View Full Version : First Time Mt. Washington

08-19-2009, 04:56 PM
Hello everyone! Myself and 3 friends are vactioning in Noth Woodstock this weekend and would love to summit Mt. Washington. We all have hiking exp. but little climbing experience. Would you reccomend climbing, and if you do, what would our best route be? We are willing to try something new and exciting, but not overly hazordous. I have driven up the mountain before, but Hiking it has always been a dream of mine. Please, don't be afraid to tell me to "train" a bit, and try again in a year or two. This was a last minute thought, but still, we have enough time to prepare for the saftey elements. Thanks!!


08-19-2009, 09:47 PM
There are plenty of trails that I would qualify as "hiking" and not climbing. In fact the only "climbing" that I know of in the summer months is the Huntington Ravine trail, which I personally avoid at all costs.
Depending on your experience level you can choose from a variety of trails. The best website I have found that gives very detailed trail desciptions on Washington is this one:


I'm not sure who maintains this page, but the information is great. I personally recommend the Lion's Head if you want a rough ascent without hazard, and descending Boott Spur to help the knees. I've never been on Tuckerman as it is usually closed when I am in the area. My 9 year old sister summitted from either the Ammonoosuc and the Jewell on no climbing experience.


08-20-2009, 02:21 AM
thanks for the input! We are all very excited about this! :) I will be sure to let you all know how it goes!

08-20-2009, 08:18 AM
The maintainer of the page you mentioned is Mohamed Elozy. He writes the accident reports section of Appalachia magazine and is a very experienced hiker and AMC leader. The info on his site for the White Mountains is excellent! John is right about Mt Washington being hiking as opposed to "climbing" - nothing technical on most any of the trails. Read the many posts here on Mt Washington and you'll find a wealth of information. Make sure you've prepared with the right gear (rain gear, warm clothes, plenty of water, etc) and are ready to trun back if the weather dictates. Hope you have a great time!

08-20-2009, 01:39 PM
Mark is right about being prepared and turning back if the weather turns. Also, it is very common to summit in shorts and a tee shirt and descend in pants, 3 long sleeve shirts and a rain jacket.


08-20-2009, 03:13 PM
For first time folk I quite often will take them up the Ammo - Lakes of the Clouds hut - summit of Washington - then down the Jewell. Once above treeline at the hut we check the weather to see if we go on or go back down the Ammo.

Going from the hut to the summit and then down is a long stretch above treeline and you do not want to get caught there. But, the trails are easy and have great views. Pick good weather and it is an excellent route.

08-24-2009, 11:52 AM
How did it go?
I, too, hit the mountain for the first time this past weekend. (Saturday). My original plans were to go up on Friday but the weather looked nasty. It was, at least down in N Conway.

Saturday started with some rain but the pattern looked like it would clear of any major T-storms, and it did! We left on Sunday so I don't know what the weather turned out to be up top.

08-25-2009, 05:25 PM
We made it!! It was a blast. We trekked up and down Lion's Head. If one of the members of our party wasn't there, we could have made a much quicker climb, but we did it in 12.5 hours, with a 2 hour break at the top because of rain. We departed Pinkham Notch at 8:30am, Summited at 2:09pm, began our decent at 4:00 and arrived at Pinkhams at 9:03pm. The rocks were very slick on the hike down!

Thanks for all the support!


Photos are there!:)

08-25-2009, 08:20 PM
It looks like you were "in and out" of the clouds - and over them at times. Glad you had a good day.

Snow Miser
08-26-2009, 07:53 AM
Congrats on your first hike up! It sounds like you had a great time. Now you're probably addicted to the mountain.:D

08-26-2009, 11:14 AM
I think I may be hooked on it! We already want to make this an annual trip! Next time we will most likely do Tuckermans all the way! It was a ton of fun! Even though we are all still a tad bit sore (3 days later! lol) we have no regrets!:D

Snow Miser
08-26-2009, 11:41 AM
It's normal to be a bit sore a few days afterwards, especially in the knees. I know I always am. And I have heard it mentioned here before, you're hiking party is only as fast as its slowest member. It's not about speed so much as it's about everyone enjoying the hike and staying safe.

08-27-2009, 09:50 AM
I think I may be hooked on it! We already want to make this an annual trip! Next time we will most likely do Tuckermans all the way! It was a ton of fun! Even though we are all still a tad bit sore (3 days later! lol) we have no regrets!:D
We are not surprised. Once you get up there above treeline and experience it, you are hooked,