Mount Washington First Time - Suggestions
I'm a college Freshman and my friend and I are planning, hopefully, to hike Mt. Washington on Wednesday. Both of us are pretty experienced hikers, having spent some time in the Parks out West.
What trail would you recommend? We want to get up and down in one day - so that has some affect on the length. Just looking for some suggestions.
As far as gear is concerned, how extensive do we need to go? Will simple rain gear and a fleece be okay, or do we need more?
Thanks for all your help in advance!
Welcome to the forum. Day hikes to the summit right now are typically via Tuckermans trail to Lions Head trail. As for proper gear, you should be ready for anything on this mountain. For spring through fall hikes in the White Mountains I carry the following gear in a 30L pack.
Rain gear (top & bottom)
Long & short sleeve synthetic shirt
Driclime pants (optional)
Glove liners (optional)
Lightweight windstopper gloves
Synthetic hiking socks (2 pair)
Camera & batteries
Map & map case
million dollar question
There are so many different takes on what trail is best to the top of the rock pile. I have been up most of them and they all offer something alittle different. My suggestion is take a look at the book called the white mountain guide and the map that comes with it and then decide what trail fits you best. The trails coming out of the great gulf up to the ridge are some of my favorites but it means a couple extra miles (well worth it). As far as clothes a fleece and water proof shell would be fine. Be sure to throw in a hat and light gloves though cause the temp can drop quickly. You might also want to bring along a light pair of wind pants. Enjoy the trip.
Unfortunately Thursday's weather didn't work out, so we decided not to hike it.
We are looking at this Wednesday, but it looks like it'll have a high of 34 degrees far. with relatively low wind speeds of 20mph.
Is this too cold to hike? Is it dangerous? What would I need besides thermal and a gortex shell if we did decide to do it?
Next Monday's forecast looks really good, but it so far away and considering it is the White Mountains I can't really put much faith into the forecast.
I'll try to answer your questions in order.
1) Is this too cold to hike? - Nope. I actually prefer hiking in cooler temps.
2) Is it dangerous? - Hiking in the mountains is dangerous by it's very nature. There are things that we as hikers can do to minimize the danger like hiking with a partner, choosing proper gear, watching the weather forecast & being smart enough to turn around if the weather or your physical strength starts to turn.
3) If I were to hike Washington this Wed I would take AT LEAST the following items (no cotton!) -
Long sleeve base layer top
Synthetic boxer shorts
warm hat & gloves
2 pair of socks
waterproof jacket & pants
light weight fleece top & pants
water & food
Belay jacket (just in case)
You can never go on long range weather forecast for the Whites. The mountains make there own weather. The best thing to do is check the weather (at the mountain) the morning of your hike and see if it is to your liking. You can always adjust what you bring up with you to what the weather is going to be. The main thing to know is what the weather is going to be above treeline. There can be a HUGE difference between the trailhead and the summit. As far as to cold to hike? That question has to be answered by the person hiking and by the gear that they have. If you have the proper gear it is never to cold to hike. A.M.C. post weather reports each morning between 6:30 and 7 at their main buildings and the White Mountain ranger stations do also. I live by these weather reports and NEVER take off on a summit hike with out looking at them first.