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View Full Version : Tips for winter summit of Mt Washington?



gravitydad
01-09-2010, 11:41 PM
Hello Everyone,

Could someone tell me if there is a best time for a winter climb?

Is March typically still good for a winter hike?

Just completed the Catskill 35's and need to step up to the Whites and would love any advise for best times to climb in winter, have all the nessicary gear.

JimS
01-10-2010, 06:22 PM
Winter Conditions can and often do persist until May on Mount Washington. They will most certainly be there in March. The good news...a nice day in March is nicer than a nice day in January. The bad news...a bad day in March can be every bit as bad as a bad day in January.

The advise is simple...wait for a good day, and it'll be a normal winter hike.

For condition reference, start here:
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/normals.php

and...

continue here:
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/f6/

Bill O
01-10-2010, 08:10 PM
Like Jim said, the weather can be just as bad in March as it is in January.

On the other hand, there are different factors working in your favor. The days are much longer. Mixed rock/ice conditions transition to mainly all snow. And climatologically, it is not likely to be as cold. On a whole the odds of summiting should increase.

This is a fairly simplistic view (not inaccurate), but it's not the only thing you should be looking at. If the ideal time to summit Everest is in May then the ideal time to summit Mount Washington in winter might be March.

gravitydad
01-10-2010, 08:22 PM
Thanks Jim/Bill!!

I am thinking of getting a room at Joe Dodge Lodge for my friends and I, Do you feel that this will serve us well for a base camp? Looks like they have good eats and a fire place to warm up to!!

Bill O
01-10-2010, 08:32 PM
Thanks Jim/Bill!!

I am thinking of getting a room at Joe Dodge Lodge for my friends and I, Do you feel that this will serve us well for a base camp? Looks like they have good eats and a fire place to warm up to!!

It's nice there. If there is a group of you try to reserve an entire room so you don't have to share. It is a good basecamp, if the weather is bad there are many other less exposed hikes you can take from there.

gravitydad
01-14-2010, 02:35 PM
Do you guys feel that I will need an Ice axe for MT Washington in March?

kaseri
01-14-2010, 06:29 PM
Yes, you will need an ice axe in March. I've needed one in April.

Trishap
01-21-2010, 08:17 AM
I always bring an ice axe for Mt Washington, right up until May. I have been up there in a blizzard in the middle of April. And I feel the best time to climb is when the conditions are right , which is up to your level of experience, you will almost always have weather there, thats why we/I climb it, but don't fool yourself and be honest with your level of experience. I recommend a class with EMS or the other for self arrest techniques and climbing etiquette which can lack sometimes on the Mountain. Good luck!