View Full Version : 1 Week Away From Great Gulf Wilderness and Headwall

06-14-2009, 05:47 AM
Okay friends. this is this same guy from the other posts about 1st time climbing mt. washington. first of all let me just say...i appreciate all your advice and am grateful for this forum...alot of what we intend to do now is based on what i learned here.

so we have been hiking a local hilll around where i am from...its called diamond hill...just to get us ready for washington. the hill starts off as a grassy hill and quickly turns into a steep rocky trail with rock slabs at the end which we all call "the headwall" though im sure it is nothing like mt. washington. we have been hiking this hill for 2 weeks now....going up and down and then up and down it again.

today we decieded to take a different trail and came to a very steep cliff...it was very rocky and very steep. one of us made it but me and our other friend didnt do it...because well ...it was scary...it was almost a vertical cliff...."almost"...we all questioned ourselves and thought, will mt washingtons great gulf headwall be like this for the whole 1600 feet?

so my last question is...based on what i just said...is great gulf headwall a steep cliff with areas where our slips will cost us our lives? or is it just a tough rugged climb up rocky steps? plz answer this question we are all counting on the answer...

Bill O
06-14-2009, 07:46 AM
It's not a cliff. It is steep but a trail safely ascends the headwall. Once you easily hike the headwall you'll see how over-hyped this whole ordeal was.

I'm actually jealous. It should be a great hike.

rockin rex
06-16-2009, 09:37 AM
Bill O is correct. It is just very steep. It can safely be climbed and is a straight walk up. The problem is that due to the steepness it takes longer to climb than most would think. Alot of people who do loops out of the great gulf via Great Gulf trail to the summit end of coming back to camp via headlamp. Just go prepared and as Bill said you guys will have an incredible day. Enjoy.

06-17-2009, 02:32 AM
ok, a few more questions...

let me put this in perspective...we go to the white mountains, get to mt. washington, visit the vistors center, get the map of the greatgulf trail, then go and park where the trail starts. now we climb the trail and get to the summit. but we dont want to take the same trail down...first of all what is a good trail down mount washington and how can we get back to our car if we take a different trail down? do they have shuttles or taxis ? im guessing they dont but this must be a common issue...do u think we would find it easy to find someone to bring one of us back to our car? thats my first question....

2nd question is...on the great gulf trail will we run into any stream/river crossings where all of our gear is gonna get wet?

thats it for now...1st question is important though.

Bill O
06-17-2009, 07:50 AM
Not sure about water crossings, if there are any your main goal would be to keep your gear dry. We're talking babbling brooks here not deep raging rivers.

You will want to take a trail down that gets you close to Pinkham Notch or the Auto Road base. Most people will hitch a ride to their cars. This is very common in the White Mountains as many people do point to point hikes. Typically, you would just send one person in your group to pick up the car. I'd try hikers in the parking lot first before heading out to the highway to hitch a ride.

rockin rex
06-17-2009, 08:34 AM
Not sure what question is being asked?? I was under the understanding that you guys were base camping in the great gulf, day hiking to the summit and then heading back to base camp. To me this would mean a hike in either from the Dolly Cobb area on 16 or Pinkham notch and then a return back to the same area. If you are looking for a different route out that would mean you would be carrying FULL packs up to the ridge and then out. All routes out of the great gulf up to the ridge are very steep and I would suggest you not carry full packs up. As far as a route back to base camp from the summit your choice is endless. Depends on mileage that you want to do. Grab a map and have fun planning. Six husbands trail is an awesome trail and brings you back into the middle of the great gulf. This would also give you a chance to summit Clay and Jefferson before heading down six husbands and back to camp.

06-18-2009, 12:24 PM
looks like its gonna be cloudy warm and rainy around mt washtington this weekend ....do you guys think we should reschedule? anyone know any good sites for the weather around mt. washington

06-18-2009, 03:05 PM
I've always found the Androscoggin Ranger Station phone to be a good source of weather reports: 1-603-466-2713 then press option 3. A great option to call when travelling and without internet access.
For website - no better than this very site you are on:


06-20-2009, 12:10 AM
so i guess now due to the weather we are postponing the trip to 2/3 weeks from now...kinda sucks ...i was excited to be there this weekend but oh well the weather is crap so, better to wait for a great weekend