View Full Version : lions head 12/12 best weather of season so far??

12-19-2009, 03:54 PM
So I left the hotel in Newton Ma about 3:30ish hoping to get on the trail before dawn for a true alpline start, but got stuck behind a snow plow going across kam pass... still got to the trail farily early near 7ish and was as ready as I'm ever going to be

12-19-2009, 04:01 PM
Was about 10 degrees in the valley with winds in the 30mph range; when I signed in at the notch the guy told me that summit winds were pushing 100mph :) now that is why I make my annual pilgramige to your beautiful mountains!

I hiked straight up the usual tucks trail for the 2-3 miles or so to the shelter, nothing out of the ordinary just very very cold.... Took me quite a while (3ish hours) as I had tons of gear on and made sure I made frequent stops to hydrate and each stop involved taking off a layer and getting the backpack to get water etc.

This is a picture of a random overlook somewhere about 2/3 way up looking out to the valley, of course can't see much

12-19-2009, 04:10 PM
I then took a nice little brake at the shelter and rested - warned up - had a few not frozen bagels with with pnut butter and jelly & found out that my trailillustrated map, which I had in my outer pocket, had frozen solid so I warmed it up to defrost take a look....

after a good 30+ mins I got my thinks back on and headed for the lions head ( summer route was still open).... started to get a little winds as I approached treeline (1st picture) and then just before the lions head rock ( 2nd picture) it really got windy.... I made a retreat just before the junction with the alpine trail not due to energy but rater time as it was pushing 1pm and I wanted to allow at least 3 hours to descend before the sun setting at 4:18 due to the intense weather

Made it back to the car well before time, and kind of hating myself for retreating before the bowl as I was talking to a local ( who looked like a real mountaineer) and he said it was really howling over the bowl.. wish I could have made that last 0.5 or less miles on the trail but all in all defintley better I made the turn early because as Will Gadd says "back at the bar by dark"

All in all a great hike to test my ability and train :)

12-19-2009, 04:15 PM
p.s. the day after I drove back up for a short hike of mt jackson from US302 trail to test my endurance... nothing out of the ordinary so nothing to post but I did know snow was coming late in the day & of course it came early... the last 1mi or so of my descend had light snow flurries. Then when I got back to the car my crampons were frozen on so I couldn't undo the straps.. had the fun experince of crossing US302 in crampons + dusting snow of car in crampons.... I survied but long drive back to Newton as snow till Concord then rain till end

Also, just FYI the equipment used: crampons, ice axe, poles, ibuprofen & of course red bull!

12-20-2009, 12:57 AM
Hey, good decision to turn back when you did. Don't feel bad...the possible repercussions of second guessing yourself can be bad. Thanks for sharing your story though, and good luck on your next ascent!

Snow Miser
12-20-2009, 02:58 PM
Very nice TR and photos smithtim! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting.