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View Full Version : Hikes to do in winter??



vgravel
02-09-2007, 11:31 AM
Hello All,

I am experienced summer and snowshoe hiker but i'm still a newbie in axe and crampons hikes.

Since going for the Mount Washington summit is probably not a good idea, do you have an hike to suggest me?

I'm taking a axe and crampons course this weekend and I would like to put what I will learn in practice in the beatiful White Mountains...

Thanks a lot!!

Vincent

Bill O
02-09-2007, 04:15 PM
Why don't you work your way up to Lion's Head? It's a steep snow climb without the exposure of heading to the summit.

Although, if you decide to glissade please take off your crampons. Same thing if you are practicing self-arrest with your axe, no crampons!

climbabout
02-09-2007, 04:57 PM
Bill. - good choice - I was going to suggest the exact same hike - the nice thing is that its relatively protected while below treeline and it's not so commiting that you can pretty much bail out and turn around at any time - depending on the amount of snow and ice cover there can also be a few tricky spots. The protection of the trees also allow you to get to treeline in nasty conditions, and "stick your nose out" into the wind. A good but still challenging hike to practice your cramponing skills from your course. Nothing says you have to summit to enjoy Mt Washington while you are learning.
Tim

KD Talbot
02-09-2007, 07:45 PM
I agree that Lion's Head would be an excellent hike for what you are after, some experience with your crampons and ice ax. However, if you're not considering going to the summit to begin with, I am kind of partial to the less traveled path of the Boott Spur Trail. One can always stop at Harvard Rock if conditions get hairy or energy wains. From Pinkham Notch to Harvard Rock is 1.7 miles and 1750' eg. There are excellent views into Tux from here. Split Rock is another 3/10's and 300' eg and their are excellent views from Pinkham Notch to North Conway including the Gulf of Slides as well as Tux. From there it is another1200' over .9 miles to the summit of 5500' Boott Spur, so may be a lot more than you want to do. I would advise against any thought of descending by Boott Spur Link without more experience. Just my 2 cents worth.

If you're looking for something tamer than Washington, I would suggest the Webster/Jackson loop or Mount Pierce, Mount Eisenhower or a loop over both, though this can be taxing. Good luck and as always we will expect pictures and a trip report.
KDT

vgravel
02-10-2007, 08:51 PM
Thanks a lot for these suggestions. I will defenitly have a look at them.

Nice to see some complete reply like these...

Thanks a lot from a french Canadian newbie!!

HikerBob
02-12-2007, 06:17 AM
Another vote for Boott Spur. Without having to venture above tree line you get a fantastic view into both Huntingdon (http://www.bobspics.com/hike06/06-08-05/page56.HTML) and Tuckerman (http://www.bobspics.com/hike06/06-08-05/page55.HTML) ravines. If conditions allow the views to other parts of the Notch and beyond just keep on coming :)

Which reminds me - I promised myslef to take this very trip in winter!

Bob

Ian
02-12-2007, 10:33 AM
Hello People,

I like KD's suggestion.

Anyone on Lions head Saturday(02/10) did not need to worry about spotting cairns I just followed the yellow jackets up, a great group of climbers on the trail, and a beautiful day. Despite the safety of the numbers, I am quickly becoming enamored with the Boott Spur. I have been unable to find any assessment of the avalanche hazards on this route? Any thoughts?

climbabout
02-12-2007, 10:42 AM
I have descended via Boott Spur from the summit a handful of times - always in clear weather - you're above treeline for a long time coming from the summit. I do not recall any features of the terrain on this route being prone to avalanche hazard. For the most part, it's a long, relatively gentle descent. Anyone else?

lwa11
02-12-2007, 09:40 PM
Where did you find a course for crampons and ice axe usage? I just purchased crampons today and an ice axe is on the list so I would love to learn how to properly use them too.

Thanks in advance.

Lloyd

http://public.fotki.com/lwa11/

mk10
02-13-2007, 02:40 AM
Where did you find a course for crampons and ice axe usage? I just purchased crampons today and an ice axe is on the list so I would love to learn how to properly use them too.

If you're climbing a route that requires crampons, then you generally (but not always) need an ice axe. Get yourself the ice axe before you go cramponing.

climbabout
02-13-2007, 08:39 AM
Both Eastern Mountain Sports and IME(International Mountain Equipment) in North Conway offer excellent 1 day winter mountaineering courses. Well worth the price. There are also several other smaller schools that you can find on the web that do the same although I have no first hand experience with them.
Tim

Bill O
02-13-2007, 08:49 AM
If you're climbing a route that requires crampons, then you generally (but not always) need an ice axe. Get yourself the ice axe before you go cramponing.

I agree. In fact, I'd argue that the ice axe comes before the crampons. Please do some reading on the proper axe length to buy. You're not looking for an axe the length of a cane, and you're not looking for a technical ice tool.


The length of the traditional mountaineering ice axe is about the number of centimeters from the climbers fingertips to the floor when he or she is standing in boots on a level surface.

So when your hand is closed and you are holding the axe at your side it will not touch the snow, by a few centimeters.

vgravel
02-13-2007, 09:21 AM
Where did you find a course for crampons and ice axe usage? I just purchased crampons today and an ice axe is on the list so I would love to learn how to properly use them too.


I'm a member of an outdoor club and one off the guys is experienced in axe and crampons. He gave the course.

I don't really know where to get one elsewhere. Maybe posting another thread for that would be a good idea to get an answer...

Vincent

vgravel
02-13-2007, 09:25 AM
I don't really know where to get one elsewhere. Maybe posting another thread for that would be a good idea to get an answer...

Sorry, I didn't see the reply from CLIMBABOUT...

climbabout
02-13-2007, 10:11 AM
Also another great source of mountaineering info is the book "Mountaineering:Freedom of the Hills" - you can generally find it at any good outdoor gear store or online I'm sure - although nothing is as good as personalized instruction, I've found this book to be helpful both before and after taking courses as a way to familiarize myself with what I was about to learn and then afterward as reinforcement.
Tim

Bill O
02-13-2007, 10:14 AM
Also another great source of mountaineering info is the book "Mountaineering:Freedom of the Hills" - you can generally find it at any good outdoor gear store or online I'm sure - although nothing is as good as personalized instruction, I've found this book to be helpful both before and after taking courses as a way to familiarize myself with what I was about to learn and then afterward as reinforcement.
Tim

I agree. That's the Bible for mountaineering. Every mountaineer should have a copy, even if they know everything there is to know about mountaineering. It's a great read, and always great for a quick reference.

lwa11
02-13-2007, 10:46 AM
Thank you for all the great tips. I appreciate them. I will certainly check out the schools and pick up the book.

lwa11
02-14-2007, 02:06 PM
I picked up the 7th edition of the Mountaineering Bible today and just wanted to thank you again for the heads up.