View Full Version : Huntington Ravine Trail

04-07-2014, 09:44 PM
Hey everyone! A group of friends and I are planning on hiking (or attempting to hike) Mount Washington sometime in mid-June (possibly the week of the 15th) via the Huntington Ravine Trail. Having hiked on Mount Washington before and doing trails of similar difficulty, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to handle it but I wanted to get opinions from people who have experience. We're all seniors in high school and we're all pretty athletic (we play volleyball and several other sports). Most of the people in the group have experience rock climbing, and all of them have done fairly strenuous hikes that involve scrambling. However, this will be the first time for most of them hiking Mount Washington, and although I've made sure they understand how dangerous hiking mt Washington is, I was wondering if it would be stupid to introduce them to the mountain with Huntington's ravine. We will definitely be going down Tuckerman's, but everyone in the group seems to really want to do Huntington on the way up. I was also wondering if June 15th and later that week is to early to go up Huntington. My mom is concerned that we will run into flies and bears if we go any earlier than July (and snow/ice). Thanks!

KD Talbot
04-20-2014, 07:27 PM
Unless you have hiked Huntington Ravine or Great Gulf trail to the summit of Mount Washington, you have not hiked trails of similar difficulty. If you mean you have experience elsewhere that does not necessarily qualify you to lead a group. I'm not saying don't do it, or it can't be done. I would be sure everyone in the group was capable, and be prepared to turn around as a group, not split up, if someone proves not to be. If I wanted my best chance for success I would choose either Lion Head, or an approach from the west, either up Ammonnosuc Ravine down Jewell, or vice versa.

I would not introduce people to the mountain on this trail. It is one of the most difficult ascent trails to the summit. The first sentence of the trail description in the AMC Guide reads like this "This is the most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains."

People who may not be comfortable with heights or exposure would be in a bad place here, and descent once one is ascending is a poor option.

You may not be "definitely" going down Tuckerman Ravine Trail, either. It is often still closed depending on when in June you make the hike. My advice to a group of hikers new to the mountain and of varying abilities would be to ascend by Lion Head or Ammo. Those that can make it that far should be able to push on to the summit though it may not always be the best idea. Weather, fatigue and hydration all being key factors.

Good luck, and I hope this gives you food for thought. In case you are wondering, yes, I have hiked the mountain in all seasons, and ascended Huntington twice, and also have been a student of the mountain and its many mishaps for many years.


04-25-2014, 06:04 PM
Thank you so much for your informative post! I guess I didn't realize how difficult Huntington is, even though from the pics and videos I've seen the scrambling didn't look too bad. However, after telling everyone your warnings, they still want to at least try, and are prepared to turn around, so I think what we'll do is get some extra rock climbing practice in before we go, and then take a crack at it. Something I forgot to write in my original post is that we will only attempt it if we get a day with perfect or near perfect conditions (no rain, no clouds covering the summit.) Once again thank you!!

KD Talbot
04-26-2014, 01:44 PM
Ok, well, one last thing. Pics and video do not give ANY real sense of how steep or difficult this hike is. Photographs almost NEVER give any way to gauge steepness or exposure. I can assure you that during the most difficult sections of this hike people were not taking photos or video…


04-27-2014, 10:01 AM
Right. Well anyways, we'll give it a go. I feel that even if we get to the top of the fan and turn around, it will still be a great experience.

KD Talbot
04-28-2014, 02:46 PM
Ok, well, just can't let it go. You asked for advice here, so I'm giving it. I highly suggest you pick up a copy of the White Mountain Guide and thoroughly read the description of the Huntington Ravine Trail, and the trail descriptions of all future hikes you intend to lead.



04-28-2014, 06:47 PM
I have the guidebook, and while I haven't read the entire description for HRT, I read the cautions in the first paragraph. (I will definitely read the entire description before we do the hike though.) Based on that, I think we should be fine (I wouldn't call anyone in the group a 'novice' hiker, unless that refers to novices on mt washington, nor does anyone in the group have a fear of heights or is uncomfortable with exposure, and we're definitely all in good physical shape.) Furthermore, we're not going to attempt it if it's wet or icy or the weather's bad. Then again, I've never done this particular trail so I'm not sure. It's always better to err on the side of caution and I do really appreciate your advice about the HRT.

KD Talbot
04-28-2014, 07:27 PM
Ok, sounds good. Good luck, and we expect a full report with pictures afterward… :)


04-30-2014, 07:29 AM

This may (or may not) give you some idea of scale.


05-14-2014, 03:39 PM
Huntington's is only technical in winter when there is ice/snow and in fact if you cut left go up the escape hatch I'm not so sure I'd classify that as technical as sure footed experienced climber with ice axe should have no problem...

Anyways, to answer the question of the OP you should be fine as the snow will be most likely be gone in june but of course check the webcams http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/cam/ AND just use common sense: carry lots of water ( 1+ gallon each) plus snacks and if you get tired or it stars looking to much turn back, if there is what looks like bad weather coming turn back, take a map and if you get lost / off trail retreat trace back the way you came up as if you keep on who knows where you may end up ( on that not it is a good idea to bring a compass or gps - cell phone most likely won't work).

Also it will help to train a little, perhaps jog consistently for a couple of days weeks for the few weeks and maybe try a smaller hike/climb