

Steve M
01-18-2009, 01:08 AM
SO B, when are you planning your trip? What day are you looking at hiking Washington?

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 01:11 AM
KD Talbot: Ok, done.

BlueDog: I haven't climbed any mountains before. Walked up a couple around here that are technically considered to be mountains, but when the high point in the state is 1800 feet, I'd consider them to be more of a joke than anything. I've spent plenty of time outdoors in the winter. You're correct, I haven't ever been to Mt. Washington. Someone here told me where to get a map, so that shouldn't be an issue anymore.

Cost is a concern for me as I don't have much money to spend. I don't need the most expensive equipment, and I don't intentionally buy low quality no matter the price. Military equipment might not be as specialized as dedicated climbing equipment but should be good enough. Why pay $500 for boots when $60 will do? And spending $300 on a jacket when there's plenty of good ECWCS equipment out there, might be the best decision if I could afford it, but I just don't have it to spend. Hell, I wouldn't mind having an ALICE pack to put my stuff in but am making do with a school backpack. Any advice that involves spending a lot of money, I couldn't do whether I wanted to or not.

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 01:12 AM
SO B, when are you planning your trip? What day are you looking at hiking Washington?

Most likely driving up on the 23rd and climbing on the 24th.

Steve M
01-18-2009, 01:15 AM
Most likely driving up on the 23rd and climbing on the 24th.

Cool. Make sure you sign in at the visitor center in the hiker log book including time of your departure so they will know you are out there.

Also, sign back in when you get back so they know your back.

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 01:18 AM
Alright, I'll make sure to do that. Do they normally send people to find someone if they take too long to climb?

Steve M
01-18-2009, 01:23 AM
Alright, I'll make sure to do that. Do they normally send people to find someone if they take too long to climb?

I would say that by the time they sent someone to find you, you could already be in serious trouble. Still being on the mountain after nightfall would be a serious issue. Most, if not all SAR's are postponed until first light.

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 01:26 AM
Alright, just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't alarm anyone if I happened to be a little slower than average.

dangergirl
01-18-2009, 06:51 AM
my first trip up I used a $20.00 daypack. It worked just fine, but I was with someone who knew the area, had summitted in the winter before, and was willing to teach me. We ascending the Tuckermans Ravine left gully. It was a low avalanche danger and the snow was in great condition where it was very easy to climb up. When we topped out on the headwall things started getting really windy. We summitted and changed our soaking wet base layers (all I could afford at the time was a lot of cotton( 2 layers of longsleeve tees and a huge sweatshirt). I wore all of my snowboard clothing including jacket and pants, wore goggles, borrowed a teckwick shirt, wore snowboard socks, and rented boots, ice axe, and crampons from IME.)
By the time we started descending we were in a horrible whiteout with winds that were knocking me over. We were truly lost. My boyfriend told me to stay close and be careful not to walk over the lip of the ravine. We did not have a GPS with us that day which made our map and compass useless. When we took steps the wind blew them away and it was like we never passed through.
He knew the general direction towards lions head and the terrain. By chance we literally bumped into a trail sign and after a wild time above treeline we got down to lions head. Yes, it was fun and exciting. I will tell you that looking back it may not have been the smartest thing to do and I think we had a lot of luck on our sides. I hope you have the same.
Before we went I was not a hiker but had a strong fitness base and went with an experienced person. Any mountain is not worth dying over. There are many smaller and just as fun mountains to practice on. Be safe and I hope you have good conditions and come home with a new respect and appreciation for the mountains.

Brad
01-18-2009, 06:54 AM
B,

We normally have a way of notifying folks of our hiking status during and after the trip - any time of year. I make sure someone in the family who knows the trails, or I can bring up to speed, is aware of my route. A simple phone call, voice message or even text message is enough to say we are starting. Then at key points I make sure they are updated including when we are done. In the past this contact person has quite often been my son in NC or wherever. When he get the update he relays it on to my wife in Maine. Then everyone is all set.

This can be hard in many places in NH as cell coverage is not great when you get off major roads. Yesterday my cell phone froze up even though it was wrapped and buried in my pack. I used 2 hand warmers to bring it back to life and then sent my summit status. I would expect one of my trip watchers to call out for help if I needed it. But I would sure want to make sure that never happens and never has. Before the hike yesterday we made sure we had an AT&T and a Verizon cell with us. That was better than depending on just one carrier.

I have hiked to the summit of Mt Washington over 50 times over many years - never in the winter. I would not think of trying to summit in the winter unless it was an absolutely perfect day and I had a whole bunch of equipment I do not have. Yes, some of it would be very expensive. But, that mountain is not very forgiving. Many of the folks here on the forum have the luxury of watching the weather and picking a day because they live close by. Coming to hike on a specific day gives one a hit or miss chance on the weather.

I hope you have a good day and a great time - and know enough to turn around if the weather or going gets tough. A friend at the end of last year used our place as a base camp for a hike on a different peak. I gave him a turn around time to make sure he was down and in the car before the temps went back down. Hiking in the dark and cold in the morning is manageable. Doing it after a hot sweaty day of hiking is dangerous. The friend turned around right on schedule and had a great day. He did summit which just added to the day. So, pick a turn around time and stick to it.

krummholz
01-18-2009, 10:21 AM
Hmmm....I have to comment on these words from Dangergirl: "We did not have a GPS with us that day which made our map and compass useless." If it was whiteout conditions and you had absolutely no idea where you were, the compass still would have been of use, if only to keep you from going in circles. If you had some idea of where you were, the map could have told you, for instance, "If you keep going east-southeast, you'll get to the Lion Head." Then you would have set a bearing on your compass and followed it. If you added an altimeter to your map and compass, you would have known quite a bit about your location, even in a whiteout.

How on earth did people manage before the GPS was invented? (Not a serious question!):)

MelNino
01-18-2009, 11:01 AM
b10---Safe trip!!

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 02:14 PM
Just bought goggles and water bottles from REI. I'll never spend another cent with that company again, as all of their employees kept trying to sell me a store membership and got upset and started talking trash when I refused to buy it. I couldn't care less if they get in trouble or get fired for not meeting their quotas, that's not my problem, I'm not the one who chose to become a salesperson, and whatever consequences they face from their superiors are nothing compared to what I could do if their insults and attitude continued. Just had to get that off my chest.

Gotta gather up my ECWCS gear, get my pack ready, and I should be good to go. If the weather is bad on the 24th, I could probably manage to stay in the area a bit longer and try on the next day.

Rich
01-18-2009, 04:29 PM
pssst...you won't get that at EMS.

MelNino
01-18-2009, 05:55 PM
Man, that bites about REI, never had that problem in the one I go in....we were asked once, and that was when we were buying a bunch of gear anyways.....

Looking forward to hearing about your (or anyones) trip....I am itching to get back to the mountain (and New Hampshire in general)

Brad
01-18-2009, 07:13 PM
I got my membership at REI years ago and it has paid for itself big time. It is nice to go in the store and just go shopping and not care about the price - too much.

dangergirl
01-18-2009, 08:23 PM
Hmmm....I have to comment on these words from Dangergirl: "We did not have a GPS with us that day which made our map and compass useless." If it was whiteout conditions and you had absolutely no idea where you were, the compass still would have been of use, if only to keep you from going in circles. If you had some idea of where you were, the map could have told you, for instance, "If you keep going east-southeast, you'll get to the Lion Head." Then you would have set a bearing on your compass and followed it. If you added an altimeter to your map and compass, you would have known quite a bit about your location, even in a whiteout.

How on earth did people manage before the GPS was invented? (Not a serious question!) Ya, we were not very bright that day. I think we were more lucky than smart! We were very anti GPS until last year when we did the presi traverse and it saved our butts. Now we rely on map, compass, and GPS. :)

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 08:37 PM
I got my membership at REI years ago and it has paid for itself big time. It is nice to go in the store and just go shopping and not care about the price - too much.

It's a good deal if I planned to spend $200 there. The way they treat customers precludes that possibility, though.

EMS was much better when I went there, the store near me is in a mall, small, and has a limited selection, though, that's why I took the ride out to REI.

We're getting another inch of snow here, and I just found that my truck has worn brake pads, not quite metal to metal, but I need to replace them before I go...with that truck if it's not one thing it's another. I'm sure I'll manage to get everything together in time with the truck, though.

BlueDog
01-18-2009, 08:38 PM
I 2nd Brad... the REI membership is the BEST thing you can buy at that store! It's only $15 for lifetime membership and I've had it several years. Last year they sent me a check for $120. This year I'm expecting even more. I've bought a bunch from an EMS that opened near me too.

mtruman
01-18-2009, 10:02 PM
And a 3rd for REI. We shop in several of their stores all the time (RI and Boston) and have never had an experience like this. The membership has paid for itself many, many times over. The people working in these stores are generally very knowledgeable and helpful as well. Most of them hike, bike, paddle, etc and know what they are talking about (again, at least in these two stores). The biggest thing about REI for me is that they will take anything back forever if you have a problem with it. I've had to do this with a couple of pairs of boots (I have really had to fit feet) and felt bad about returning them, but they take them no questions asked and try to help with a replacement. They have me as a customer for life for that reason alone.

Brad
01-18-2009, 10:43 PM
Even the folks at the REI in NC have been very good for winter hiking types of things. The first time I was in the store looking for winter layers they helped me select several things. With my arms full I asked "and how cold will these cover me for"? The sales guy asked how cold was I expecting. "At least 35 below zero." He took everything away from me and said we needed to go to the next aisle. He was right and I have been extremely comfortable every time out. My experiences with them have been great.

Corey and I have gone to some of their little seminars. Informative - instructive - getting to ask direct questions is very nice. The instructors have a lot of real experience.

b1029384756
01-18-2009, 11:31 PM
The jury has spoken. I might reconsider giving the company another chance, then, but definitely not at that store. As for being knowledgeable, none of them at that store knew a thing about what they were selling. Even a simple question like whether "Stormproof" matches are windproof or just waterproof was met with blank stares. For some reason, windproof matches are difficult to find. I'll probably just make do with a couple of bic lighters.

Brad
01-19-2009, 06:20 AM
I can remember when I was a kid going out with an older friend. He kept his wooden matches inside 2 shotgun shells of different sizes. The shell casings slid one inside the other. I might even still have them in an old tackle box. Nice memory.

MelNino
01-19-2009, 09:08 AM
Ordering online from REI is great as well....I got my goodies shipped real fats *though I have to make 1 return, *sigh*)

Dee3
01-23-2009, 09:24 AM
Today is the day b1029 is supposed to climb Washington. I have been following this thread, and just joined this site. I'm kind of waiting on pins and needles to hear how he did.

corey.mcentyre
01-25-2009, 01:06 AM
I have to say it too....get a guide. Don't be so anti-. Just go with it BUT, enjoy the trip and especially what you'll learn from him. Then go back and lead your friends the next time.

Just had to point out .. "you might learn a lot from her" is just as likely. :D

I know I'm late to this thread, but was wondering since its the 25th.... Any news on the attempt? Did b make it or what?

Brad
01-25-2009, 09:47 AM
Well, this morning at the house it was -22 F. I sure hope he got off the mountain before it got cold. Yesterday's weather was very good till about 4,500 - 5,000 feet. Then the clouds came in. Going just back into Tuckermans Ravine would have been good experience. The summit would have been tough with the wind and cold.

CHRIS
01-25-2009, 09:50 AM
I was just telling my wife. I wonder if he went or not. Hopefully if he did and everything went all right and he got back safe.Maybe if he did he will have alittle more respect for the mountain.

KD Talbot
01-25-2009, 12:26 PM
Emma and I hiked to North Twin. Temps dropped 25 degrees from the time we started at 7:30am to 3pm when we finished. Cut our hike short, not going to South Twin due to the cold and wind. Can't imagine things were calmer or warmer 2000' higher.

KDT

Brad
01-25-2009, 05:57 PM
I hope we hear from B as to what he did and how it went.

b1029384756
01-26-2009, 10:52 AM
I drove up there leaving Friday morning, figuring I had plenty of time. It took about 10 hours of driving, which actually isn't as bad as it sounds in an unheated truck. I got there too late at night to rent the crampons, and since the weather was bad on Saturday, I used that to prepare checking out places to rent and buying maps. IME has boots that fit me, EMS doesn't, so I made a note of that. I went to Pinkham to buy a map, and they told me that even with the bad weather, I could still climb to Tuckerman's. So I decided to do that even though I wasn't dressed for it. I also climbed Lion's Head until it got steep. I probably could have made it without crampons if I had brought my ice axe, but I would have been taking a chance of falling. I don't think I could have dealt with 100 mph winds if I made it above timberline, either. I was pretty cold by the time I got back, so next time I'd make sure I'm wearing the right clothes. I was already sweating by the first wooden bridge with the waterfall, and with my clothes wet, I started to cool down too much when I had to slow down due to being out of breath. Going back down was easy, I just kind of slid down on my boots. Sunday the weather was also bad, and predicted to be bad today as well (though it doesn't seem so bad right now according to this site), so I just drove back Sunday afternoon.

I'm pretty pissed off but there's nothing I can do about the weather and I hope I can get money together to go back to try again soon, now that I have all my gear.

CHRIS
01-26-2009, 11:06 AM
Glad everything went well and you mad it safe. Just remember yea it does suck but the mountain will always be there and now you know how to be prepared for it. Of course there is always summer time say around July 25th STP09 ;).

b1029384756
01-26-2009, 11:21 AM
Of course there is always summer time say around July 25th STP09 ;).

Mosquitoes, heavy physical activity in the heat, not really my thing. If I can't made it back this winter it probably won't be until next year. With any decent luck (such as my truck holding together), I should be able to try again in a month or so.

BlueDog
01-26-2009, 01:42 PM
Mosquitoes? For the past two StP years I've yet to see a mosquito. Not saying they aren't there but if you hadn't said anything it would have never crossed my mind that they were there. Plus the weather is great! Lots of us camp for the weekend, the big dinner, the people... simply the best day to hike the mountain!

Rich
01-26-2009, 03:48 PM
Sounds like a long, cold drive. Except for the hike to Tuckermans, you could've done everything else online. What did you think of Tucks?

Brad
01-26-2009, 05:51 PM
Glad to hear you got up and down safely. What would you do differently to stay warmer and not "get wet"?

TrishandAlex
01-26-2009, 06:27 PM
Hey, congratulations on what I think was a very successful hike!

Always gotta have the attitude that every hike teaches you something. Even if you don't make the summit, you've learnt something about the trail, the mountain, yourself, and/or your gear. As long as you come back safe and sound, it's all good. :)

krummholz
01-26-2009, 06:50 PM
What you've described says it all about people trying to climb George when they're coming from a long distance. It's really tough when you're trying to luck out with the right weather. Living in eastern Mass.. I wait for what I describe as the "crossbars of the giant H" to be over Mt. Washington (in other words, the big H for the high pressure system).

Brad
01-26-2009, 07:22 PM
Trying to time it from NC as I do can be tough. But, most times I have found an acceptable or even a very good day if I have some level of flexibility with my schedule.

MelNino
01-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Thanks for getting back to us with the trip report :)


One of these years I will attempt in winter, I need to soak up these reports and get more experience before I go

Bill O
01-26-2009, 08:31 PM
Sounds like a productive trip. I'd consider it a success.

Where are you coming from in NJ? It shouldn't take 10 hours unless you live in southern NJ, or if you have to stop a lot.

b1029384756
01-26-2009, 10:24 PM
BlueDog: Might be your blood type or whatever reason you're just someone they don't bother much, they seem to love sucking down my blood like it's strawberry shooters. The only thing I like to do outside in the warm weather is swim (well, I do that in the cold weather too), so it's pretty much winter only for me.

Rich: The drive was okay, I was in a T-shirt the entire time and was comfortable most of the time. What could I have done online? Check the weather? I did, but it turned worse when I was on my way there, and I stayed in the area a few days hoping to wait it out. Tucks was alright, I got there a bit late to see too many skiers.

Brad: Well, as I said, I wasn't dressed correctly. I wasn't expecting to climb at all that day, so I was wearing a T-shirt, regular boxers and cotton pants, regular cotton socks, ECWCS parka and pants, but just the shells, no liners, had my gloves (EMS Altitude) and balaclava, and white mickey mouse boots. Since I was already there, I didn't think it'd matter so much since I wasn't going far. My feet stayed very warm even in sweat soaked socks, though, so I definitely recommend those boots to anyone. Next time I'd be dressed more appropriately so I wouldn't freeze, but as far as sweating goes, there's not much I can do about that.

Bill O: Where did you get the information that it takes less time? If you're looking at Mapquest or Google maps, they assume ideal conditions, which rarely happen. Traffic over the GWB and through New York can be a nightmare at times. I'm from Trenton, which is more or less the center in the state. I only stopped 2 times on the way up and 3 on the way back (food, gas, bathroom breaks) and not for very long, 10-30 minutes each time. You can figure on 9 hours if you haul ass and have food for the ride or just not eat the whole way. My truck is also a little sluggish, so while I can maintain 80-85 mph on flat ground, doing that on the hills of Vermont is impossible.

To all: I know you guys consider the trip a success, but it's not that, at least not to me, and I'll need to return when I have the time and money to rectify that. I don't consider it a complete waste since I did have some fun but I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. I'll have to hope for better luck with the weather, but if I don't manage to do it this winter, I'll definitely be back next one to finish what I started. The logistics will be much easier already having the equipment (well, I'd love to get crampons to fit my boots, but that'd probably require a custom fabricated extension bar) and supplies, so I'm hoping it'll be soon. I'm trying to quit smoking now (broke down and smoked one today but that's better than the 15 I usually did), so maybe it'll be an easier climb next time as well.

JimS
01-27-2009, 05:18 AM
To all: I know you guys consider the trip a success, but it's not that, at least not to me, and I'll need to return when I have the time and money to rectify that. I don't consider it a complete waste since I did have some fun but I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. I'll have to hope for better luck with the weather, but if I don't manage to do it this winter, I'll definitely be back next one to finish what I started. The logistics will be much easier already having the equipment (well, I'd love to get crampons to fit my boots, but that'd probably require a custom fabricated extension bar) and supplies, so I'm hoping it'll be soon. I'm trying to quit smoking now (broke down and smoked one today but that's better than the 15 I usually did), so maybe it'll be an easier climb next time as well.


Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. --Ed Visteurs

Brad
01-27-2009, 08:14 AM
Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. --Ed Visteurs
Jim, I remember that line. It is so true and folks do tend to forget it.

Just getting out and away from everything else to enjoy nature is a treat. Any chance to do it is a success.

dangergirl
01-27-2009, 10:02 AM
Originally Posted by JimS
Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. --Ed Visteurs
Hi! This weekend was brutally cold and windy. We ended up bailing on our trip too. It is definately a tough decision to make, but you have to go with what is in your heart. I understand a hurt ego and the initial feeling of failure and let down. After a while you will realize that it is okay and you will only come back stronger and more experienced! I would rather walk away and be able to try again than to have had something terrible happen.
You should read the Ed Visteurs book no shortcuts to the top. It will change your attitude on climbing. That man has so much of my respect. Sometimes he will walk away from a climb because he just has a bad feeling and he is not ashamed to do so. He has taught me to do the same.
I am glad you are okay and hope you had fun! One thing that we always try to do is have a backup plan for when things don't work out. We ended up climbing Mount Chocura which is much simpler than Washington and just as fun! It made us not feel so bad about bailing on the Pemi loop! We drive over 4 hours to head up to NH and always try to make the best of it!

MelNino
01-27-2009, 10:07 AM
"No Shortcuts to the Top" is a great book, it's in my *need to re-read* pile :-)

BlueDog
01-27-2009, 12:51 PM
"No Shortcuts to the Top" is a great book, it's in my *need to re-read* pile :-)

Hmmm... just added to my Amazon.com Wish List. Finish another book I was reading last night and tonight will start A Walk in the Woods

dangergirl
01-27-2009, 01:01 PM
Some other great books are "Addicted to Danger" and "The White Spider". I also loved "Into the Wild" and "Seven Years in Tibet". Reinhold Messner and Joe Simpson also have some awesome books. "Nanda Devi" is a very good but sad book. Also, "Minus 148 degrees" and "The Ridge between Life and Death" are great books. The book "Forever on the Mountain" is really good too! Oh, my list just goes on and on! I read so many books! :)

Brad
01-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Hmmm... just added to my Amazon.com Wish List. Finish another book I was reading last night and tonight will start A Walk in the Woods
"A Walk in the Woods" is a great book. Educational as well as fun to read. I knew where my wife was in the book when she would burst out laughing.

dangergirl
01-27-2009, 02:51 PM
I will have to get that book! I too have an Amazon wish list! :)

billysinc
01-27-2009, 03:12 PM
Another book by Bill Bryson that's very funny is "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir"

If you're a 40 something year old you'll find it quite humorous.

BlueDog
01-27-2009, 03:16 PM
Dangit Dangergirl! More to add... I saw a great book about John Muir at Borders the other day that I had to add, now even more. Hmmm... perhaps an MWO book club! :)

I've seen the movie version of Into The Wild. I thought it was a fascinating story. I really want to see Seven Years in Tibet, mainly because I'm fascinated with the culture and region, in addition to a deep desire to visit Everest.

CHRIS
01-27-2009, 03:41 PM
Bluedog, you will love "A Walk In The Woods". I found it very interesting. My wife would ask me what the heck I was laughing at. There are some really humorous parts.

Steve M
01-27-2009, 04:43 PM
Well, I've been away for the weekend but just got caught up. So glad B made it back safely. I would have been so excited just to have made it into Tucks. I would have done the same thing I think, in regards to going up Lions Head for a ways. I am such a chicken though and I know when the going got tough and knowing the weather was bad I would not have gone far.

He has learned from his experience though. He has learned that he wasn't adequately dressed and that is great because most that perish do from hypothermia. Remember B, Cotton KILLS! Cotton wicks heat from your body where synthetics wick moisture. You will stay much warmer in ALL synthetics than you will with cotton, all the way down to your thermal undies.

Also, thanks all for the great books you have shared. I can't wait to get my hands on them for some good reading. :)

b1029384756
01-27-2009, 04:48 PM
Yeah, I know it's not logical for me to be upset by what happened. Still, if someone lost a boxing match by getting knocked out in the first round, could he call it a successful match simply because he wasn't killed or permanently injured? Similar analogies could be made for any number of sports. I'll agree that survival is most important but victory has to rank at least second in order of importance.

As for the books, I might check some of them out. I never did get a chance to find "Not without peril". I know who Reinhold Messner is, the man is a beast, so I might try to look at anything he's written.

b1029384756
01-27-2009, 04:55 PM
Steve: Yeah, I already knew before I went out about the clothing, which is why it was so dumb because I knew better but did it anyway. I just didn't think it'd be that big of a deal for only a few hours below treeline. Maybe it wasn't because it didn't do any damage other than leaving me chilled for an hour or so after I got back (if anyone saw a guy in military clothing sitting on the radiator at Pinkham Visitor's Center late Saturday afternoon, that was me).

For the actual climb, I would have had wool socks, would have rented a size 15 double plastic boot from IME, doubt if they'd be as warm as my Mickey boots though, synthetic thermal underwear for both pants and shirt, and fleece ECWCS fleece parka liner, cotton work pants (because my fleece pants liner doesn't fit me too well and I'd be stopping every five steps to put them back on my ass), ECWCS shell pants and parka. I'm sure I'd have been much warmer in that.

KD Talbot
01-27-2009, 05:03 PM
Here's another plug. You need to read this one:

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=37


KDT

billysinc
01-27-2009, 05:16 PM
Here's another plug. You need to read this one:

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=37


KDT

Love the store.

I just saw "Crazy Marty's" deal of the day. He's not just crazy, he's insane!

He really needs one of those microphone things hanging off his little ear like Vince from the Sham-wow commercials.

climbabout
01-27-2009, 05:17 PM
I'll agree that survival is most important but victory has to rank at least second in order of importance.

cotton work pants

B - sounds like you had a great learning experience - everyone here is glad you got home safely.

3 things -

1 - In mountaineering - victory is returning home alive and uninjured.
2 - Mountains are never conquered, we merely climb them safely or not.
3 - Regarding your post about clothing - you're right on with the exception of the cotton work pants - cotton is a fabric which has no use in the mountains in winter.

Good luck next time.
Tim

KD Talbot
01-27-2009, 05:42 PM
Sweat is the real enemy. Start out hiking cold. I don't care if it's ten below, you'll be sweating soon. Take off a layer, do everything you can to keep from sweating heavily. The problem is you're going to sweat. That's where the problem with cotton comes in. Once it's soaked with sweat, it's going to stay that way for a day or two. The moisture is going to bring your body temp down fast, that's why we sweat, to cool off. If you break an ankle or worse and you can't move and on top of that you're soaked it could be July and you'd succumb to some degree of hypothermia, especially if the wind is blowing, which it always is on mountainsides, and especially above treeline.. With wicking stuff it gets the moisture away from you and let's it evaporate.

I always carry dry wicking shirts to change into on a hike. Yes, in winter, too. Getting out of a wet shirt and into a dry one is the best thing you can do after hiking up.

KDT

b1029384756
01-27-2009, 07:38 PM
Yeah, I think the main reason I sweat is because I'm not in perfect shape. I'm 280 lbs and could probably stand to lose 40 lbs or so, or build up some more muscle to replace the fat. Getting into better shape would be a good idea but I've always been fairly big. That's probably why I managed to break through the snow in spots even after the snowcat packed it down. It was much deeper than I expected. I thought it'd be like roads of packed snow here during the big snowstorms we used to get in the 90's, where a foot of snow would fall sometimes, and being a DPW plow truck driver meant that your job consisted of sitting in a Wawa parking lot all night and drinking coffee. So, the roads would end up getting packed down to about 2 inches of snow by the traffic. I was surprised on the trail the first time I broke through what looked like tightly packed snow and was up to my thighs in it. It wasn't too bad, though, it didn't happen often enough to warrant snowshoes. Fatigue was probably a minor issue with my hike but I can push on for quite a while in spite of it. I've worked for UPS for two Christmas seasons, and they do set a grueling pace for extended periods of time. Going to go for a swim in the ocean sometime this week when I have time.

That, and my body always produces huge amounts of heat for some reason. That's normally a good thing when I'm in a T-shirt in very cold weather (by Trenton standards, this is around 0?F) and don't need to worry much about getting cold, or swimming in ice water, but when climbing I'd probably start out sweating even if I were butt naked. When I worked for UPS, I'd usually be pouring sweat no matter how cold it was. Bringing extra clothing is a good idea, but being a big guy means that it'd take up tons of room in my pack for large clothing. I'd probably want a bigger pack then for next time such as a large ALICE or MOLLE pack. And I don't know about the logistics of changing my clothes on trail. Upper body layers aren't much problem, but pants are. My shell pants are designed to go on and off over boots, but with the size of my boots, that's pushing it even for them. For any other layers, I'd need to take my boots off and that means putting my feet in the snow without boots. The other thing was that my breath condensed easily inside my balaclava. For the most part, I was walking with the face mask part pulled down under my chin, and pulled it up when I stopped to rest.

Damn, well, enough rambling on for now, I really hope I can get back up there soon to give it a real shot.

BlueDog
01-27-2009, 07:58 PM
This is also my favorite trail map (http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17&zenid=8a41229717ff5515c664d2504d4fd74e) for the area.

http://www.mountwashington.org/store/images/Map%20Adv.%20Waterproof%20%20White%20Mountains%20M ap.jpg

I'm a map junkie and now have at least 4 different maps of MW. The other 3 pale in comparison to this one.

b1029384756
01-27-2009, 08:41 PM
I think that's the one I bought.

Everest2012
01-27-2009, 08:50 PM
Hi everyone, I?ve been having fun reading about b1029384756?s big adventure. I do feel bad that he didn?t make it to the top, I hope you make it the next time. I?m also going to try and tackle the summit this Friday (30th) the big difference is that I?ve hired a guide to take me up. I tried to find a few other summit fools like myself but couldn?t find any so I decided to go 1on1. They are providing the boots, crampons ice axe and rope if needed. I?ve been monitoring the weather conditions for about a month now, today the winds were in the 40?s and it was -30ish all day a somewhat beautiful day on the rock pile. I have all the appropriate warm weather gear and am hoping we can still get to the top with high winds and low temperatures.

I did hike up Tuckerman?s in August and am familiar with the trails. Has anyone here hired a guide for a single day accent? Trekking poles, I hike a lot but never use them, does anyone thing they are worth the cost to bring them along? One pole or two? I?m sure it?s more preference but don?t want to carry the ice axe and trekking poles if I really don?t need to. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Any other tips as far as what to pack for lunch is also welcome. Did I read that someone filled their water bottle with hot water before the hike?

Mike

Recent recommended books:

Ed Visteurs book no shortcuts to the top is an awesome book and a must read, I just finished reading Holding Fast (about James Kelley), Dead lucky with Lincoln Hall is another good book.

climbabout
01-27-2009, 09:25 PM
Mike - I've been hiking with poles for at least a dozen years and I find them to be a great help. On the one day ascent you'll be turning onto the fire road to access the lion head winter route. You'll probably stop near an avalanche cache for a rest and to put on your crampons - from here, you usually switch to an ice ax and ditch the poles. I've always left my poles behind the AV cache - and they were always still there when I descended. This way, you are not carrying them when you don't need them.

Regarding lunch - my favorite is bagels and peanut butter - it doesn't get too hard in the cold. I carry 2 wide mouth nalgenes in insulators - and fill one with hot tea and lemon and honey and sugar - the other with room temp water or gatorade. Keep the lids on tight and put them upside down in your pack - the wide mouths have less chance of freezing and keeping them upside down ensures any ice will form on the bottom of the bottle - not the mouth.
Tim

sheri
01-27-2009, 09:40 PM
B- regarding your post about the traffic over the GW Bridge --- perhaps the Tappan Zee would be a better bet? Then pick up 84 into CT, etc.? Not sure - just a thought.

b1029384756
01-27-2009, 10:28 PM
The TZ is probably usually clear, but getting to it would involve 287, which is also known as the world's longest parking lot. It's probably a coin flip which is faster at any given hour.

FisherCat
01-27-2009, 10:32 PM
The TZ is probably usually clear, but getting to it would involve 287, which is also known as the world's longest parking lot. It's probably a coin flip which is faster at any given hour.

Depends on when you hit 287, we don't usually have problems with it. We go over the TZ and pick up the parkways in CT, using both the Merritt and Wilbur Cross, to 91 N, then take 84 E, which can be dicey at the intersection of 91 and 84, then we usually get off 84 in Sturbridge (my wife's hometown) and take 20 E to 290, then 495 to the Everett Turnpike to 93. The reason we get off on 20 is to refuel, eat, and avoid that 10 mi stretch off the MA Pike which, for us anyway, is usually the 10 mile parking lot.

mtruman
01-27-2009, 10:36 PM
Success for many of us (OK, at least for me) is about the joy of being out there in the beauty of the mountains. Getting to the top is great - getting back safely so that you can return again is more important. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the most competitive people you'll ever meet. The mountains just inspire me in a different way.

Poles are a must if you've got the kind of knees that I do. Less important in the winter though (at least for me). The snow evens everything out and you don't get the kind of pounding on the downhills that you do without it. Still good for stability though (in the kind of conditions that doesn't call for an ice axe).

Agree on BlueDog's map choice. I think I have all the same ones and this is by far the best. The AMC maps have caught up a bit in the latest version since they added segment distances but you still have to carry a set to cover the Whites as opposed to just one with the Map Adventures version.

b1029384756
01-28-2009, 12:04 AM
Depends on when you hit 287, we don't usually have problems with it. We go over the TZ and pick up the parkways in CT, using both the Merritt and Wilbur Cross, to 91 N, then take 84 E, which can be dicey at the intersection of 91 and 84, then we usually get off 84 in Sturbridge (my wife's hometown) and take 20 E to 290, then 495 to the Everett Turnpike to 93. The reason we get off on 20 is to refuel, eat, and avoid that 10 mi stretch off the MA Pike which, for us anyway, is usually the 10 mile parking lot.

You talking about 287 in NJ? It can be bad here. You can also pick up 9W in Fort Lee and take that up close to the TZ, but that opens up a whole new set of problems. Not really sure about those other routes, I just assumed it's best to avoid the Boston area, since Boston drivers are at least as terrible as New York drivers. And having a breakdown there is bad news when they open up the shoulders to normal travel. Even something simple like running out of gas becomes dangerous, when you have to stand out on the shoulder holding a jerry can with traffic flying toward you, hoping they get out of the shoulder in time. I took 95 to 91 in New Haven, then 91 to 302 in Vermont, and 302 all the way to Conway with a brief shortcut on 93 for a few miles of it. If I took the TZ, I'd probably the same thing once I connected back to 91.

I'll want to work on my truck some more before going back. It now has over 239k miles. The rear brakes decided to stop working on me up there as well. This happened to me last year and I discovered bent adjuster arms. I replaced the wheel cylinders, shoes, all the springs, adjuster arms and star wheels, basically everything except the drums. I bet when I get around to pulling the drums again I'll discover bent arms again. I wish I knew what could cause this. I have a remotely mounted oil filter that always leaks, so the mount for that might need to go. I should probably also replace the fuel tank sending unit so that my gas gauge works properly.

It also turns out that isn't the map I have, I have the AMC map, it seems to be a good one but I'll check out the other one next time if I can find it. On mine, the trails on Mt. Washington are pretty well marked with distances and all, with well-marked contour mapping of elevation gains.

I saw quite a few people on the trail using trekking poles, so it seems like they can be useful for some people, but I personally wouldn't put the effort into carrying them. There were probably more people without them than with them. I could have used my ice axe as a pole if I need to (it's a Black Diamond 90cm raven), but never felt like poles would have helped me much at any point.

Seems like I'm in the minority about how I look at reaching the summit. I just see that you can look at almost any other dangerous sport, and while it's generally understood that it's much better to "lose" and be unharmed than to be killed, it doesn't make a loss any more palatable. This applies to dangerous sports in which you're directly competing against someone, such as auto racing, but also in other sports such as bull riding or BASE jumping. So, even for those who have a different outlook on it, it shouldn't be too difficult to understand mine even for those that don't personally share it. In line with this philosophy, I did as I originally said I would and didn't put myself in too much danger, by choosing not to make a summit attempt in horrendous weather (yes, the temptation was there and I might have been successful but common sense told me to wait), I did enjoy being on the mountain, but I'm still unsatisfied and will need to return to try again for a winter summit to reclaim my pride as much as for the experience.

New Hampshire was a fun place to be overall, though, no complaints there. I like how you're allowed to do almost anything you want there, and still there's no problems that I saw with the behavior of people there, people actually treat each other well and crime seems to be minimal.

BlueDog
01-28-2009, 07:24 AM
It also turns out that isn't the map I have, I have the AMC map, it seems to be a good one but I'll check out the other one next time if I can find it.

They are VERY EASY to find. Simply go to the link provided on the previous page, and click BUY. This is probably the BEST way to find the map as buying it through this site help to support the MWO.


I saw quite a few people on the trail using trekking poles, so it seems like they can be useful for some people, but I personally wouldn't put the effort into carrying them. There were probably more people without them than with them. I could have used my ice axe as a pole if I need to (it's a Black Diamond 90cm raven), but never felt like poles would have helped me much at any point.

I haven't used them for a while, but my knees are now paying the price. If you're a believer in physics, then the pole are a benefit. The pole allow your arms to carry some of the load, rather than just hanging there as excess baggage. As soon as my REI dividend check comes in I'm using it to order a nice set of carbon fiber poles. They are extremely light and compact nicely. Plus most hiking packs have loops on the back for storage. That way, when they are not needed, you hardly know you're carrying them.

Forgive me if this seems rude, but at 280 lbs, you are destroying your knees. I'm a former member of the big man club myself and a couple years ago I went to my doctor, got on a diet plan, lost 50 lbs and my back stopped hurting, my knees stopped hurting, and I had much more energy to participate in this sport year round.


Seems like I'm in the minority about how I look at reaching the summit. I just see that you can look at almost any other dangerous sport, and while it's generally understood that it's much better to "lose" and be unharmed than to be killed, it doesn't make a loss any more palatable. This applies to dangerous sports in which you're directly competing against someone, such as auto racing, but also in other sports such as bull riding or BASE jumping. So, even for those who have a different outlook on it, it shouldn't be too difficult to understand mine even for those that don't personally share it. In line with this philosophy, I did as I originally said I would and didn't put myself in too much danger, by choosing not to make a summit attempt in horrendous weather (yes, the temptation was there and I might have been successful but common sense told me to wait), I did enjoy being on the mountain, but I'm still unsatisfied and will need to return to try again for a winter summit to reclaim my pride as much as for the experience.

If you've watched or read any of the stuff about expeditions to Everest, you'll learn that the experienced people try hard to condition the newbies to not focus on the summit. Yeah, its great to summit, but on that mountain, the vast majority of deaths happen coming back down. The summit is only the half way point, and what happens it people expend all their physical and mental energy to get to the top. Once they get there, they are completely out of gas, thus can't make it back. If you die on the mountain, its a failed attempt whether you summit or not.

For your first hike, it was a great attempt and sounds like you learned a good bit. Having good and proper gear makes all the difference in the world.

b1029384756
01-28-2009, 07:40 AM
Forgive me if this seems rude, but at 280 lbs, you are destroying your knees. I'm a former member of the big man club myself and a couple years ago I went to my doctor, got on a diet plan, lost 50 lbs and my back stopped hurting, my knees stopped hurting, and I had much more energy to participate in this sport year round.

I don't think I'm that bad off. My father didn't have problems with his knees until his 50's, weighing the same as I do, but at only 5'10" instead of 6'4". I probably weighed in at around 320 lbs with all of my clothing and my pack, and it never felt like it was a problem on my legs. My legs (not my knees) were a bit sore the next day from not being used to all of that uphill walking but nothing unusual. I'd like to get down to around 240 or so but am more focused on getting off cigarettes for now. That's really my biggest problem as far as physical fitness.

No one's going to be able to change my outlook on what happened even if it's not a popular viewpoint. I'm not happy about how things ended and won't be until I fix it, nothing else can change it.

Everest2012
01-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Mike - I've been hiking with poles for at least a dozen years and I find them to be a great help. On the one day ascent you'll be turning onto the fire road to access the lion head winter route. You'll probably stop near an avalanche cache for a rest and to put on your crampons - from here, you usually switch to an ice ax and ditch the poles. I've always left my poles behind the AV cache - and they were always still there when I descended. This way, you are not carrying them when you don't need them.

Regarding lunch - my favorite is bagels and peanut butter - it doesn't get too hard in the cold. I carry 2 wide mouth nalgenes in insulators - and fill one with hot tea and lemon and honey and sugar - the other with room temp water or gatorade. Keep the lids on tight and put them upside down in your pack - the wide mouths have less chance of freezing and keeping them upside down ensures any ice will form on the bottom of the bottle - not the mouth.
Tim

Thanks Tim, I think I will purchase a pair o f poles and bring one. When I climbed Washington in the summer, there were a lot of hikers with trekking poles and at the time they would have helped, getting over Tuckermans and up the cone.

I was planning on the peanut butter bagels, as well as some cookie dough and a sandwich, hot tea and warm/hot water. I have one of those water bladders for my backpack, do you think it will freeze? Do you think I should use it or leave it home, I love it, I can take a sip when I want without having to dig up the water bottle.

Mike

Everest2012
01-28-2009, 08:48 AM
Seems like I'm in the minority about how I look at reaching the summit. I just see that you can look at almost any other dangerous sport, and while it's generally understood that it's much better to "lose" and be unharmed than to be killed, it doesn't make a loss any more palatable. This applies to dangerous sports in which you're directly competing against someone, such as auto racing, but also in other sports such as bull riding or BASE jumping. So, even for those who have a different outlook on it, it shouldn't be too difficult to understand mine even for those that don't personally share it. In line with this philosophy, I did as I originally said I would and didn't put myself in too much danger, by choosing not to make a summit attempt in horrendous weather (yes, the temptation was there and I might have been successful but common sense told me to wait), I did enjoy being on the mountain, but I'm still unsatisfied and will need to return to try again for a winter summit to reclaim my pride as much as for the experience.


B, it sounds like you have a good attitude, it may take climbers several times to reach the peak of any mountain. They try over and over to reach their goal, not like other people who give up after the first try. You are too hard on yourself, the conditions are bad on top and not many people get to the top. On Friday, I?m hoping to summit, if I don?t make it for whatever reason, I?ll try it again and again till I make it (this year). I will be disappointed but not upset. I live in NH and am only 2 hours away so its not a big deal to travel back and forth unlike your long trip.

The next time you come back, let me know and maybe we can make the trek together

climbabout
01-28-2009, 09:37 AM
Mike - I would absolutely NOT bring the water bladder. The chance of the tube freezing is too great. Lots of people use the insulated tubes and are diligent about blowing the water back into the bladder, but still experience problems with freezing. You are going into an extremely unforgiving environment where the ability to hydrate is crucial - don't take chances with it. 2 or 3 WIDEMOUTH nalgene or similar is the way to go - make sure the caps are on tight and stow them upside down in your pack - any ice that forms will be on the bottom, not the neck. Bottle insulators would be very helpful as well.
Tim

Everest2012
01-28-2009, 09:43 AM
Mike - I would absolutely NOT bring the water bladder. The chance of the tube freezing is too great. Lots of people use the insulated tubes and are diligent about blowing the water back into the bladder, but still experience problems with freezing. You are going into an extremely unforgiving environment where the ability to hydrate is crucial - don't take chances with it. 2 or 3 WIDEMOUTH nalgene or similar is the way to go - make sure the caps are on tight and stow them upside down in your pack - any ice that forms will be on the bottom, not the neck. Bottle insulators would be very helpful as well.
Tim

Tim,

Thanks for the water tips. I will leave the bladder at home. I was planning on bringing a thermos of hot tea and bottle of water, maybe I'll add another bottle of water but I think that may be too many liquids to bring.

Thanks for the tip about storing the bottles upside down, great idea, I wouldn't of thought of that.

I never heard about the bottle insulators, I will look for them at EMS, they suggest to use a clean sock but I doubt that will keep it from freezing.

I was going to start another forum for my questions but this seems to be the right place.

Mike

b1029384756
01-28-2009, 09:50 AM
Everest2012: Best of luck to you on your attempt. You're not the first to tell me that I'm too hard on myself (and others), but that's probably an intrinsic part of who I am that can't be changed. I'll make it I'm sure when I go back, hopefully this winter. I'll push myself harder next time, not to the point of exhaustion where I can't make it down of course but as long as the weather cooperates I'll be fine. I know that most people who die on Everest do so on the way down, but you really can't compare the two, when descent on Washington takes a few hours at most compared to many days on Everest. I appreciate the offer of joining me on the trip but I think this really needs to be a solo thing so I can prove to myself that I'm capable on my own merit. After I succeed I'll want to try harder mountains. I know I can't do Rainier solo unless I have previous experience on glacier travel but I'll find another mountain with glaciers as an intermediate thing so I could be approved for a solo climbing permit. One thing at a time, though, I still need to beat this one before I can go further.

Also, Conway hostel is a great place to stay, so for anyone looking for a place and doesn't mind barracks style accommodations, I'd say go for it. Thanks to whoever recommended it here (can't really be bothered to go back and look up who posted it but you know who you are).

Thanks to all who've given me information for this, it's especially helpful for someone who chooses not to use a guide. I just always hate being told what to do, so having people like the posters here who can give me advice instead of orders to follow is invaluable to me, so even if I come off as arrogant and stubborn, that's probably not an inaccurate assessment but it's not intended to disrespect the experience and knowledge of those who've already been there, done that.

I hope this post was at least somewhat coherent because I'm pretty drunk right now because I have to go to the dentist, something that's always been a huge struggle for me to even walk through the door.

Edit: The Nalgene bottles in a sock worked well for me, by the way.

climbabout
01-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Mike - how much water to bring is a highly personal choice - I bring 2-3 liters for a one day round trip. I bring a one liter metal vacuum thermos with hot chocolate or soup. I fashioned a tubular insulator for it out of an old piece of closed cell foam from an old sleeping pad - held together by duct tape - not pretty, but it works. One nalgene in an insulator usually has hot tea with honey and sugar, and the other with plain water. One tip with the thermos or any other insulated bottle - fill it with hot water before you put in your drink of choice - let it sit for a few minutes to "temper" it. Then, once warmed up, dump the hot water and fill with your own hot drink. Your drink will stay hot much longer. Little things like this make life up high a bit nicer.
Good Luck.
Tim

Brad
01-28-2009, 12:32 PM
B is right about the GWB vs. TZB. I drive from NC to Maine a lot. Which route all depends on day of the week, time of day, holiday or not and the weather. As I drive north on the NJ Turnpike about exit 8 or 9 I check www.traffic.com and Google traffic to see how the GWB approach and exit to I-87 north looks. If they are bad I go up the Garden State Parkway and across on the TZB. Some times I have even continued north on I-87 and cross the river at Newburgh, NY. It all depends.

I have done Raleigh to home in Maine in 14 1/2 hours. 15 - 15 1/2 hours is more normal. It sounds like I will be making a stop in VA in the future to pick up hitch hikers. :cool:

Everest2012
01-29-2009, 11:44 AM
Mike - how much water to bring is a highly personal choice - I bring 2-3 liters for a one day round trip. I bring a one liter metal vacuum thermos with hot chocolate or soup. I fashioned a tubular insulator for it out of an old piece of closed cell foam from an old sleeping pad - held together by duct tape - not pretty, but it works. One nalgene in an insulator usually has hot tea with honey and sugar, and the other with plain water. One tip with the thermos or any other insulated bottle - fill it with hot water before you put in your drink of choice - let it sit for a few minutes to "temper" it. Then, once warmed up, dump the hot water and fill with your own hot drink. Your drink will stay hot much longer. Little things like this make life up high a bit nicer.
Good Luck.
Tim

Tim,

Thanks for all your input. It was very helpful.


Mike

stroutman81
01-29-2009, 01:39 PM
We'll be starting the traverse on the 22nd of February, assuming all goes well. I'm in the market for new mitts in light of the trip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've been scoping out the Mountain Hardware Absolute Zero mitts found here:

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1431&prod=2762&cat=1485&viewAll=False

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!

climbabout
01-29-2009, 02:47 PM
I carry the Alti Mitts by outdoor research and are very happy with them, but you can't go wrong with the MH model linked here. I also have a pair of OR lobster claw 3 finger mitts which give you a bit more dexterity for holding an ice ax - those are also a favorite of mine.
Tim

sheri
01-30-2009, 06:39 PM
to Fishercat: regarding traveling thru CT to NH (sorry don't know how to quote that thread - I'm new to this) Anyway, you say the 91N to 84E connector is dicey ---- well, just on the outskirts of Hartford -- from 91N take the Charter Oak Bridge exit which goes right over the CT River and onto 84E - really easy! It comes up kinda fast, so as you're approaching Hartford - keep your eyes peeled for the Charter Oak Bridge/84E. Maybe that's the way you go already - but I've never had a problem with it. Just a thought. If you take 84E into Mass and pick up the Mass pike in Sturbridge -- from Sturbridge (I know you said you avoid the Tpke at this stretch) to 95 then 93 to Lincoln NH is approx 3 hours ---- another 20 minutes to 302.

FisherCat
01-30-2009, 10:00 PM
to Fishercat: regarding traveling thru CT to NH (sorry don't know how to quote that thread - I'm new to this) Anyway, you say the 91N to 84E connector is dicey ---- well, just on the outskirts of Hartford -- from 91N take the Charter Oak Bridge exit which goes right over the CT River and onto 84E - really easy! It comes up kinda fast, so as you're approaching Hartford - keep your eyes peeled for the Charter Oak Bridge/84E. Maybe that's the way you go already - but I've never had a problem with it. Just a thought. If you take 84E into Mass and pick up the Mass pike in Sturbridge -- from Sturbridge (I know you said you avoid the Tpke at this stretch) to 95 then 93 to Lincoln NH is approx 3 hours ---- another 20 minutes to 302.
Yes, we have gone that way on the Charter Oak before. They also encourage you to go past the 84E exit, go up a couple of exits and try an alternate to 84E but we've never used it before. Mass Pike can be such a pain. We don't mind the Rt 20 approach because we can also hit Ronnie's Seafood place in Auburn, when in season. The 10-11 miles between Sturbridge and Auburn/Worcester can really try one's patience, not to mention the Rest Area on the Pike doesn't have much to offer.
Thanks for the tips!

b1029384756
02-02-2009, 04:55 AM
Will be trying to head back to make another summit attempt in February if I can gather the money, is anyone familiar with the I-91/302 route aware of any places to get breakfast on the way up that serve maple syrup with pancakes or french toast? It's more or less unheard of here although supermarkets do sell it at high prices, and none of the places I went to in NH had any. Most people here think that maple syrup means Mrs Butterworth or something similar.

krummholz
02-02-2009, 08:38 AM
Well, it will be at the very end of your drive, but who knows---it might work for you! The diner in Littleton, NH (170 W. Main St.) has the best diner breakfast I've ever had. You can get all the usual things plus a piece of apple pie and a little pot of beans for breakfast. (I know, sounds strange, but try it!) Haven't ever been there for dinner. Worth planning around!:)

Brad
02-02-2009, 08:46 AM
Will be trying to head back to make another summit attempt in February if I can gather the money, is anyone familiar with the I-91/302 route aware of any places to get breakfast on the way up that serve maple syrup with pancakes or french toast? It's more or less unheard of here although supermarkets do sell it at high prices, and none of the places I went to in NH had any. Most people here think that maple syrup means Mrs Butterworth or something similar.
Yuck - bad stuff! :eek:
If you are willing to go to St Johnsbury, VT, Anthony's Diner on Railroad Street (main street thru town) is the spot. If you go north through Franconia Notch instead, stop at the Littleton Diner on Main Street.

krummholz
02-02-2009, 09:07 AM
Brad, I was thinking he'd be hitting Littleton coming east on 302 from the Woodville interchange on 91. But either way it's good!

FisherCat
02-02-2009, 09:51 AM
Most people here think that maple syrup means Mrs Butterworth or something similar.

I'm proud to say that no artificial syrup has ever, is presently, or forever shall be, in this home. We tapped and made our own growing up in Jefferson, now that I'm living out-of-state I buy only local from my area, Fuller's over in Lancaster.

b1029384756
02-02-2009, 04:31 PM
The Littleton one seems like it's right on my way. Unfortunately I'd probably get there too late to hit it on the way up, and it's just far enough from Conway that I probably wouldn't want to go there while I'm there, but on the return trip that seems perfect.

St. Johnsbury, VT is exit 21 off of I-91? I got off at exit 17 in VT last time but will keep it in mind.

Brad
02-02-2009, 07:21 PM
I have eaten at both places. Excellent breakfast any time.

MelNino
02-02-2009, 08:32 PM
Now I am really craving pancakes with maple syrup.

Climbing Stallion
02-05-2009, 05:11 PM
Just a few quickies,

Dont carry water, use a supplement such as Accelerade mixed with your water.
Water flushes electrolytes OUT of your body and they are what you need. Accelerade has them.

Gatorade doesnt have them in the ratios you need them.

You should drink 20-26 oz per hour on the uphill portion.
Its all your body can absorb.

Use Nalgenes in water parkas with toe warmers .
Put the Nalgenes in upside down to prevent the cap from freezing.

We use peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread .
We snack on soft bAKED pEPERIDGE FARM COOKIES AND VANILLA WAFERS OOPPs also Luna bars.
Warm them in your inside pocket or they will crack your teeth.

Do not do Washington until you have summited many other peaks .

b1029384756
02-05-2009, 05:51 PM
Alright, looks like I'm definitely going back to try again in a couple of weeks. I've decided that this time I'm going to seriously try to summit no matter how horrendous the weather is. I'm upset that I didn't make it to the summit last time, but even more so that I didn't even give it a real shot when I saw how bad the weather was, I might have surprised myself and everyone else by making it last time had I actually tried. Obviously I don't mean being unwilling to turn back if the situation warrants it such as finding out that I'm really not prepared for the weather once I'm above timberline, but at least being prepared with the proper gear for a summit attempt and keep going up as long as I feel that I'm doing okay with it, even if the chill factor is -100?F with high winds. If I ever want to climb something large I'd need to deal with those conditions anyway, at much higher altitude. So, that's the plan.

Brad
02-05-2009, 07:29 PM
I sure hope you do it with someone!

b1029384756
02-05-2009, 07:55 PM
I sure hope you do it with someone!

Nah...I don't have any friends that would do this and I don't think I'd want to entrust my life to people that I don't know at all, and definitely wouldn't join with a guide service as a matter of personal honor and integrity. I've recently been browsing a bit at summitpost.com to get an idea of what I might want to try next after I succeed at this, since Mt. Rainer would be out of the question at first as I found out that they'd never approve me for a permit. My view on this topic seems to be out of sync with the consensus here, but I did notice over there that I'm far from the only one who feels this way.

Like I said, I'm still going to try to be safe about it and am better prepared now having at least been on the mountain already. If I need to turn back again because the weather forces me to, but I think I made a mistake by looking at the weather reports and deciding not to even try for the summit. I can live with knowing that I wasn't able to do it to make it this time, but wondering if maybe I could have is worse.

b1029384756
02-06-2009, 03:44 AM
I just noticed Climbing Stallion's post now. Actually, it probably wasn't even there before, because I recall from last month that my first post had to be approved before it was visible. To address those points:

I've never heard of Accelerade, not sure where to find it and don't even know if I'd like it much. I'm not too worried about "electrolytes", dehydration is my main enemy. I've already done as you said and brought two 48 oz Nalgene bottles, so I have quite a bit of water. I use old cotton socks to insulate them rather than spend money on expensive insulators. I did bring some chemical heaters to use on the bottles and/or myself if necessary. Never used them, so they're still in my pack. The hot water bottle was still somewhat warm after my short climb, and I'd only drank about half of the other one, so I think I'm well covered there. I was going to also bring a thermos, but didn't, because I'm trying not to overload myself with a heavy pack, to make it a little easier.

I ate the MREs and will pick up more to have food, no need to worry about keeping them warm as they include heaters. The pork rib meals are my favorite although some of the new ones introduced this year sound tempting, but by the time I can get 2009 MREs, it'll probably be late in the year. I didn't realize how many people bring conventional food which becomes frozen before I started posting here. I had just assumed everyone ate some kind of self-heating meal such as me, or just ate meal replacement bars, or for extended trips, brought a camp stove to prepare freeze dried meals and also solving the water problem, or just ate a big meal and didn't bring food (which I'm sure is a bad idea but I'd bet that some people have done this). I still think I'd prefer to avoid trying to eat a meal frozen when I can have a hot one, though.

As for telling me not to do it at all, I assume you've read through the rest of the thread and probably already know how I feel about that. I appreciate your concern but I know that I can do this. There will be time for other peaks later on.

BlueDog
02-06-2009, 10:44 AM
I'm sorry... but I just need to say this. Others here may agree with me and other may may not.

I believe your approach to these climbs is totally wreckless. Your "personal honor and integrity" are going to get you in trouble and forcing yourself to summit in winter conditions while learning the brand new sport of hiking/climbing will certainly get you into trouble. Half way up the mountain is not the place to learn that 'cotton kills' or that you really DO need snowshoes.

You are mainly concerned about dehydration, but "not worried about electrolytes." I think you need to do a little more research. A lot of people carry peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for trail food, do you know why? In endurance adventure racing as well, and even packs of Oreo cookies are a mainstay in people's food pack, and its not just because they need a little dessert after a meal. How much sodium and fat are in those MREs? Last time I looked at one (within the last year) the levels were through the roof.

There is no honor or respect in going this alone, especially with as little experience as you've said you have. There are many here with years and years of experience that still wouldn't do this kind of trip alone. I don't think you'll find much praise here even if you succeed going alone, versus you were damn lucky not to die.

Sorry if this seems harsh, but I continue to read this thread and just can't help but shake my head.

Bill O
02-06-2009, 11:45 AM
Agree with what most of Bluedog said except on comments regarding fat/carbs, etc. You're way better off bringing along some fatty nuts or protein filled beef jerky than carrying sugar filled bread and jelly. Our bodies are just not made to handle processed sugar. It may give you a short boost but the side effects are terrible. We may have adapted to eat sugar, but our genes haven't changed much in the last 2,000 years.

With that said I would never carry an MRE. The rest of the hiking/ mountaineering world thinks its a dumb idea for good reasons.

At close to 300 pounds dehydration and electrolytes should be a major concern even in winter. If you don't replace electrolytes you can drink too much water and easily kill yourself. I wouldn't bring this up if you hadn't mentioned your weight, but at 300 pounds you have very little chance of climbing bigger mountains like Rainier. It is a physical challenge for the most fit athletes. Prove me wrong.

Also, many people on this forum provide good advice. They have successfully climbed to the summit and safely returned many times. Listen to what they have to say.

With that said, I think I'm getting McDonalds for lunch. Seriously.

Steve M
02-06-2009, 01:01 PM
With that said, I think I'm getting McDonalds for lunch. Seriously.

Just don't climb Washington with that Big MAc in your belly...hurl!!!:(

b1029384756
02-06-2009, 02:17 PM
The exact fat/sodium levels in MREs vary but are pretty high, about the same as if you ate your meals from a can. Bill O's suggestion of nuts is high in fat and beef jerky is extremely high in sodium, so why is mine worse? I was actually thinking of something similar, though, that is, some sticks of pepperoni and a block of cheese, as both are high in calories, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea as the sodium levels are probably even more ridiculous there, and I don't know how likely they'd be to freeze. I wasn't planning on bringing much processed sugar (which is normally a staple of my diet, but still), which is all Gatorade and such is. I know that people have been climbing mountains and drinking water long before the invention of Gatorade, Accelerade, and whatever else is out there these days.

As for drinking too much water and killing myself...I'm aware that it's possible for someone to do, but do you really think that especially as big as I am, I'm going to OD off of 3 quarts of water? My quoted weight (rough estimate, really) of 320 was with my clothing and pack and all. I'm only 280 lbs in normal clothes, I'm about 40 lbs overweight and would like to lose weight but quitting smoking is my first priority even if that means I gain a little bit. I'll have a couple of pictures of myself taken next time (at the summit hopefully, or elsewhere if need be) so you all can see that I'm not really much heavier than I should be.

The reason that I said I was more concerned with dehydration than hunger is that, suppose in the worst case scenario I'm stuck on the mountain all night due to weather or whatever and have spent well over 24 hours up there. Not having enough water for that long (especially with heavy physical exertion and trying to resist hypothermia) is much worse than not having enough food. Makes sense, no?

Bill O, I've listened to most of what I've been told here, so I am considering alternatives to the MREs including what you posted, it's just that I'm having a difficult time seeing the drawbacks for a single day climb.

And BlueDog, I've engaged in reckless behavior before, but I don't know if I could consider this to be one of them compared to much worse things that I've done. The praise I'm looking for is mostly from myself, so that I need to do this although I know that you think it's wrong. I'm sure most here agree with you, and I'm also sure most of what you've told me is correct but I'm absolutely certain that it's not wrong for me to be doing this no matter who disapproves.

Bill O
02-06-2009, 02:18 PM
Just don't climb Washington with that Big MAc in your belly...hurl!!!:(

It's good training. I know people who run 100 mile ultramarathons and fuel with double cheeseburgers during the race. It takes some getting used to, but the energy value there is huge.

krummholz
02-06-2009, 02:28 PM
I take it, based on what I gather of your "code of honor," that you are not planning to call the SAR people on your cell phone if you get lost above treeline in bad weather?

Chances are the weather will be okay. But it might not be... Try to get a good long-range forecast and save yourself a lot of trouble.

If the winds are above 80mph or so, you're going to have trouble staying on your feet, especially if you have a heavy pack and a high center of gravity.

If the visibility is low, you have an excellent chance of getting lost, especially if you haven't been up there before. Better have that map and compass ready (altimeter too is very helpful).

It can be just miserable up there even if you survive it, leading to that old question, "Why?"

b1029384756
02-06-2009, 02:37 PM
I doubt if I'd call SAR for anything less than being immobilized such as a broken foot. Being lost (improbable, I think) is something I'd try to handle on my own. If I get above treeline, and the winds are high and I'm having trouble moving, I'll turn around and go back. Same if the visibility is so bad that I can't see where I'm going. I have my map and compass, not an altimeter though. Where can I get a forecast that extends beyond the next day? None of the information on this site has any, that I can find.

As for "Why?", yeah, it could be miserable. Some people would ask you that about why anyone would do it at all with nothing tangible to gain from it even if you're experienced. Most of my friends don't like the cold weather, and wouldn't deliberately subject themselves to it in order to hike and climb. Other people do like it, so it's a matter of preference I suppose.

Bill O
02-06-2009, 02:37 PM
I take it, based on what I gather of your "code of honor," that you are not planning to call the SAR people on your cell phone if you get lost above treeline in bad weather?


Have you even seen how many people it takes to carry down a small woman with a sprained ankle?

krummholz
02-06-2009, 03:07 PM
Oh, okay. I had this figured wrong. You WOULD call SAR for help if you were injured or in serious trouble. How did you picture that they were going to reach you and bring you out in really bad weather?

They fine people these days for actions considered reckless that lead to SAR operations, but personally I think the moral argument against doing that is stronger than the economic one.

There are lots of long-term forecasts out there, like Weather Channel or Nexrad. You can look at that together with the Obs forecast for summits and valleys (the PDF forecast from the Weather page), and between the two you'll get a pretty good idea.

b1029384756
02-06-2009, 04:19 PM
I don't know how they'd reach me. If they couldn't or it was too dangerous for them to try, or if I couldn't call anyone in the first place due to neither cell phone working, then I'd probably end up dead as a result of a situation which has less than a 1% chance of occurring based on the number of climbers vs. deaths. I'm fine with that.

Dee3
02-06-2009, 05:17 PM
The horse appears dead.:D

Brad
02-06-2009, 08:17 PM
On a relatively small peak a few weeks ago we had a group of four - just as we started down from the summit my son reminded me that a portion of my ears was exposed. I would not have noticed probably till it was too late. Having others to do that visual check really can help. Today on the MW summit there were small groups of hikers coming in - eating - and heading back down. They were well prepared but they had to be in wind chills of -45 F and lower - and with very low visibility around the summit.

averagejoe
02-09-2009, 12:44 PM
Hey all,

I am fairly new to all this, that is hiking & backpacking. I stated hiking about two years ago Sunday Jan 21, 2007, with my bro. We went up Olde Bridle, across the ridge, and down Falling Waters. The temps were below zero, and the winds were so strong they were knocking some hikers over, and a gust actually lifted my brother off the ground, I had to pull him back down.
There was a SAR team prepping in the lot and an old timer started barrading us telling us we had no business up there, neglecting to ask us if we had any experience. I understand why he would question our going up there, but he was just downright rude. Nobody is that experienced or badd%*s that they should act like that.
We survived, and did the hike in 5 hours. We both got a tiny bit of frost nip, on our faces. Windchill estimate was about -50F, but the visibility was 100% perfect.

Last winter (Feb 19th/20th, 2008), the two of us decided we would hike a traverse of the Presidentials. Neither of us had been Backpacking, Summer or Winter. Visibility was next to zero, the temps were around zero, give or take, and the winds were nasty. We suffered, a lot, I have never gotten such a poor/cold nights sleep, (sleep is an interpetation of what I got), even though I had a -20F bag and a mountaineering tent. We skipped the peaks in the name of staying out of trouble. We bailed just before Pierce down to Crawford Notch. It was a good attempt, we learned a lot, and it was definitely not a failure.

This past Friday and Saturday I set out to Hike the Traverse solo. I had about a 50lb pack and enough food and fuel for a few extra days. I hit all the peaks save for Madison the first day. The second day, anyone who had the pleasure of being in the hills on Saturday got a truly blessed expirience. Once again I bailed, this time when I got to the Mizpah hut, but got all the peaks along the way.

I tell you all this to say you don't need ten years expirience to get out in the mountains, but you should never go recklessly into these things. Determination goes a long way to getting you through tough spots. I don't think I've ever heard the pioneers of the Antarctic/Himalaya be called anything but heros. The American 1953 K2 expedition.


I have been reading your posts and am enjoying getting to know you all. You seem to be a community here, instead of a group of people who do the same thing and call it community (there is a big difference).
This B1029384756 fellow needs some support/constuctive critisism, along with advice.
I know his attitude, as I to some extent can relate to it. I am one of the most stubborn and determined folk you'll meet, but I know when its time to pack it in. I've turned around almost as many times as I've made it.

To B1029384756;

As someone who is new to hiking, and has very little free time/extra cash to get out and do things, I need to make each trip count. In that, it sounds like we are similar.
As far as food goes; I know nothing about MRE's so I can't comment on them. I try to bring things that are easy to prepare, won't freeze, and things I like to eat. If you don't like your food you will avoid it even when hungry.
As for hydration; I have learned the hard way. Your body gets weird when you dehydrate. For day trips I bring two 32oz Nalgenes, and drink an electrolyte drink in preparation.
Electrolytes are things like potassium, sodium, and a few others. Think about it like this; they allow your nervous/electrical system to function properly, among other things. Really bad things (kidney failure, nauseau) happen when they get out of balance. I know this as a cyclist, runner, climber.
As long as you know when you are getting in over your head, and turn around then you'll be fine. If you really listen to your body and your progress, you will know when it is time to turn around, or continue.
As far as gear, plastic boots are not the most fun to hike in but they are one of the first peices of gear I looked into. I am lucky to work at a place, (REI) which has a large community of outdoorsy/expirienced people.
As for Winter hiking/backpacking alone, It's not somthing I normally do. This past weekend was because I am testing a prototype -20F sleeping bag for REI. There are less than a half a dozen people I would ask to join me on the trail, and maybe a dozen who if they asked me I would hike with.
If I were you, (and I'm not), I would try to find someone you can stand to hike with. If you hike with someone regularly you become a team and work very efficiently. It's just what I would do.

Be safe and have fun, suffering is good for the soul.

b1029384756
02-09-2009, 03:26 PM
To B1029384756;

As someone who is new to hiking, and has very little free time/extra cash to get out and do things, I need to make each trip count. In that, it sounds like we are similar.
As far as food goes; I know nothing about MRE's so I can't comment on them. I try to bring things that are easy to prepare, won't freeze, and things I like to eat. If you don't like your food you will avoid it even when hungry.

I do like eating MREs (well, certain ones, the veggie omelet should fall under cruel and unusual punishment) and they meet all of the conditions you stated. They don't freeze until around 0?F and are easily heated to above 100?F with the flameless ration heaters. And, beyond heating, they're not just easy to prepare but require no preparation (hence the RE in MRE). For multiday trips, I'm sure I'll bring a stove with fuel and learn to cook more traditional freeze dried foods instead.


As for hydration; I have learned the hard way. Your body gets weird when you dehydrate. For day trips I bring two 32oz Nalgenes, and drink an electrolyte drink in preparation.
Electrolytes are things like potassium, sodium, and a few others. Think about it like this; they allow your nervous/electrical system to function properly, among other things. Really bad things (kidney failure, nauseau) happen when they get out of balance. I know this as a cyclist, runner, climber.

As a bigger guy (I'm guessing of course since I don't know you but I'm probably in the top 10% of climbers by size), I brought two 48oz nalgene bottles instead of the 32's. Sometimes I can't help but picture some scenes in Idiocracy (great movie for those who haven't seen it), "It's got electrolytes! It's got what plants crave!", "Water? You mean the stuff in the toilet?" I think too much value is placed on a commercial drink which is more or less sugar water when people have survived on water for millennia and all of those ions can be obtained from food. I've never had a problem with water but if you think it'd help to drink a gatorade beforehand instead of water I'm not opposed to doing so.


As long as you know when you are getting in over your head, and turn around then you'll be fine. If you really listen to your body and your progress, you will know when it is time to turn around, or continue.

Pretty much exactly as I thought.


As far as gear, plastic boots are not the most fun to hike in but they are one of the first peices of gear I looked into. I am lucky to work at a place, (REI) which has a large community of outdoorsy/expirienced people.

I'll rent a pair of plastic boots for this. I'd much prefer to put crampons on my own boots since mine are warmer and more comfortable, and just thinking about how much the plastics will tear my feet up doesn't sound fun. When I buy crampons, I'll need to have an extension bar custom machined. I have a friend who is a machinist but doesn't have any shop equipment at the moment. I tried to fit Black Diamond Contacts to my boots at EMS, and the idea of even trying to make them fit with the stock bars was a joke. When they brought me the factory-made extension bars, they were still a size or two too short. A guy at EMS who recently climbed Washington suggested microspikes since they can stretch to fit my boots since he doubted that the EMS in North Conway had boots to fit me (he was right, but IME does). While I'm sure they'd be better than nothing, I don't think they're ideal for this. And from what I saw I'd bet that it's possible to summit without crampons but I think it'd be a bad decision to try without them.


As for Winter hiking/backpacking alone, It's not somthing I normally do. This past weekend was because I am testing a prototype -20F sleeping bag for REI. There are less than a half a dozen people I would ask to join me on the trail, and maybe a dozen who if they asked me I would hike with.
If I were you, (and I'm not), I would try to find someone you can stand to hike with. If you hike with someone regularly you become a team and work very efficiently. It's just what I would do.

I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to join me on this and all declined. Most of them hate the cold and don't understand how I could tolerate it or why I'd swim in the ocean in the winter, and have even less time than I do to get away to do this. One or two of them might be more willing in the summer but that's when I'd be less enthusiastic about going myself. And since it's probable that I'd end up climbing on larger peaks that are very cold at any time of year, I'd better get used to solo trips anyway. What other choice do I have? And, it's not so much about people I could stand to be around, I'd also have to be able to trust those people in a crisis or that negates the benefits of group climbing.

This is what I want, so I'm going for it, and I've decided that there's nothing wrong with that. I'll see what happens, I'm thinking that I'll probably make it this time.

averagejoe
02-09-2009, 08:07 PM
Hey B,

What's your name anyway, B1029384756 is too darn long. Now hear me out because everyone is different, what works for me might not be best for you, but I will offer what I have learned in my short time doing this. I like to say that if you ask 10 people a question, you will get 15 different answers.

Don't think I am telling you not to do this. To me it sounds like you knew when things got ugly.

Hey, if the MRE's do the trick, that's it, right. Long as you take in something other than air.

I'm about 150lbs soaking wet, just over half your size, but I sweat like a
wh*re in church. I kick the crap out of myself as often as possible, so food as fuel is more than a saying for me. Now it seems from my experience that too many people don't know how to feed themselves. That is to say that people eat whatever the media says isn't killing us at the time. I don't know you or how you eat but even when we eat for the activities we do, food just doesn't seem to have enough of the vitamins, minerals, etc we need. Too much food today has a ton of sugar and fat, which is good if you're active, but bad for our increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
Basically I can't get what I need out of the food I eat even if I eat as much I can, so I take some supplements. Check out CYTOMAX, its pretty decent. In my house we cook a lot, maybe that's why my gas bill is out of hand, so I eat very well. I still find myself craving OJ, peanut butter, etc. It's my body telling me I need somthing in those foods to fuel me.

Believe me, I wish I could go in my hikers, but they dont offer me the warmth and stability that my plastics do.
If you have access to 16th or 3/32nds inch steel plate, a band saw, a grinding wheel, a drill and a file, you could make your own long, long center bars in no time.

Hey, if you're going to do it' you're going to do it, so have fun. Prepare to be a little cold and suffer a bit, like I said it's good for the soul.
If you hike with me you can leave me for dead in an emergency, so long as I can do the same to you.

Be safe, I look forward to your Trip Report, (Photos?).

b1029384756
02-09-2009, 10:13 PM
I posted my name in this thread but asked for it to be removed so that it doesn't come up in a google search of my user name. My food most of the time isn't the most healthy since I really can't cook. I normally eat cheesesteaks, pizza, some type of fast food, almost anything that I can buy and eat while I drive. I know it's not good for me at all, but it's always been difficult eating healthy for me. The only supplements I eat right now are whey protein and sometimes creatine if I'm lifting that day. I'm trying to bulk up some and replace some fat with muscle to get my strength up more.

I highly recommend that you get a pair of white mickey mouse boots if you want hiking boots that are warmer than the double plastic boots, so look around for them, they're inexpensive and you won't be disappointed. They're very big, so my size 14s are much bigger than the size 15 double plastic boots that I'd be renting. For stability, they're not completely stiff but are more so than normal boots, so depending on what you're doing that may or may not be enough. I don't have any type of table saw, but I might be able to make the extension bars myself somehow, but that's probably not going to happen before my next trip.

I'll post a trip report when I get around to going back and will hopefully have better news to report than last time.

RI Swamp Yankee
02-10-2009, 12:31 PM
How about just a first name or nickname, B.....6 is so impersonal and there are a lot of friendly people here.

b1029384756
02-10-2009, 03:12 PM
Most people in real life call me B, hence the reason for choosing this name.

CHRIS
02-10-2009, 03:20 PM
Things that make you go Hmmmm

Brad
02-10-2009, 03:32 PM
I described this thread to my son and he said - troll.

BlueDog
02-10-2009, 04:05 PM
I described this thread to my son and he said - troll.

"Things that make you go Hmmmm."

b1029384756
02-10-2009, 05:02 PM
I described this thread to my son and he said - troll.

I see you've got your best detectives on it. Well, if your son says so, he's obviously the final authority on who's who, so who am I to disagree? It's cool, I've gotten all the information I need from here, which is pretty good for a troll, right? I'll post my trip report when I go back, in case anyone actually still wants to see a troll's TR and then will see if summitpost can offer me more info on what I should climb next, which I was planning to do anyway since the white mountains probably don't offer any more challenge than Washington and therefore this forum would then be a bit too specialized for me, and I don't seem to be meshing too well with this group (because I'm a troll of course). Maybe they're a bit more accepting of having trolls around over there.

BlueDog
02-10-2009, 06:00 PM
Let us know if any of them carry a 20"+ 10D cell mag light in their backpacks to fight off the bears.

However, its seems you didn't come here for advice, but rather for affirmation of the decisions you had already made. Almost all of the advice that was given by people that are highly experienced here and several hundreds of miles on their boots, you had a reason to counter what they said.

You haven't even been over 1800 feet yet and you are already dismissing the Whites as not challenging enough? In that case, why not go for an Olympic medal in swimming, after all its just swimming right?

CHRIS
02-10-2009, 06:09 PM
There are alot of very friendly people on here that would bend over backwards to help anybody. I don't see where posting your first name would have people doing google searches all over the place. What you did or have done in your personal life is your business. It sounds like you have your life on track and looking to do something you may have dreamed about. People here are just trying to make sure you go and enjoy yourself do it safely and make it back. Thats all. If you are for real then go for it and enjoy and I hope everything goes as you plan and you come back safe and post your trip report and pictures. Then there won't be any questions about being a troll or not.

b1029384756
02-10-2009, 07:39 PM
Chris, I think that you don't see what the problem is with posting my name for the very same reason people here are doing a poor job at troll detection. It's not any members here that concern me. This seems to be mostly an older crowd that doesn't understand how some people behave online, or that semi-anonymity is the de facto standard of internet forums and isn't usually regarded as offensive or hostile. There's plenty of people who are good at and have nothing better to do than e-stalking, and since I'm good at pissing people off, I don't need someone from elsewhere on the net to google my name, discover this site complete with my name. I'm not doing well financially in this recession but there's any different number of ways I might come out of it in any number of possible career paths, and some of them would put me in a position where I couldn't afford to have details of my life that might be questionable putting my employment prospects in jeopardy because of some kid who thinks its fun to take something I post out of context, or something that I don't mind sharing semi-anonymously on a forum such as this and wouldn't want being connected to me professionally, such as having been locked up a few times on trumped up charges, or having once lived in a car because at the time I had no choice, and then find out where I'm working and cause problems for me. It's not a likely occurrence but it happens often enough that I should be aware of it, particularly as the damage done is usually irreversible. If you think that people trolling a forum to enjoy negative reactions is something to worry about, imagine what someone who's determined to carry it over into real life could do. You might think I'm paranoid just as I think some of you are (really, has anyone stopped to consider why anyone looking to troll a forum would choose one that gets maybe a dozen posts a day and is about a topic that's relatively non-controversial?). We probably both are being too cautious, but I have my reasons as it seems some of you do. If anyone really wants to know my name, PM me and I'll reply with it. As I said above, it's not anyone here that concerns me in that regard (including those who don't like me or whatever, I'm certain everyone here is above the sort of behavior I've described). Also, is it that difficult for a troll to make up a fictitious name if I wanted to?

BlueDog, congrats on discovering my desire for a large flashlight. The bears comment was mostly an afterthought to to take focus off of wanting to carry a club which they chose to run with. It was planning this trip that got me thinking about that since I drove around and showed my friends my ice axe when I bought it (because I like to show off my new toys) but worried about what would happen to me if I got caught with it in my truck by the police, and then started to think about how great it'd be to keep with me if it weren't highly illegal here and thought about a flashlight. Take note that not everyone with this name is me, however. I use a different one whenever this happens to be already taken. And I don't know exactly how far I climbed up on the lion head trail last time without looking at my map (which I purchased due to input from people here) but I know it was well above 1800'. If I want to climb something bigger after this, that's exactly what I'll do, this was never intended to be a final step but rather practice for the type of climbs that really pique (yeah, I know) my interest. I came here looking for information on specific points and got more information than I originally asked for, which is all appreciated. Most of it I've done as those here have suggested, and on a few other things, I'm going to try it my way instead because I'm not 100% convinced that all of my ideas that I came up with are wrong. If I wanted to be given orders instead of information, I would have just hired a guide to do that.

Here's a picture of me in front of the place I stayed at in Conway (which I also chose due to what people here said), with my ECWCS gear, if you want to see that. I didn't get any good pictures on my climb last time because I expect to go back for a real attempt.
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1927/dscn0567fc4.th.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn0567fc4.jpg)

CHRIS
02-10-2009, 08:24 PM
I understand where your coming from and I think that if you were to post your first name be it Brad or Bob or Brendan I don't think people could really google you. Even if they knew what state you are in I would think they would come up with thousands of what ever your first name is. Yes I don't blame you for being paranoid because there are alot of dirt bags out there that have nothing better to do than what you explained and worse. Look it is your poragative to list what ever name you want. So be it. I hope you make it to the summit and post the report and pictures. I believe life is what you make it and it sounds to me that you know what you want. Good luck in your adventures and I hope for the best on what ever career path you choose and remember it can only get better. Good luck.

b1029384756
02-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks for trying to understand and for the wishes of luck. I also can somewhat understand how an older generation might consider it rude not to reveal ones name, particularly if this is the only forum they've used. If someone knows my name and which city I live in, and which types of jobs I've done, it's not too difficult to narrow it down. I'm more concerned about resumes I've posted online linking my e-mail to my full name and address than I'd ever be about posting a name here. It's a fact search engines such as google, and archive sites such as the wayback machine (www.archive.org) are doing such a good job these days of storing information that one must consider that anything they post will probably remain permanent. It's just that the risk outweighs the benefits (in my opinion). Also, here's a better version of that picture, I accidentally resized it too small with the last one. I'll hopefully have more in the relatively near future.

http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/5883/dscn0567ow1.th.jpg (http://img187.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn0567ow1.jpg)

sheri
02-11-2009, 08:11 AM
B -- Happy hiking! Looking forward to your TR.

Everest2012
02-12-2009, 08:11 AM
Okay, normally I don?t participate in forums. I have been reading this forum because I also was looking for advice to make my first winter attempt on Mount Washington. And this is a great place for a beginner to get the information needed by experienced climbers.

To Brad: I realize you are respected in this forum but your advice is garbage. According to one of your posts, you have never and can?t climb the mountain. Calling b1029384756 a troll is completely out of line. You have 3,980 posts and to me it seems like your wasting disk space. You really need to get a life. The only advice you gave b1029384756 was about a place to eat breakfast. If you can?t climb the mountain, then why are you posting in this forum, it?s supposed to be for advice not criticism. It seems to me that you are the one trolling.

To b1029384756: I wouldn?t give them your name either. Just because your not a yuppy and drive a BMW and wear all Patagonia clothing, doesn?t mean you can?t climb the mountain. I tried to climb the mountain (my first winter accent) in January and made it to where the lions head meets the tuckerman trail when I turned myself around. I was going to post my TR here but why bother. I have sent my TR to the one person who gave me some good advice. I will also send b1029384756 my TR so that he will have a better idea what to expect once he tops the ravine. MREs are fantastic and I also bring them hiking with me. While the yuppies are eating their dehydrated foods, I?m eating ham steaks. The military does not give our soldiers MREs because they are bad for you. They contain 13% protein, 36% fat and 51% carbohydrates in each meal, just google it and read more about them. I wish you all the luck in getting to the top, if you don?t make it you will gain a ton of experience. I hope to meet you on the trail someday. My offer to climb with you still stands. I?m not going to spend $250.00 every time I want to climb but also don?t regret it on my first attempt I learned more in that one day than I did in this forum. There are good people in here and others that are not so good. You just need to sift through the crap and make your own decision.

Mike

billysinc
02-12-2009, 11:13 AM
So Everest2012 what prompted your decision to turn around when you did during your climb? I'm looking at heading up before the end of winter more than likely in mid-March.

I'm always curious about what other people run into on the trails. I had to turn around last winter on Mt Flume due to deep snow and a lost trail.

Everest2012
02-12-2009, 11:26 AM
So Everest2012 what prompted your decision to turn around when you did during your climb? I'm looking at heading up before the end of winter more than likely in mid-March.

I'm always curious about what other people run into on the trails. I had to turn around last winter on Mt Flume due to deep snow and a lost trail.

I turned myself around because of the deep snow. There were drifts on the lions head trail that were up to our chest in spots and once we got over the lions head the snow was about 2 feet deep on the way up the cone. We had 12 inches of snow a few days before the climb, after 2 hours of breaking trail, I used up all my energy and water to get to the point where I figured I?d better turn around, I didn?t think I had another 2 hours left in me to continue. I had a guide and asked him before we left if we should bring snow shoes but his comment was ?they would just get in the way and are bulky? so we didn?t bring them and I wish I had, If I could have walked on top of the snow and not post holing the way up, I think I would have made it to the summit.

Good luck with your climb in March

KD Talbot
02-12-2009, 11:56 AM
but I'd rather carry my snowshoes and not need them than need them and not have them. I think he gave you bad advice. Don't get me started on hikers who post-hole the trails. It's less of an issue on the Presidentials because the wind usually takes care of the problem, but on other trails below tree-line post-holing can ruin the trail for those who follow.

Snowshoes are a necessary part of winter hiking, just like crampons. Stronger hikers may be able to push through without them, but why kill yourself?

I usually strap them on at the start even on well packed trails. Just slippin' and slidin' burns up lots of energy. Microspikes are cool, I use them, too, but if I start post-holin' on go the snowshoes.

KDT

Everest2012
02-12-2009, 12:28 PM
but I'd rather carry my snowshoes and not need them than need them and not have them. I think he gave you bad advice. Don't get me started on hikers who post-hole the trails. It's less of an issue on the Presidentials because the wind usually takes care of the problem, but on other trails below tree-line post-holing can ruin the trail for those who follow.

Snowshoes are a necessary part of winter hiking, just like crampons. Stronger hikers may be able to push through without them, but why kill yourself?

I usually strap them on at the start even on well packed trails. Just slippin' and slidin' burns up lots of energy. Microspikes are cool, I use them, too, but if I start post-holin' on go the snowshoes.

KDT

I need to be careful what I say. I did know not to create any holes on the way up the packed tuckerman trail, and we did a good job not to. It would have been silly to use the snow shoes on a packed trail. However, once we were heading up the cone, there was no trail and without snow shoes we had no other choice. I?m sure if there were climbers behind us that didn?t have snow shoes, they would have been very happy to step in our holes rather than breaking their own trail.

Steve M
02-12-2009, 12:29 PM
To Brad: I realize you are respected in this forum but your advice is garbage. According to one of your posts, you have never and can?t climb the mountain. Calling b1029384756 a troll is completely out of line. You have 3,980 posts and to me it seems like your wasting disk space. You really need to get a life. The only advice you gave b1029384756 was about a place to eat breakfast. If you can?t climb the mountain, then why are you posting in this forum, it?s supposed to be for advice not criticism. It seems to me that you are the one trolling.

I don't know where you got this information but it is wrong and it is way out of line to attack someone by calling their advice garbage. Brad has climbed the mountain more times than a lot of people on this forum. He was referring to winter mountaineering on Washington and I don't recall him giving any technical advice on the subject.


To b1029384756: I wouldn?t give them your name either. Just because your not a yuppy and drive a BMW and wear all Patagonia clothing, doesn?t mean you can?t climb the mountain.

Mike

I would like to know how you came to the conclusion that everyone in these forums are yuppies and drive BMW's and wear Patagonia clothing? I have met many here and I can assure you your image of us is way out of line.

I consider this forum to be a group of friends who love the mountain no matter what their experiences or abilities. They are a great group of people from all walks of life. It has always been a friendly, helpful atmosphere here. If you have a grievance or issue with someone, PM them and discuss it in private, but don't attack people publicly here. If this is a problem for you then please stop visiting this forum.

RI Swamp Yankee
02-12-2009, 12:35 PM
...Calling b1029384756 a troll is completely out of line. ...
JMHO but I don't think so. Someone that claims to be able to swim in 35 degree ocean water for an hour raises a red flag for me. Several strong commercial fishermen from the Ocean State have perished over the years after 30 minutes in the cold water offshore when their fishing boats went down.

Oh, I can't climb either so I will just put on my flame retardent suit and watch a bit.... ;)

Everest2012
02-12-2009, 12:49 PM
I don't know where you got this information but it is wrong and it is way out of line to attack someone by calling their advice garbage. Brad has climbed the mountain more times than a lot of people on this forum. He was referring to winter mountaineering on Washington and I don't recall him giving any technical advice on the subject.

you are correct, I was out of line


I would like to know how you came to the conclusion that everyone in these forums are yuppies and drive BMW's and wear Patagonia clothing? I have met many here and I can assure you your image of us is way out of line.

re-read the message. I didn't call anybody a yuppie just said you don't need to be one to climb


I consider this forum to be a group of friends who love the mountain no matter what their experiences or abilities. They are a great group of people from all walks of life. It has always been a friendly, helpful atmosphere here. If you have a grievance or issue with someone, PM them and discuss it in private, but don't attack people publicly here. If this is a problem for you then please stop visiting this forum.

you are correct. Brad should have PMed everyone with his troll comment and shouldn't have put it in the forum. calling him a troll is in my opinion is garbage advice. This forum is for getting advice not name calling.

I'll stop posting, I knew I should have stayed away from posting but wanted to give my support for B

Steve M
02-12-2009, 01:19 PM
re-read the message. I didn't call anybody a yuppie just said you don't need to be one to climb


Why would you have said it in the first place if it wasn't your intention?

Brad
02-12-2009, 01:32 PM
you are correct, I was out of line

Mike,

Thanks for the public comment on this. Many folks here on the forum, me included, have a deep love and respect for MW. We have seen folks out on the trails in all sorts of weather in all seasons who just should not be there. Very much not prepared for what they are getting in to. And many of us have been involved with rescues. So, we are a cautious bunch and want folks to enjoy the mountains and be safe doing it.

You are right I offered suggestions about places to eat breakfast. They are good ones. But, I do not give advice on things I do not know - like being above treeline in the winter. Hmmm, anyone interested in breakfast?

Hang in there - keep posting - we are generally a friendly bunch until it gets to fundraising attempts for Seek The Peak.

I am back in NC already trying to figure out when I can head back north again. :cool:

Rich
02-12-2009, 03:07 PM
and wear all Patagonia clothing, doesn?t mean you can?t climb the mountain.

What brand do you wear? I don't care for Patagonia that much anyway, although I do have one jacket from them. It isn't all that great...

Bill O
02-12-2009, 05:18 PM
I don't really have any "outfits" but I do own quite a bit of Patagonia clothing. I think their equipment is reasonably priced. I have a North Face jacket that is over 12 years old. Seems like a bargain now. I have North Face bib pants that are over 15 years old.

faegilr
02-12-2009, 05:38 PM
Is there stuff good? I'm always on the lookout for women's pants in smaller sizes.

:D

b1029384756
02-12-2009, 05:54 PM
This whole thread hasn't gone in the direction I hoped. First of all, Everest2012, I appreciate the support. I might take you up on your offer to climb w/ me once I've gotten this out of the way solo (to prove to myself unquestionably that I can). I've come to the conclusion that people here are just naive about what takes place on the internet or what constitutes a troll. I try to remember that I don't think anyone here is trying to start problems but sometimes I can be easily insulted and what I respond with will reflect that. If people are concerned about my safety, I can respect that, I've already admitted to being a person who takes chances at times and it seems most here aren't risk takers as much. If anyone thinks I'm just here to piss people off, why keep responding and creating more opportunities for me to troll?

I don't know what the standard ethics are about snowshoes. I broke through on the packed trail a few times, and on the lion head trail there was some snow but it was manageable (no more than 2 feet, a couple of higher drifts easily avoided) and I wouldn't bring snowshoes when I go back. On the way down, on the Tuckerman's packed trail I damaged it slightly by sliding down sections of it in my boots, but it was probably fixed the next time a snowcat went by. I don't know why it's considered wrong for me to want to walk through the snow like that, I know people with snowshoes have to avoid my holes which isn't that hard if I'm the only one doing it, and there's several sets of holes, maybe it's because the trail doesn't really call for snowshoes after all. For the record, I've never worn snowshoes and I'd imagine finding a pair to fit me would be as difficult as crampons, so I really don't know how much of a difference they make. I'd think at my size I'd still sink quite a bit in powder.

Bill O
02-12-2009, 05:58 PM
Is there stuff good? I'm always on the lookout for women's pants in smaller sizes.

:D

Pataguchi can be all over the place. They have certainly edged towardthe fashionable side of functional. Their base layers and casual clothing are still great.

BlueDog
02-12-2009, 06:08 PM
I don't know what the standard ethics are about snowshoes. I broke through on the packed trail a few times, and on the lion head trail there was some snow but it was manageable (no more than 2 feet, a couple of higher drifts easily avoided) and I wouldn't bring snowshoes when I go back. On the way down, on the Tuckerman's packed trail I damaged it slightly by sliding down sections of it in my boots, but it was probably fixed the next time a snowcat went by. I don't know why it's considered wrong for me to want to walk through the snow like that, I know people with snowshoes have to avoid my holes which isn't that hard if I'm the only one doing it, and there's several sets of holes, maybe it's because the trail doesn't really call for snowshoes after all. For the record, I've never worn snowshoes and I'd imagine finding a pair to fit me would be as difficult as crampons, so I really don't know how much of a difference they make. I'd think at my size I'd still sink quite a bit in powder.

Here's the question... if someone (or several) on here outlines good trail ethics as well as solid practical reasons for carrying/using snowshoes, would it change your mind?

However, if no matter what anyone could say, you have no want or desire to use them, then the point is moot.

I don't own snowshoes and haven't had any snow trail experience, so I can only guess as to the reasons. But from what it sounds like from an earlier post, part of the reason is to be a good steward of the trail and leave it in a safe and usable condition for the next hiker behind you.

b1029384756
02-12-2009, 06:25 PM
It's possible but not guaranteed that I might swayed, so if you could convince me that I'm causing harm to others by not bringing them I could be convinced to rent them (if they would fit me) since I'm not a complete jerkoff despite what anyone thinks and don't want to put others in jeopardy. I didn't feel that I was making the trail unsafe for anyone when I went, though, and the majority of climbers that I saw did not have them (or they were just well concealed), I assume many were more experienced than myself, so I would also want to know why so many didn't have them. My guess is because they're not essential.

Uncas
02-13-2009, 08:56 AM
This whole snow shoe issue is new on me too, Im going with EMS and I dont own any snowshoes nor do they mention using them once in all my contact with them. I could see where two or three post holes from hikers could make snowshoeing a pain.

Bill O
02-13-2009, 09:04 AM
This whole snow shoe issue is new on me too, Im going with EMS and I dont own any snowshoes nor do they mention using them once in all my contact with them. I could see where two or three post holes from hikers could make snowshoeing a pain.

You wont need them on your summit attempt with EMS, nor do I recommend bringing them on any summit attempt involving the Lion's Head winter route. It's a calculated risk that the majority of winter hikers take on this route.

Unless you are planning on leaving the base after a recent snow before the snow tractor packs down the trail.

The slope is too steep for snowshoes at the crux of the climb and it is rare that you would need them above treeline.

Uncas
02-13-2009, 10:00 AM
Thank you,

I am about a week out, I have no idea if im in good enough shape. I started planning this 3 months ago and have dropped 25 lbs. Been hiking bear mt in Ct and working out three days a week, but I dont really know if I could actually plan for this until attempting it once. I'm going to do a 7 hour hike(bear mt twice) saturday then tapper off until my hike next week.

Bill O
02-13-2009, 10:37 AM
I'd guess you are in good enough shape. With a week to go I wouldn't worry about doing much, just rest and eat right. The mental aspect is more important now.

climbabout
02-13-2009, 10:40 AM
Uncas - I have done the climb you are about to do dozens of times and have never taken snowshoes. I can back up what Bill posted earlier - the Tuckeraman Ravive Trail portion is usually well packed daily by both hikers and snowmobiles that the rangers use. The middle section is generally too steep for snow shoes - most times you'll use crampons here to the summit. Above treeline, most (but not all) areas are windblown. That doesn't mean that there can't be some pockets of deep snow in the protected areas right at treeline below lion head, as well as the lower parts of the cone. However, that is the exception and not the norm, and usually these sections of possible deep snow are not terribly long in length. Thus, most climbers do not bring snowshoes. Keep in mind EMS and IME guides have done this route hundreds and hundreds of times in all possible conditions - they won't steer you wrong.
On another note, I live in CT and have done Bear MT in winter, and the AT trail up Bear Mountain going south from MA is a good training ground - load up your pack with 40lbs or so and that should be good training.
Good Luck
Tim

Rich
02-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Is there stuff good? I'm always on the lookout for women's pants in smaller sizes.

:D

North Face IS pricey but, you'll never replace it. Almost all my stuff is NF....my tents, clothes, trail runners, backpack even my boys school backpacks! Next up would be EMS clothing/equip.

Uncas
02-13-2009, 11:56 AM
Uncas - I have done the climb you are about to do dozens of times and have never taken snowshoes. I can back up what Bill posted earlier - the Tuckeraman Ravive Trail portion is usually well packed daily by both hikers and snowmobiles that the rangers use. The middle section is generally too steep for snow shoes - most times you'll use crampons here to the summit. Above treeline, most (but not all) areas are windblown. That doesn't mean that there can't be some pockets of deep snow in the protected areas right at treeline below lion head, as well as the lower parts of the cone. However, that is the exception and not the norm, and usually these sections of possible deep snow are not terribly long in length. Thus, most climbers do not bring snowshoes. Keep in mind EMS and IME guides have done this route hundreds and hundreds of times in all possible conditions - they won't steer you wrong.
On another note, I live in CT and have done Bear MT in winter, and the AT trail up Bear Mountain going south from MA is a good training ground - load up your pack with 40lbs or so and that should be good training.
Good Luck
Tim

Thanks, Yes I take the AT up from the Mass side(Undermountain, to paradise- to AT) thats a good workout with a heavy pack. There was even some place to throw on the crampons this past Monday as the weekend had melted some of the snow.

MelNino
02-13-2009, 01:24 PM
Also Mt Race to Mt Everett in Mass is good practice. I'm gonn try to hike them and Bear Mtn to get ready for my May trip.

That, and I have to "make peace" with Everett, I hiked it once....bad trip, and I'd rather not hate a mountain, hahhaa.

Brad
02-13-2009, 01:44 PM
Thank you,

I am about a week out, I have no idea if im in good enough shape. I started planning this 3 months ago and have dropped 25 lbs. Been hiking bear mt in Ct and working out three days a week, but I dont really know if I could actually plan for this until attempting it once. I'm going to do a 7 hour hike(bear mt twice) saturday then tapper off until my hike next week.
You have been working at it to be ready. Have a great time and let us know how it went.

KD Talbot
02-14-2009, 11:23 AM
Several things:

1) I disagree about the no snowshoe theory, and I will get into the reasons why later.

2) Bill and Climbabout definitely have more experience above treeline than me, but Bill states, "It's a calculated risk that the majority of winter hikers take on this route."

3) Climbing the east side finds a Tuckerman Ravine Trail that is packed to Hermit Lake unless there has been a very recent snowstorm. The Lion Head Trail is steep and requires crampons, BUT, in the right snow conditions, which probably don't happen very often, I think that this climb could be made in snowshoes and made especially easier with televators. I could be wrong on this.

4) Above Lion Head, to my limited knowledge, generally finds scoured conditions where there is rock and ice and crampons would be required.

5) Beyond Lion Head and above the Alpine Garden where the Lion Head Trail again meets the Tuckerman Ravine Trail there may be a mix of scoured rock and ice and deep pockets of snow depending on the conditions.

OK, now I'm not suggesting that snowshoes would be the way to go through this. Switching from snowshoes to crampons and back would be crazy, if not impossible in some conditions.

On the east side crampons are probably the way to go.

Now, conversely, I have hiked the Southern Presidentials in winter. Though most of the trails are packed I have still worn snowshoes:

A) to keep the trail intact and not posthole it, and

B) to keep from burning up a lot of energy slipping and sliding around.

In some places, such as the summit of Mount Jackson, I have had to remove and carry the shoes because of icy conditions similar to above Lion Head. Here I was able to maneuver without crampons, probably not likely on Lion Head.

Many trip reports I have read about ascending from the west on the Ammo/Jewell Trails have involved snowshoes due to deep snow in the woods below treeline, and deep drifts above treeline.

Many incident reports I have read suggest that snowshoes would have helped the individuals to get out of trouble. In particular the incident last year on Franconia Ridge where one fellow lost his life and his partner lost fingers and toes. They dropped down below the ridge to get out of the wind and floundered in chest deep snow until exhausted, they could go no further.

My snowshoes, as well as most of today's models are light. Carrying them is no big deal. They have an aggressive crampon for climbing steep pitches, and the televator makes these pitches feel like level ground.

Going without them is a matter of preference. A "calculated risk" as Bill puts it. My personal preference is to have equipment that I may not need, especially while winter hiking, as opposed to not having equipment that I do need and don't have. Just my way of thinking.

KDT

b1029384756
02-14-2009, 05:43 PM
I just couldn't imagine how big my snowshoes would need to be in order to support me, if there's any that are even made to hold 320 lbs (estimated weight w/ gear and pack).

KD Talbot
02-14-2009, 08:37 PM
I've hiked with guys as big as you. Yep, their shoes are big. Probably 36" with tails as compared to my 32" without. They're more for traction than flotation unless we're breaking trail.

You'll probably be fine without them.

I'm talking in general terms about winter travel in the mountains.

Here's a recent inquiry about some currently lost hikers on the Presidential Range. Why do you suppose the F&G are interested in knowing if the lost hikers have snowshoes?


Hello,

My name is Lt. Douglas Gralenski of the NHF&G Dept. I have been forwarded your e-mail from the Grey Knob cabin on Mt. Adams. On Wednesday night two Canadian people spent the night at Grey Knob and left on Wednesday morning heading for Mt. Eisenhower. The males name is Gabriel Fortin and he is 30 years old. His female companion is only known as ?Stephanie?. It is assumed she is approximately the same age.

If these two hikers are not found by tomorrow morning an aerial search will take place. It is my understanding you stayed at Grey Knob Tuesday night and may remember these people. Of particular note, I am interested in the color of their outer clothing and back packs. I would also like to know if they had snowshoes with them. Of course, if you have any other info of value I?ll take everything you may remember.

Why? Because they could be in a world of _hit without them. Just my opinion.

KDT

billysinc
02-14-2009, 09:26 PM
Why? Because they could be in a world of _hit without them. Just my opinion.
KDT

Oh yeah, if they had to go down off the main trail into one of the ravines they'd get swallowed up in the deep snow.

b1029384756
02-15-2009, 02:25 AM
I figured I'd be fine without snowshoes based on, as other people have said, the fact that the recommended equipment lists from the guide services does not include snowshoes. From what I saw on the lion head winter trail the snow doesn't get too deep, and I seriously doubt if it would above treeline either due to the winds. I'm sure they're needed for other places on the mountain where the snow can pile up, or for other mountains.

TrishandAlex
02-15-2009, 05:11 AM
The guides won't get lost or disoriented, because they won't ascend unless the conditions are just right. They are also experts in navigating in white-out conidtions. That's why they say you won't need snowshoes. They wouldn't put you -- or -themselves -- in a situation where they'd HAVE to descend below treeline unexpectedly.

YOU would ascend regardless, based on your posts. You'd even think it "honorable" to push on in spite of questionable weather (the accident report written about you would use quite a different term).

You may even make it to the top, thinking, "My, what a beuatiful day."

But then, the weather could change instantly, in spite of the forecast...as it did with my friend two weeks ago. He was faced with white-out conditions and had to navigate off the cone and down to safety with 30 feet visibility. Luckily, he's an experienced guy and could do this.

If YOU were met with white-out conditions coming down from the summit -- and you had to descend unexpectedly, even ever-so-slightly off course -- you would find yourself in deep snow. Without snowshoes, you would tire quickly and in no time at all succomb to hypothermia.

I'm only participating in this thread in case some other person out there considering Washington is taking b____'s posts seriously.

There is no honor is attempting a climb -- solo, even -- that you are not ready for. Asking questions on the internet does not make you ready.

There are many other mountains in the Whites to practice on before attempting Washington. A wise person will get out there and get some real experience on the smaller ones before even thinking about trying Washington in the winter.

KD Talbot
02-15-2009, 09:36 AM
Good post Trish, just the points I was trying to make. Too bad I can't give you a greenie over here. ;)

KDT

climbabout
02-15-2009, 12:07 PM
Good points KD and TrishandAlex - I should have made more of a point of qualifying my answer as to why I don't bring snowshoes on the Lion Head winter route. My answer was very specific to that route only and not for general travel in the whites.
Tim

b1029384756
02-16-2009, 06:35 AM
Good points KD and TrishandAlex - I should have made more of a point of qualifying my answer as to why I don't bring snowshoes on the Lion Head winter route. My answer was very specific to that route only and not for general travel in the whites.
Tim

Well, that is the route I used (and will use again), so your statement applies. When I go to rent crampons, I'll see if they have snowshoes as well to fit my size (not probable), and if they're not too expensive, and not too big to carry when I'm not wearing them, then I'll consider renting some. I know I'll need to learn to use them at some point, just not sure if I want to do that now or in the future when I'll need them more.

Patrad Fischroy
02-16-2009, 12:19 PM
I am reluctantly jumping into this here, only on the Snowshoe issue as I have no credability on the winter climbing. I am in the west with usually light and fluffy snow, I am about 6' 4" and weigh about 230 in KD's preferred hiking condition, so with all my clothing, about 250 and adding a pack on that ~ 280-300 easy. I use some relatively cheap Tubbs 36"X9" shoes that generally do quite well for the moderate slopes that I tend to traverse. For anything steeper, I would have to upgrade to a better (more $$) shoe. So far I have not needed that but the time is coming. I guess the point is that your size is not prohibitive, particularly in the wetter (usually) snow of the East.

KD Talbot
02-16-2009, 04:36 PM
OK, again, if I'm traveling in the White Mountains in winter, I'm carrying (or wearing) snowshoes.

Are snowshoes necessary for this particular climb, Tux to Lion Head to the summit? Again, it's a matter of preference. Most would take the "calculated risk" of not having them on this route. It's pretty much straight up, straight down.

As Trish has explained, in a white out if you lost your way and wandered into deep snow, you could be in big trouble. Most would assess the situation on Lion Head and decide to continue or abort at that point. Fog and high winds would turn many back, experienced or not. I know very experienced hikers who have lost all sense of direction in fog and snowy conditions and wound up in chest deep snow and spruce traps.

I know this route very well. I know many routes very well. In winter they're a whole different animal. Many that I've travelled several times in good weather I am afraid I could not find my way through the snow covered trees in winter. This is not a problem on this route, it's almost like a highway until you're above tree-line. If you're serious about winter hiking, then you have to do a good deal of hiking below tree-line before you get above it. This is where the snowshoes come in. I've also been on many hikes where they were just as useful above tree-line.

Bottom line to me is: If I'm going out in the winter, I'm dealing with snow. If I'm dealing with snow, then snowshoes are essential equipment. Just my opinion.

KDT

KD Talbot
02-16-2009, 10:11 PM
here of what can go wrong above tree-line in the Whites. These people were experienced and luckily, well prepared. Oh yeah, and snowshoes saved their a_ses. There are no broken trails in the Dry River Wilderness. Yes, I know, they were on a traverse, not an up and down.

I'm not sure the F&G got it completely right when they say "They did everything right." This is just my opinion, but dropping down into the DRW was the wrong thing to do. Since they were at Lakes, in my opinion, they should have descended the Ammo Trail. It is possible they couldn't find it, but it descends from the corner of the hut where they stayed sheltered in the "Dungeon". Not exactly cozy, but life saving obviously.

I'm not sure either that with no food or stove fuel left they would have just walked out on their own, but this is purely conjecture.

The main thing is: they got out alive and it wasn't a recovery. For this I am glad.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Rescued+hikers+had+hunkered+ down&articleId=198ba306-1635-4973-a7bb-c5e82a217211

KDT

b1029384756
02-17-2009, 08:46 AM
PF: It's not just my weight, it's the size of my shoes as well. I looked at Tubbs snowshoes, they only fit up to a size 13 according to their own site. I'd either be wearing a rented size 15 double plastic boot, or a size 14 white mickey boot (much larger, about the same as a size 16-18 on the outside). So if I were to wear snowshoes that's another issue I'd need to tackle.

KD: Ok, read the link. I never said I'd continue on into a whiteout, just that I wouldn't let a bad forecast deter me. I'd make my own judgement above treeline as to whether I should go up or down.

TrishandAlex
02-17-2009, 09:31 AM
KD: Ok, read the link. I never said I'd continue on into a whiteout, just that I wouldn't let a bad forecast deter me. I'd make my own judgement above treeline as to whether I should go up or down.

SO, you have a bad forecast..you get to treeline, looks okay...you get up to the summit --

And then the whiteout occurs suddenly -- on the way DOWN.

What will you do then?

Uncas
02-17-2009, 12:10 PM
My brother still talks about getting caught in a whiteout on Mt Adams in the 80s, his partner eventually sat down in the snow from exhaustion. Luckily visability return not long after.
He went on to climb bigger mountains out west and then Denali, but he still says that day on Adams was his worst and most frieghtning to date.

b1029384756
02-17-2009, 03:48 PM
SO, you have a bad forecast..you get to treeline, looks okay...you get up to the summit --

And then the whiteout occurs suddenly -- on the way DOWN.

What will you do then?

Well, isn't Washington famous for such incidents that occur unexpectedly even during "good" forecasts? I'm still not clear on how bad being in a whiteout is. I always thought whiteout means not being able to see your hands in front of your face. If it were that bad, I'd have no choice but to wait it out. It might be a miserable experience but I'd probably come out of it okay. If I still had some visibility (enough to walk and at least see where I'd putting my feet with each step), due to snow and/or fog, I'd just take it slowly and be careful about where I'm going, and try as best I could to retrace my path. I do have a map and compass to use as well.

Not just with mountain climbing, but any dangerous sport, I find that if people panic, it always makes a bad situation worse. I'm very good at not doing that and rationally planning out my next move, such as when I was swimming in the river and got swept into swift currents that kept throwing me into rocks. I had no training on how to handle that but I remained calm and got myself out of it safely with a bit of common sense. In a whiteout, I'd assume that one of the worst things to do would be to pick a direction and go if you didn't know where you were going, possibly leading to a fall or just getting lost in deep snow.

Uncas: Which Mt. Adams are you talking about? I'm assuming it's the one in NH? I was actually looking into information about the Mt. Adams in WA, considering that as something to progress to after I climb this one since I wouldn't be able to get a permit for Rainier.

BlueDog
02-17-2009, 04:05 PM
Out of curiosity, why do you say you wouldn't be able to get a permit for Rainier? Is it mainly the low number of permits available? Or are they looking for qualifications of some kind?

I've been on the NPS site and looked at several permit applications. I recently received one for Yosemite.

EDIT: I believe I found the info... looks like you need to have lots of experience for a solo permit. Found the solo climbing application. Essay questions include:

- Describe any other glacier travel and/or crevasse rescue experience
- Describe your solo climbing experience
- Describe your multi-day winter backcountry experience
- Describe the inherent objective hazards of climbing this route solo
- Describe your technical method of crossing crevasses safely
- Describe your method of self-rescue from a crevasse
- Do not depend on other independent parties for your rescue. Describe your plan if injured, disabled, overdue and/or in need of rescue

KD Talbot
02-17-2009, 04:17 PM
Maybe you didn't quite get it. These were experienced hikers in the cellar of a building (Lakes of the Clouds Hut) waiting out fog and high winds. They had maps, compass and GPS. From the building THEY WERE IN, they could not find the trail down (Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail) to safety. The trail started at the northwest corner of the building. They mistakenly headed down the opposite side of the ridge, probably to get out of the wind. They headed into a wilderness area that is seldom travelled in winter, where there are NO broken trails as a rule. This could have turned out much worse except for the NH Army National Guard and SAR. They were not in white out conditions. Someone unfamiliar with the terrain could easily have headed into a ravine where a fall could have killed them, or where chest deep snow could have exhausted them.

The last two days on MW were what we call "bluebird" days. Sun, warmth and light breezes. Many I know made it to the summit of MW in perfect winter hiking conditions. These are the days you want to be hiking on MW or the Northern Presidentials.

Someone such as yourself, traveling a long way with a target date could possibly end up with a bluebird day, but chances are more likely that you won't. Therefore, because you have come all this way you will hike on whether it is prudent to do so or not, putting yourself at unnecessary risk, or more egregiously putting others at risk to go out and find you if you should become injured or lost.

With experience the risk may be less but with none it is considerable.

Uncas is talking about New Hampshire's Mount Adams I am sure. Most I have spoken to find this to be a much more difficult winter climb than MW. The approaches are longer, the elevation gain is greater and you are not protected from the prevailing winds as you are on the east side of MW.

KDT

Bill O
02-17-2009, 06:03 PM
I've been to Mount Adams in WA if you have any questions.

If people climbed with all the preparation this thread suggests nobody would ever get to the top. You should see what they do on everest. No snowshoes there.

FisherCat
02-17-2009, 06:05 PM
Just for those who are curious... this thread now has the most replies (at least from the research I could do) of any other in its class-which would be White Mountain Hikes. It now only needs another 3,658 views to become the all-time leader in its class for Views, which would beat out the leader- Climbing Mt Washington in Fall and Winter, which began on 10/12/2006 and was last replied on 3/17/2007. What a run. If we break the record for Replies and Views we can all look back with a sense of pride!

Congratulations!:rolleyes:

TrishandAlex
02-17-2009, 06:15 PM
Just for those who are curious... this thread now has the most replies (at least from the research I could do) of any other in its class-which would be White Mountain Hikes. It now only needs another 3,658 views to become the all-time leader in its class for Views, which would beat out the leader- Climbing Mt Washington in Fall and Winter, which began on 10/12/2006 and was last replied on 3/17/2007. What a run. If we break the record for Replies and Views we can all look back with a sense of pride!

Congratulations!:rolleyes:

Well now, THAT'S a cause worth contributing to. THe horse has been dead for a while now, so a few more whacks can't hurt. :p

BlueDog
02-17-2009, 06:25 PM
To the unknowing person, the view from the Ravines today at 3pm would tend to make you think its a "bluebird" day...

http://images25.fotki.com/v955/photos/2/1002902/7190058/20090217_150240_ravines-vi.jpg

Yet, waiting for you on the other side was....

http://images26.fotki.com/v912/photos/2/1002902/7190054/20090217_150806_presidentials-vi.jpg

Breeze
02-17-2009, 06:59 PM
Had a nice chat this afternoon with one of the MWSP staff who was on duty last week . The story of the Canadian hikers rescue was not the only " oh sh*t" story of the week, but it is the only story you will hear about. There are more but until the guilty parties fess up, I'm not going there.

Winds came up last Wednesday and stayed hovering around the Century mark ( 90-111 mph) with blowing, freezing fog through the day on Saturday. Add freezing fog, zip visibility, and rime icing to 100 mph sustained wind speeds, and take a guess as to how long someone will ( be able to) walk upright "looking for trail markers".



History has shown that in those kind of conditions, people will choose to bail-out to the lee of the wind. To the east side.

Okie dokie except that the Dry River Wilderness Trail escape route is never tracked out in winter, is frequently drifted over trail markers due to snow deposition off the ridge, and it is 13 miles of slog to get out that way.

OTOH, if you belly crawl around the perimeter of LOC hut, keeping positive touch/sight with the building, identify the NW corner by compass reading, and crawl/slide down that fall line on your belly using the toes of your crampons as brakes, it is about 100 yards to treeline on the Ammonusuc Ravine Trail, and then 3 miles of tree sheltered trail to Marshfield Station where you find civilized things ( plowed roads and a telephone are 2 that come to mind).


Breeze

timp
02-17-2009, 07:22 PM
Thank you to everyone who has posted to this crazy thread. As devious as it is, it is providing a terrific education to people like myself who are still learning the skills needed in the Whites in winter.

KD Talbot
02-17-2009, 07:47 PM
Here's a TR and pics from Mount Madison last Wednesday.

http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28041

Obviously, things changed quickly. Note the clouds approaching from the west in the picture of MW. Note what they're putting on their feet to descend. That's right, the same footwear they wore on their ascent to Madison Hut. Crampons from there.

You're right, Bill. If you took all the advice in this thread you'd probably be over-prepared, or you might never venture out the door.

Never been to Everest so I don't know how they get to base camp. Do the sherpas carry the climbers in or do choppers just land them there? I understand there's been a few stiffs pulled off of that hill. Probably most are still there, "When you get to the frozen dead guy turn left and head up." Probably could have used snowshoes. :eek: I bet not too many out there are on their first climb or sought knowledge on a forum before attempting the climb. I'm guessing most got practical experience somewhere a little more tame. :)

KDT

b1029384756
02-17-2009, 10:57 PM
I think most people on Everest have to walk to base camp quite a long ways.

Waiting for some money I'm expecting to come in. I wanted to go back to MW this weekend but unless a miracle occurs I'll probably try again next weekend.

Bill: Since you've been there...does Adams have a rigorous permit application process like Rainer? The reason I was considering it was because I couldn't find any information suggesting that it does, but I never found out for sure one way or the other.

TrishandAlex
02-18-2009, 07:06 AM
Thank you to everyone who has posted to this crazy thread. As devious as it is, it is providing a terrific education to people like myself who are still learning the skills needed in the Whites in winter.

THanks for posting this. I was thinking this thread should have been over after the first 3 pages, so it's good to know it's useful to other people out there.

Bill O
02-18-2009, 07:38 AM
We got all our information on Mount Adams (WA) from the forest service website so be sure to check there.

I believe we only needed a wilderness camping permit. No climbing permit is needed like Rainier because there are no glaciers on the main route up Adams. We bought ours early in the morning from the self-pay station.

MelNino
02-18-2009, 08:55 AM
My understanding of Everest is most people hike to base camp, I think its a multi-day hike. Would love to do it.


I'm also enjoying and learning from this thread....it makes te work day a bit less hellish :)


To derail the topic yet again, I'm hiking up Bear MT this weekend.....can't wait! (if I get over this cold)

b1029384756
02-18-2009, 03:02 PM
I saw that Mt. Adams has free park permits in the winter, I wasn't sure if there was a separate climbing permit or if they don't like solos. No glaciers? I was sure that there was but must have read bad info. Then, it wouldn't be a good one to do to get oneself approved for Rainier. I wouldn't be able to get out that way or afford all the extra equipment I'd need at least until next winter anyhow, and that's assuming my finances turn themselves around soon (and my truck holds together). So I was just wondering how someone goes about getting enough experience to be allowed to climb it. I'll have plenty of time to figure all of that out, though.

Uncas
02-18-2009, 03:49 PM
I thoughtit had some as well.

I would check with groups out west, maybe you can hook up with someone who has access to the mountain. I wouldnt think traveling along a glacier without being roped into someone would be too safe, snow bridges and such.

b1029384756
02-18-2009, 04:16 PM
Well, that's something to think about for the future. I don't know anything at all about glacier travel and won't need to know for quite a while, including how the logistics of roped travel works with one person being twice the size of the other. On the surface, it sounds like a recipe for disaster, where a mistake on the part of the larger one would kill both of them instead of the larger one only if he were alone.