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Rjconway
12-29-2009, 12:56 PM
The weather doesnt look too good this weekend for an attemt at Washington, but I was wondering how the lions head winter holds up after a recent snow. Would it be a realistic Idea to make it to lions head or is any travel on the mountain not recommended

climbabout
12-29-2009, 05:12 PM
It is impossible to predict conditions as far away as this weekend, but generally speaking the lion head winter route is less avalanche prone than the summer route. However sections can avalanche in the right conditions. This site is a good source of recent weather conditions:
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/avalanche/

also read this as well - particularly the section regarding "later in the winter season":
http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/winter-routes.php

Also - it would be a good idea to call the front desk at The AMC Pinkham Notch visitor center at 603-466-2721. Also stop there the morning of your climb for the latest info. They should have the most current info regarding trail conditions based on firsthand reports.
Good luck and be safe.
Tim

smithtim
12-30-2009, 06:45 AM
Rjconway, I just listed to the mp3 of this morning?s AM summit report

http://www.weather.gov/view/prodsByState.php?state=NH&prodtype=state

http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/

and it looks like there might be some hike able weather before the storm moves & I am sure there will be climbers out there Fri, Sat... apparently is going to be at it's worst late on Sat (great the day I'm flying home from LGA :( hmmm should I just go ahead now and call delta to extend my vacay for another day :) :) ....


anyways, I am not sure of your ability / mountaineering experience as you did not mention it in your post but in short hike able weather is in the eye of the beholder... last time I was on the mountain it was floating around 10 degrees with sustained winds of 25mph and light flurries... I did 2 days in that back to back & thought I had died and gone to heaven as I was hoping to train


If you do choose to go hike the lion's head this weekend you should be fine just make sure you monitor the links for weather & avalanche both BillO & myself have posted above... also I have listed a few suggestions ( not intended to be complete please seek the literature) to help you stay safe :) and make it back to the bar after your hike for a nice hot cold beer & red bull


#1 all important check in sign in / sign out at pinkman notch, talk to the ranger they ARE GREAT & VERY FRIENDLY / HELPFULL also it can't hurt to let a spouse, friend or family member of your iteniry.. I always send a text to mine when I leave Pinkman & sometimes I get lucky to get a signal on the summit to send another to let them know I summited - begging to descend ( don't count on getting a signal though & don't let a cell phone substitute for preparedness )

#2 be healthy & properly fed / hydrated.... night before carbo dumb, on the AM drive to the trail head protein & lots of water, in the parking lot a snack & more water, on the approach a energy gel & water every 45 minutes but take more breaks to drink water every 10-20 minutes, at the summit lunch, on the descent water, back at the parking lot redbull & the best part when your back at the bar lots of beer & eat whatever the ---- you want cause you've earned those calories
(I am sure some people will chime in hear on how bad redbull is and all that + of course they are right but it tastes so good... if you don't like gels/redbull just subsite them for high energy natural food)

#3 bring lots of clothes... at least three layers ( slik under garments, mid layer polypro or something like that & a big thick outer jacket) & good socks ( stormsocks is what I use)... For the details I usually go with 4 layers ( 2 jackets: inner lightweight & outer big thick gportex) but BUT BUT I don't wear that outer jacket on the approach... yeah I'll be cold at the start but it will let my body breath and I'll warm up quickly ( if the outer jacket is warn on the approach you'll sweat, your inner layer will be wet and when you get to the base of the climb / summit cone you'll be done for)........
Also, it helps to carry a few extra things in your pack such as extra socks, extra sweater etc, just in case something gets wet


#4 be prepared for the worse... have extra supplies... be prepared for a bivy....blah balh could fill a book here but in short extra food, water, an emergency blanket for a bivy, & a headlamp ( yeah you plan to be down by 4:21 pm but coming down in the dark can happen and it is a lot easier if you spent that $20 for a headlamp)..... also some basic first aid stuff, a bandage with tape is nice if you cut your hand on your ice axe or crampons & a ibuprofen can really help if your legs start to urt or whatnot
Of course on mt wash your not really "routefinidng" but having a good map, compass & altimeter can't hurt

#5 use common sense, if something doesn't make sense ask somebody, read up etc & MOST IMPORTANT IF THINGS LOOK LIKE THERE GOING BAD RETREAT cause if you don't they might get real bad & your hike will be there tomorrow!



I hope all of this is of use and best of luck for an enjoyable & safe hike,

Tim



p.s. I am sure I have left of some details here and there but like a said this is no way intended to be complete, that?s for the experts to write

http://books.google.com/books?id=K5E0P6y1_MIC&dq=will+gadd+ice+%26+mixed+climbing&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=uHdIptbpsZ&sig=9yqhFkgmbyJHMAZVmPt9bBNvglU&hl=en&ei=Mz07S4m8D8qslAe_2o2nBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false


I was at REI Farmingham a few days back and they had it there for like $15 if you want a read? it is for ice climbing but got a few good chapters on general stuff & of course freedom of the hills is the best but I?ve never actually read it as $37 is too much