View Full Version : comparison hikes

06-21-2010, 06:21 AM
I am a newbie to hiking. I started to walk the streets after my open heart surgery last October. I just hiked Franconi Ridge which I found very difficult but I did it. It took my wife and I, I0 hours. I was very sore but felt a great sense of accomplishment after at the age of 55 and with only 3 mountain climb experiences. How does this hike compare to Mt Washington? If Washington is 2-3 times harder then I am in trouble although I will still try. My previous three (my first) hikes was Sunapee, Kearsarge and Mt Willard. I want to next hike Moosilauke and then Washington in August. thanks

06-21-2010, 09:48 PM
I think you will find Mt Washington a whole different level of challenge if the weather is bad. On a bluebird day, you could be okay if you pick an easy set of trails like up the Ammo and down the Jewell. Lots of people do climb up and down Mt Washington with no training or background and do just fine. One might call it luck.

The big issue is - what if. It can easily cloud over - have them descend so you are in the wet clouds with low visibility and the wind picks up. Freezing conditions can happen at any time of the year. I have been in freezing fog and snow the first week of August up there. Lots of folks on this forum have wild tales to tell. But, they were prepared for hot summer hiking or cold wet conditions all on the same day. Mt Washington has too long a list of people who did not make it to just go for it. And when you look at the list, many if not most were in the summer. It is conditioning - what you take with you - who knows what you will be doing - and if the weather turns bad, what is your escape route to get below treeline and safety, and how quickly can you do that in bad conditions.