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Thread: First time hiking Washington...

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    Default First time hiking Washington...

    Hi there, two other friends and myself are planning to hike Mt.Washington sometime in June. I've never gone hiking in an enviornment like this, but i have read multiple things about mountain safety, etc. We wanted it to be sort of a Hike and a camping trip. Can you camp off trail? or are there designated areas to set up camp? Also, if there are designated areas of camp, can you access them ON the trails? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks!

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    Hopefully you will get some good posts to help you get started on this. One thing to do is go to the search bar at the upper right of this window and put in "hiking". Read up on the different posts and responses. I have hiked to the summit either 49 or 50 times (my log book is in Maine and not with me right now) and my list of what to take would be "200 pounds long". A lot depends on the weather forecast.

    All my summits have been in the summer - but, I take knit caps, winter gloves, scarves, several layers. Folks wonder why I carry so much extra - till they get with me above the tree line. The clouds, rain, snow, sleet, (never have had hail - but have had freezing rain), and lots of wind can be normal any summer day. There are a few that are beautiful and clear, but having some clouds roll through is more the norm. Yes, I have been caught with 10 foot visibility and snow mid-summer on a "nice" day.

    Be Prepared has a real meaning when climbing Mt Washington.

    The other aspect is your conditioning. I have had family members come with me who jog 6 miles every day - play tennis - are in great shape. But, half way up Lions Head they realize they are not in shape for this type of workout. They have never done something that hard for so long. Conditioning is key - to having a fun time, and being safe.

    There are several good guide books for the Presidentials. Get one - select your trails - see what you would do if the weather turns bad and you HAVE to get below tree line fast. I always have a guide book with me - and a compass - and I have studied the trails we plan to take. Pick a route that is shorter and easier than some of the longer traverses. I like up Lions Head and down Tuckermans when taking folks for the first time. There is a lot of protection and good chances for heading back down Lions Head of loop around and down Tuckermans without going to the summit if you have to.

    Don't be afrais to say "not this time" and just have a nice day outside hiking - and not summit. It is better to be safe.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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    Default washington first time

    Brad's reply covers the most essential points - be prepared for the possibility above treeline of fierce wind, driving rain/sleet or snow - sub freezing temperatures and bring the appropriate clothing - wool cap, breathable raingear, glove or mittens and most importantly - no cotton clothing - cotton will absorb moisture from rain or sweat and will speed the onset of hypothermia. Synthetic clothing only - no jeans or sweatshirts. Regarding camping - you cannot camp above treeline anywhere - there are tent platforms at hermit lake in the tuckerman ravine area and there used to be campsites along the great gulf trail, although you used to need a permit for them - I'm not sure of the present policy. You best bet is to check with AMC at outdoors.org - you might also consider staying in one of their huts - it's a great experience. Beyond that, travel as light as possible, without forsaking the essential gear mentioned, bring plenty of water (2 liters) and snacks, and don't be afraid to turn around if the weather is bad - if you have a bluebird day, we'll that's a bonus. Good luck.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    The other aspect is your conditioning. I have had family members come with me who jog 6 miles every day - play tennis - are in great shape. But, half way up Lions Head they realize they are not in shape for this type of workout. They have never done something that hard for so long. Conditioning is key - to having a fun time, and being safe.
    I am looking for more ideas on conditioning and I'm sure this will benefit Bergman as well. My wife and kids are going to hike with me for STP and this will be the hardest hike they have done. We have hiked shorter, less strenuous hikes and hike here in Florida but it's not enough. I would like to see them in the best shape possible for this hike. Thanks.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    The best conditioning for climbing mountains IS climbing mountains!

    I would go to your local stadium and climb up & down each aisle of stairs with a backpack loaded with some weight. Start with 10lbs and increase the amount of weight by a few pounds each week until you can carry about 20lbs. Your children should not carry that kind of weight but I would at least have them carry their own water.

    Good luck & I'll see you all for STP!

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    Default excercise for hiking

    Steve - the best preparation to get in shape for hiking is actually hiking uphill with a pack on.

    Living is a flat area as you do makes preparation especially challenging. My suggestion is to find a facility in your area with stairs - i.e. a tall building or stadium or the like to simulate walking uphill. Wear a pack and add weight a little at a time until you are carrying approximately the weight you expect to have for STP.

    Stairclimbing is one of the best workouts for climbing as your full weight is borne by each leg individually with each step, unlike a stairmaster. And getting used to wearing a pack while exercising will provide a great benefit.

    After stairclimbing, I have found biking to be a great cross-training exercise as well. My climbing endurance increased markedly when I added biking to my workout routine. Naturally if you can bike uphill, that would be the best. Both these workouts are family friendly.

    Lastly, don't overlook the mental aspect. If you truly enjoy hiking and climbing, the pain an effort becomes less of a hindrance. Hope this helps.
    Tim

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    I have done stairs at work and found that helps. Our building is 3 floors. Going ground floor to 3rd floor and down - 20 times - is a good start. Doing Mt Washington is doing irregular steps up for 4 hours. Riding a bike for the aerobic workout would be good.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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    Thanks for taking the time to post some great ideas! Some of us are ready mentally, some are still working on this. My son still gets crabby when Hiking when it's challenging but some of this will be helped by conditioning and some because of the "prize" at the summit...ie...Nin the cat and food!!!!
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    Thanks for all the feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WSR88D
    Thanks for taking the time to post some great ideas! Some of us are ready mentally, some are still working on this. My son still gets crabby when Hiking when it's challenging but some of this will be helped by conditioning and some because of the "prize" at the summit...ie...Nin the cat and food!!!!
    Last summer my oldest grandson went with me to the summit. It was his first time up and he was not too sure at the start. When I took this picture he knew this was cool.

    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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