This didn't post the first time so I'll try again. Sorry if it is a re-post.
I'm new to the forum and have read through many of the other posts and responses and I would appreciate any advice you would be able to offer.
I will have 2 days in mid-July to hike up Mt. Washington. With good weather I am planning to hike up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Crawford Path to the summit and then back down to Lake of the Clouds for an overnight stay (already have a reservation). The next day I will descend via the Ammonoosuc again or re-summit and down the Jewell.
If the summit is fogged in or cloud covered, I am planning to forego the Lake of the Clouds reservation and just do a roundtrip on the following day.
If the weather is bad both days then I am out of luck until later in the summer or next year when I can get away again (live in Ohio).
My question is, if I am staying at Lake of the Clouds and weather moves in overnight, how logical is a solo descent of the Ammonoosuc in bad weather with low visibility? Is there a better trail down? And, if the summit is fogged in or clouded over, like today, how much below Lake of the Clouds do you have to descend to get "beneath the weather".
Also, some additional background on me. I trail run or mountain bike or kayak at least 4 times per week with an occasional long distance day hike (5 mile +) thrown in. I was at the Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods early last (2006) spring for a conference. Late one morning I skipped out on the conference sessions and took off for the peak in fantastic weather. I hiked from the hotel to the Ammonoosuc Trailhead (I didn't have a car with me) and then about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. I turned back about a half mile above Gem Falls because I didn't have the proper gear to negotiate the increasingly thick ice. Looking back on what was in my daypack, I was very ill-prepared if something would have gone wrong. I don't intend to repeat that mistake.
Ever since then I have wanted to return and finish my hike and will try to do so in a couple weeks. Any additional advice is appreciated. I will definitely be packing raingear and warm clothing this time, including hat and gloves.
Thanks for your advice.