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View Full Version : made it to the summit yea! 11/28 lions head trail update



vettechjamie
11-29-2010, 08:21 AM
I wade it to the summit at 12:40 on 11/28 the climb was exhausting lol if you've never climbed it. Over all the trail (lions head) was in pretty good shape some small sections of ice (crampons or microspikes needed) I had screw boots and wished for spikes. The alpine zone was very rocky and snow depth at times were calf deep. It felt like the summit would never appear lol I was in a freezing fog bank for the entire hike through the alpine zone. I finally made it and found the visitor center breeze way where I rested. The winds and freezing fog made it very draining lol god for I wished the train to come pick me up :) it was about 6 degrees on top but with the wind it was more lik 10-20 below.
Over all it was fun and I will summit again hopefully in warmer weather. Told ya id do it lol.
Jamie

averagejoe
11-29-2010, 08:32 AM
Nice!

Good on ya. Welcome to the club. I'm jealous, it sounds like it was a great day on the rockpile.

Joe.

CHRIS
11-29-2010, 09:57 AM
Congrats on summiting. Lions Head can kick ya butt. Have you seen the cameras today? Looks like a really nice day to be on the summit.

Snow Miser
11-29-2010, 11:36 AM
Congrats on making it to the top! Despite being exhausting, I bet it was worth it.

Brad
11-29-2010, 08:26 PM
Congratulations on the summit accomplishment! Here is what your day looked like.

http://images17.fotki.com/v284/photos/2/1002902/9204346/20101128_180535_conditions-vi.png

vettechjamie
11-29-2010, 09:24 PM
Thank you all.. This is the first of the 48 4000 footers lol 47 to go wahoo :p
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=106741243220676676578.0004962f596dcf6638eca&ll=44.263212,-71.280241&spn=0.027291,0.076818&t=h&z=14


Here is a link for my gps route map with sign and bridge markers.

Let me know if this link works.
Jamie

ps i know today and tomorrow look great to bad for work today lol

smithtim
11-29-2010, 10:49 PM
congrads on your summit, you should be very proud to make a summit in those conditions..... welcome to the club!

Just out of curiosity how did the trail / snow conditions look below tree line.... is it getting to the point of waist deep postholing if you step of trail yet, or is it not quite filled in that deep yet???
( asking cause I'm heading up to do some climbing in a couple of weeks)

smithtim
11-29-2010, 10:50 PM
BTW if you are looking for a your next 4000er maybe look at Mt Flume ( my personal favorite with Liberty springs descent as a loop) as it's a little steeper that Lion's head but not to much steeper, also mt. adams by kings ravine is about the same.
Or if you're looking for something way steeper take a look at Shoestring Gully over by Mt Webster ( you'll defintley want a 2nd tool for that, if not ropes & screws).... here's there write ups

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-flume/150542

http://www.summitpost.org/king-ravine-trail/164794

http://www.summitpost.org/shoestring-gully/168328

vettechjamie
11-30-2010, 01:06 AM
Hey tim to answer your question about trail cond below tree line.

The tuck ravine trail to the lions head split had about 1-2 inches of snow mostly packed by walking with mild spots of ice. and on the lions head tail it was about the same maybe 2-3 inches of snow with 3-4 spots of ice above the stairs i had screw boots and my grip was marginal. I would recc. either microspikes or smaller crampons.

Jamie

BlueDog
11-30-2010, 10:15 AM
Thank you all.. This is the first of the 48 4000 footers lol 47 to go wahoo :p

Congrats! Looking to get my first MW winter climb in this year. Be very careful with starting to count the peaks! Its a very slippery trail. :) I've finally given in to the temptation and checked off #7 & 8 two weekends ago. A little tougher having to drive 12 hours just to get to the trail first.

freighttrain
11-30-2010, 04:51 PM
Congrats! Looking to get my first MW winter climb in this year. Be very careful with starting to count the peaks! Its a very slippery trail. :) I've finally given in to the temptation and checked off #7 & 8 two weekends ago. A little tougher having to drive 12 hours just to get to the trail first.

I agree Bluedog. I climbed my first this april (tecumseh) and I am trying to desperately to get to 24 by new years I'm at 19 dont knonw if i can find the time to bag 5 more in 30 days

smithtim
11-30-2010, 08:56 PM
Hey tim to answer your question about trail cond below tree line.

The tuck ravine trail to the lions head split had about 1-2 inches of snow mostly packed by walking with mild spots of ice. and on the lions head tail it was about the same maybe 2-3 inches of snow with 3-4 spots of ice above the stairs i had screw boots and my grip was marginal. I would recc. either microspikes or smaller crampons.

Jamie

thanks for the info & congrads again

-tim

rockin rex
12-01-2010, 01:22 PM
Blue dog you just have to take more time and do more 4,000 when you are up there. When you looking to winter climb Washington?? Might want to join you. Nothing better than Washington in winter. One side note I prefer either Lions Head or Ammo for my winter ascent. Not upto the challange of H.R. yet in winter.

BlueDog
12-01-2010, 02:58 PM
Hey Rex, not sure when yet. Guess it would have to be after the first of the year to really count as an "official" winter hike! I've yet to hike any route on the west side. Let me know when you think would be a good time.

vettechjamie
12-02-2010, 01:41 AM
Winter climbs 2010-2011 start on Dec. 21, 6:38 PM and end on Mar. 20, 7:21 PM pm so anytime during that they consider winter climbs and how is the winter route on lion head i have just done the summer route
Jamie

http://www.amc4000footer.org/faq.htm#rules1

jerrpauls
12-02-2010, 03:19 AM
Congrats! Been thinking about giving it a shot myslef. Will see :)

iceclimber
12-18-2010, 10:40 AM
Not sure how you climbed via the lions head if it is currently closed? Can you still climb that way even though the summer route is still open?

climbabout
12-18-2010, 11:31 AM
The Lions Head summer route indeed goes right by the rock outcropping known as Lions Head. The winter route is merely a bypass of the lower part of the summer route - going through terrain that is less avalanche prone.
Tim

iceclimber
12-18-2010, 01:41 PM
I see, so both the summer and winter route refer to the Lions head trail and not Tuckerman's ravine trail? When I called and they said that the summer route was open and the winter route closed I had assumed they were saying the Lions head trail was closed. From the map I have I see that lions head bypasses going up through the ravine which during heavy snow accumulation would naturally be more avalanche prone. I guess I am confused as to what is truly meant when the winter route is said to be "closed". I see that during the summer the lions head trail can be a nice departure from the more crowded tuck's ravine trail, so I am thinking that you can still climb the lions head trail even though it is "closed"?

Brad
12-18-2010, 03:47 PM
From the Tuckerman Ravine Trail just before you get to Hermit shelter the two Lion Head trails head off to the right. One is used in the summer and the other is more suited for winter. So, at any one point, one of them is open and recommended for use. As Tim noted, the summer route is steep and prone to avalanches and falling ice and therefore not a great way of going up in the winter.

The summer route (in the summer) is a nice climb - steep at spots - not as crowded as going up the Headwall - and has great view spots even before getting above treeline.

iceclimber
12-18-2010, 05:21 PM
I see, that clears it up a bit. According to the map I was looking at, the winter/summer lions head route is not differentiated. I just assumed that the tuckerman ravine headwall route was the summer route, which with not much snow would make sense and the winter route was the lionshead which avoided the headwall. Your explanation cleared it up for me though. Thanks Brad.

Brad
12-18-2010, 06:32 PM
On this image I traced the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in red - Lion Head trail in blue - and a very rough idea of the Lion Head winter trail in purple.

http://images58.fotki.com/v506/photos/8/8235/242566/TuxTrails-vi.jpg

iceclimber
12-18-2010, 06:47 PM
I see, so when the visitor center trail info says the summer route is open, they are meaning the blue lions head route and when the sign says the winter route is open, it is recommended to use the purple route which avoids the steeper avalanche prone lower section of Lions head? Thanks for the map.

Brad
12-18-2010, 07:10 PM
That is correct. You do not use Tuckerman Ravine Trail going up or down the headwall in the winter. You use the Lion Head Trail - winter route when it opens.

The Headwall also is very avalanche prone in winter. As things warm up in the spring the snow packs down and then you get into spring skiing and the Headwall is "okay".

When you stand at Hermit Lake looking at the Headwall in the winter, the conditions all around you are very different. On your left (south side of the ravine, the sun never hits the ground in the winter since the sun is so low. Therefore, snow piles on top of snow. On your right (the north side of the ravine) the snow is warmed by the sun and then cools at night. Lots of ice there and in some conditions large blocks of ice can break off and slide down into and across the ravine. Lion Head summer route is off on the right in the ice prone area. Looking ahead at the Headwall the wind from the west blows the snow up and over the ridge letting it dump and pile up at the base of the Headwall. Some of the Headwall gets sun in the winter. So, there can be layers of firmer or frozen snow and then fresh snow on top. This can be the cause of avalanches.

Here is a shot of the Headwall in the beginning of January 2008 with a 12 foot high avalanche break. Notice it is over in the sunny area. And this shot was mid-morning. The sun did not get much higher and you can see the shadow across the Headwall.

http://images31.fotki.com/v1084/photos/8/8235/5783523/CRW_0270a-vi.jpg

iceclimber
12-18-2010, 08:10 PM
thanks again, that really clears alot up. When I called and they said the summer route was still open I was scratching my head on that one as I was thinking the summer route was the tuck's ravine trail up the headwall. I know there isn't much snow cover that low on the mountain this time of year up there, but still.... that is a nice photo of the ravine though.

climbabout
12-19-2010, 09:02 AM
The Lion Head winter route is not really usable in the summer or early winter due to the way it was constructed. The trees that were cut down were left with stumps - as it is a trail designed to be used only when there is adequate snow cover (several feet). And as Brad pointed out, the winter route is really only a short, but very steep bypass slightly north of the lower part of the summer route.
Tim

smithtim
12-19-2010, 05:49 PM
The Lion Head winter route is not really usable in the summer or early winter due to the way it was constructed. The trees that were cut down were left with stumps - as it is a trail designed to be used only when there is adequate snow cover (several feet). And as Brad pointed out, the winter route is really only a short, but very steep bypass slightly north of the lower part of the summer route.
Tim

Good explantion... Ever thought about why they picked that track to put the route?
I'm never heard nor read anything but kind of always assumed that the picked the route that is in area that is less likely to get windloaded and slide due to the expected weather pattern - wind directions

climbabout
12-20-2010, 07:54 AM
Good explantion... Ever thought about why they picked that track to put the route?
I'm never heard nor read anything but kind of always assumed that the picked the route that is in area that is less likely to get windloaded and slide due to the expected weather pattern - wind directions

That's pretty much it. This is actually the "new" winter route. Years ago (maybe 15 or so), the "old" winter route was somewhat between the current winter route and the summer route. A massive slide took away a good portion of it as I recall.
Tim

Brad
12-20-2010, 08:10 AM
That's pretty much it. This is actually the "new" winter route. Years ago (maybe 15 or so), the "old" winter route was somewhat between the current winter route and the summer route. A massive slide took away a good portion of it as I recall.
Tim
I am convinced the summer route was also changed years ago after an accident and rescue I was involved with. The image I have of the trail when the big boulder rolled down the trail right at our group is very different from what it is today.

pilotemt963
12-21-2010, 01:10 AM
Congrats on making it to the summit. I have been wanting to tackle lions head for awhile, but I need to get myself another pair of crampons. I lent mine to a buddy and haven't seen them since. Oh well :)