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smithtim
03-02-2009, 12:37 PM
OK so I've got moderate mountaineering experience but a newbee to this forum / mt. washington

I'm planning a solo day hike on Sunday March 15th as my first visit to Washington; I'm 31 in failry good shape, surf 3-4 times week, other workout 2times week....... My goal is Visitor Center off route 16 up to Lion's Head ( yeah I dream about the summit but I know that's dreaming for my first time on Washington and out of the question solo)

I have planned to usual gear ( Crampons, ice axe, 3 layers w/gortex, insulated water , overnight sleeping bag in case ....) but I was hoping you all could share a little advice on a few question:


#1 Food: what is the best recommended food to carry that won't freeze so quick and is easy to carry / eat...

#2 Is GPS needed for this route or is it sufficiently marked to where I'll be OK with map / compass

#3 I've read through here and people say to tote your gear on a sled and then use it to sled down on to save time; is that worth it for Lion's head or only needed if I was trying to do the summit...






I thank you in advance for your help

Tim

p.s. is anybody else out there going up that day

KD Talbot
03-02-2009, 08:09 PM
You won't be toting a sled up Lion Head and you definitely won't be riding it back down unless you have a death wish. Some people may tow their gear to the base of the climb and stash the sled and retrieve it on the way back down but seems like a lot of bother to me unless you plan on staying at Hermit Lake overnight.

I imagine you have to be in decent shape to surf, but somehow I can't visualize you using climbing muscles while surfing. You don't say what your other workout is. Hopefully your doing 4 1/2 miles and 4300' vertical on a stairclimber or some similar apparatus. In my mind there is no workout for climbing mountains except climbing mountains. Most people start out on smaller stuff and work their way up.

3 layers is great if you know how to use them. If you sweat and get everything soaked it's of no use.

Pepperoni, cheese peanut butter sandwiches or my favorite Fluffernutters. Many other choices, but these are winter hiking staples. Most stuff won't freeze if you keep it wrapped in your pack. Candy bars, power bars and that stuff all freeze unless you can keep them warm next to your body somewhere.

GPS is not necessary though it can be a life saver in fog or a whiteout, but hopefully you'll be smart enough to turn around if those conditions threaten.

The 15th is a Sunday and unless the weather is total crap you won't be hiking solo, but you may wish you were.

There are other threads here to look at to get some ideas. I'd avoid the one with 11,000 hits. It would be difficult at beat to extract any useful information out of that. It's all over the place and every possible scenario is covered.

You say you've got "moderate mountaineering experience", but then you ask what kind of food to bring. Makes me wonder what that experience is. Do you have winter hiking experience in the White Mountains? Have you climbed any of the White Mountains? Bigger, smaller? The more we know about your experience, the easier it is answer your questions. There are no dumb questions except the ones you wish you'd asked before you got in trouble out on a mountainside.

KDT

b1029384756
03-03-2009, 08:44 PM
I think he means that he wants to sled down from the base of lion head, not down the lion head trail itself. If I'm right, you can certainly do that. I saw a few people doing that and it looked like a fun way to get down.

climbabout
03-04-2009, 07:48 AM
Tim - here's a link to a page where I posted gps coordinates a while back:
http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?p=19644#post19644
while a gps is certainly not essential, it can't hurt to mark your way on the way up. The only other waypoint I would add is to mark the orange sign for the lion head winter route where you reach treeline. Personally, I never continue upward if visibility is bad. The gps is there only there if conditions deteriorate unexpectedly on the way down. I also carry a map and compass as well.

My favorite foods are bagels with peanut butter and honey on them - they stay edible even in extreme cold.

Here's another link to e very useful thread from a while back as well:
http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=228
and here as well
http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2135&highlight=compass

Good luck - do your research on the mountain and all it can throw at you, and be certain you have your cramponing and ice ax self arrest skills down before heading out.
Tim

Uncas
03-04-2009, 09:13 AM
Sledding down from the base of Lions Head would work, damn wish I did that.

If you surf, and work out that much you are in good shape.

I had horrible pain in the tops of my thighs after my trip. I am unable to replicate that at the gym. And I neglected calves, but when frotn pointing for a little bit they really start to burn.

Brad
03-04-2009, 09:31 AM
I had horrible pain in the tops of my thighs after my trip. I am unable to replicate that at the gym. And I neglected calves, but when frotn pointing for a little bit they really start to burn.
Have you tried doing stairs with ankle weights on? That can come close to the upper thigh burning sensation. I also find it when snowshoeing in powder.

climbabout
03-04-2009, 10:04 AM
I had horrible pain in the tops of my thighs after my trip. I am unable to replicate that at the gym. And I neglected calves, but when frotn pointing for a little bit they really start to burn.

The best exercise for hiking is hiking without a doubt. The burning in the tops of your thighs is likely from the relentless descent. Climbing down stairs with a pack would be another good exercise, as well as cycling. Step ups and step downs with weights in a gym will also help a bit, but long uphill and downhill hiking with a pack is the best prep.

Regarding calves, try to front point as little as possible. On much of this route, try alternating between, duck walk (feet splayed outward), French technique (side stepping - you can google this), and International technique ( a variation between French technique and front pointing). By varying your footwork you can minimize calf burn.
Tim

Uncas
03-04-2009, 11:29 AM
I think what I couldnt train for so much was walking in deep snow.
Its not so much the energy to be able to walk though it, its the balance that goes on when you do bottom out, your still not on the ground, so your constantly shiffting falling though more and adjusting. Great fun when its done though.

smithtim
03-04-2009, 02:00 PM
Thank you all for the info....

I've done climbing before but never in these temperatures so I was at a loss for what food.... From what you all posted I think I'll go with the bagels with peanut butter and honey :) Or maybe look into these "Fluffernutters"

Also, thanks climbabout for the GPS coordinates, I found that post before and it is definitely something I?ll hang on to just in case

Best,
Tim

smithtim
03-04-2009, 06:31 PM
The 15th is a Sunday and unless the weather is total crap you won't be hiking solo, but you may wish you were.



so true




You say you've got "moderate mountaineering experience", but then you ask what kind of food to bring. Makes me wonder what that experience is. Do you have winter hiking experience in the White Mountains? Have you climbed any of the White Mountains?



Climbed bigger mountains, but not in the Whie Mountains nor in simmilar conditons, so the the weather is main concern... but of course that is what drew me to it

Most days I can do about a 5ish mile climb with a 4000' gain up and back in one day... but that again is in much better weather... some snow / ice, but nothing like 231mph wind and 1000 degrees below

KD Talbot
03-04-2009, 07:56 PM
Well, don't think you'll see 200mph winds. Doubtful you'll see 100. The temp regularly drops into minus digits, but it's the combo with the wind that makes it so soulsucking cold. The chance of running into no wind is very low. Average windspeeds in winter are between 30-50mph with the potential for hurricane force or higher, so wind is the main threat along with quickly changing weather.

KDT

smithtim
03-06-2009, 11:14 AM
Also, is there anywhere in the North Conway area to rent snowshoes / poles as I'm flying up I don't want to have bring an extra suitcase due to the charges / hassle ( I can only fit my clothes / crampons / boots & ice axes in my one case )

thanks,

tim

Brad
03-06-2009, 12:41 PM
Check out IME in North Conway. Here is a link to their rentals page

http://www.ime-usa.com/catalog/rentals/index.html

smithtim
03-06-2009, 01:40 PM
Thanks, can't beat that I just looked on Google maps and it says that it is less that 0.1 miles from the holiday inn where I booked so that's easy!

Tim

smithtim
03-17-2009, 09:51 AM
I just wanted to post an update to this.

I got to Lion's head about 10:30am on a beautiful day with very little wind. I was feeling OK and had some lunch, so I plugged on and got to the summit at around 12ish :D really one of the best things I have done in a long time... driving out of town yesterday on 302 I looked over at the mountain and thought to myself did I really do that???

I thank you all for the information you shared here in this post and with the many others I read in this forum prior to making the trip; withount them I do not think I would have had the knowledge to make it

Thanks again to all of you :cool:

Tim

p.s. wish I had pictures to post but I left the hotel so early I wasn't yet alive enough (and still smelling like beer & pizza from night before) to remember to get a camera, good thing I put all my climbing gear in the suv the night before

Brad
03-17-2009, 07:37 PM
Tim,

Wonderful day for you.You certainly picked the right day for the weather.

TrishandAlex
03-17-2009, 08:40 PM
SmithTim, many, many congratulations!!!!!

I hear the weather on Sunday was fantastic. Glad you had such a great day. And I bet you met about 10-20 other people up there, yes? :)

rockin rex
03-23-2009, 02:25 PM
Well now you have become part of the Mount Washington family. This means we will see you at Seek The Peak in July correct? Once you climb Washington it becomes addictive. Just ask Blue Dog. Again congrats and glad you had such a great climb. Next time leave your camera in the truck before the pizza and beer and post some picures with the trip report :)

mtruman
03-23-2009, 04:22 PM
Well now you have become part of the Mount Washington family. This means we will see you at Seek The Peak in July correct? Once you climb Washington it becomes addictive. Just ask Blue Dog. Again congrats and glad you had such a great climb. Next time leave your camera in the truck before the pizza and beer and post some picures with the trip report :)

Haven't heard from you on the forums in a long time Rex. I assume from this post that we'll be seeing you and Madison at STP again? Hope so.

dangergirl
03-25-2009, 06:38 AM
Nice job! It is always amazing to look back at what you just climbed, especially in the Whites! Everything looks so big (and it is!). Congrats! :)