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Thread: Questions!!!

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    Exclamation Questions!!!

    If you go up Tuckermans, after the junction there is a small, short rise and you are at HoJos. No ice cream stand, but there is a nice porch to hang out and look at the ravine and all its glory. Here you are looking up. On Lions Head very quickly you are looking down and out across the range. After HoJos the trail is quick easy, flat in places, short up but not too steep. This gets you to the floor of the ravine. This is where I like to get in the winter to take pictures as the sun does not get to the floor at that time of year. Continue ahead and to the north then up a small broken stone traiil that traces the far right face of the headwall. The trail drops right off on your left as you are going up. I was passing someone one day and she slipped as I went by on the outside. I had to fall into her to stop us both from going over the edge. Most people go this trail as it is a lot easier climb.


    What do you mean you had to fall into her to stop her from falling??? Is the trail a dangerous one?? Is it on the edge of the mountain?? If it is is there a trail that is not on the edge?? It sounds dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorothy
    If you go up Tuckermans, after the junction there is a small, short rise and you are at HoJos. No ice cream stand, but there is a nice porch to hang out and look at the ravine and all its glory. Here you are looking up. On Lions Head very quickly you are looking down and out across the range. After HoJos the trail is quick easy, flat in places, short up but not too steep. This gets you to the floor of the ravine. This is where I like to get in the winter to take pictures as the sun does not get to the floor at that time of year. Continue ahead and to the north then up a small broken stone traiil that traces the far right face of the headwall. The trail drops right off on your left as you are going up. I was passing someone one day and she slipped as I went by on the outside. I had to fall into her to stop us both from going over the edge. Most people go this trail as it is a lot easier climb.


    What do you mean you had to fall into her to stop her from falling??? Is the trail a dangerous one?? Is it on the edge of the mountain?? If it is is there a trail that is not on the edge?? It sounds dangerous.
    It is dangerous. All the trails have their hazards. Some are just rocks. Others have very slippery places. You do have to be careful every step of the way.

    The trail going up Tucks Headwall is very narrow. Two with packs on can not pass without someone moving out of the way. The place where we had the problem the trail was about 2 feet wide and the "downhill" side drops straight down. For some reason she lost her balance just as we were passing and the only way of protecting us both was to "fall into the hill"and her. Hiking to the summit of Mt Washington should not be taken lightly. I have taken family members who jog every day and are generally in very good shape. Part way up Lions Head they were wiped out and realized the hike was harder than anything they had ever done before. They still talk about that hike many years ago.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Default Tucks

    For someone with little climbing experience this trail and all trails on MW may seem a little scary. As Brad says, yes, it's dangerous. Indeed, all trails in the White Mountains have their hazards. You could also walk to the bathroom at night and turn your ankle. A spill on any trail in the Whites could be bad. It's not like you'd fall over a precipice into a void and they'd never find your bones, (although this might be true on Huntington Ravine or the Great Gulf, ha!). Use your own judgement out there, if it's too hairy for your liking, turn around. The trail is relatively easy to the floor of the ravine. This could always be a destination. Nothing says one has to summit at Seek the Peak. There are knowledgeable people at the signup desk who can suggest hikes for all abilities. All trails to the summit are a difficult undertaking at best. However, there are many fine destinations on MW that don't require putting oneself in any danger. The floor of Tuckerman Ravine is one. For that matter, the floor of Huntington Ravine is also a good destination which doesn't require as much stamina or fortitude as climbing up out of the ravines. Climbing up out of Tuckerman Ravine is narrow and drops off on one side, but it's not like you're inching along a building overhang clawing at smooth walls to keep your balance. My guess is none but the very inexperienced or people with vertigo or agrophobia would have any problem here. The real test is when you climb up out of the ravine and there is still a half mile of very steep rock hopping to get to the summit. Thousands of people manage it every year, many with little or no experience. Just know you limitations, come prepared, and do not push yourself beyond your comfort level. If the Tuckerman Ravine Trail sounds like it may be too much for you, but you are determined to make a summit attempt, then there is also Lion's Head Trail, which has fewer spots where you might feel uncomfortable, and is about the same distance. There is also Boott Spur Trail, where I can't think of any narrow spaces with drop offs, though it adds considerable distance to the hike. What you may want to do is pick up a copy of the AMC's White Mountain Guide and read up on the trail descriptions.

    http://www.mountwashington.org/store...products_id=28

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    http://www.mountwashington.org/store...roducts_id=118



    Don't worry, you'll be fine! If you have more questions feel free to ask, we'll help anyway we can. See you on the mountain!

    KDT

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    So will someone please suggest a couple of trails that are not as dangerous?? Are there trails that have NO ledges and are just paths up the mt?? This is why this is a hard thing to try and support there really are not many threads on people who are going the first time!! Who would want to climb the first time on ledges?? There has to be a trail that is a path that is not dangerous!! Thx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorothy
    So will someone please suggest a couple of trails that are not as dangerous?? Are there trails that have NO ledges and are just paths up the mt?? This is why this is a hard thing to try and support there really are not many threads on people who are going the first time!! Who would want to climb the first time on ledges?? There has to be a trail that is a path that is not dangerous!! Thx.
    My personal opinion is that no trails on Mount Washington are dangerous.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    Default Dangerous

    Whether the trails on MW are dangerous or not is certainly subject to debate. I'd have to say that that Huntington Ravine, especially in the rain, could be dangerous, especially to the inexperienced. I've been up Tuckerman in the pouring rain, (my 1st STP) and what was dangerous was the map lichen that grows on all the rocks becomes slick as ice. I took some nasty tumbles. The danger was the weather and it's effects, not so much the trail.

    There are no nice paths through the woods to the summit. All trails eventually rise above treeline and from there on you are hopping, climbing and clamoring over rocks, sometimes hand over hand, to get to the summit.

    When you say ledges I think you picture in your mind a narrow footpath with a shear drop-off on one side and smooth walls on the other. This is not at all the case on any of the trails you're apt to take out of Pinkham Notch. There is a narrow section on Tuckerman Ravine Trail, as Brad says, but if you have any experience I don't think it's going to be that difficult for you.

    Give us some background. Do you have any climbing experience at all? If you do, then I don't think Tuckerman Ravine is going to be that big of a deal to you.

    What is your goal? The summit? Then Tuckerman is probably your best bet. It is the most direct, easiest to follow, and if you do have a mishap, there will no doubt be dozens of people nearby to help you out.

    As I said in my previous post, unless you suffer from vertigo, agrophobia or you're just afraid to climb over rocks, then you'll be fine.

    If this all sounds too much for you, then think about doing this:

    Climb Boott Spur Trail. I cannot think of anywhere where you would be exposed to a ledge with a shear drop. On the way up there is an outlook over Tuckerman Ravine at Harvard Rock. If you feel good from there, continue the climb to Boott Spur. There is a fine view of the surrounding mountains, the summit dome of MW, and below you is Tuckerman Ravine. From the Tuckerman Ravine Trail it is 1.7 miles to Harvard Rock and 1750' elevation. It is 2.9 miles to the summit of Boott Spur, where you could turn around and descend if too tired, or you could continue on to the summit of MW along the Davis and Crawford Paths. This would be 5.4 miles and 4300' elevation. This would be about the same elevation as Tuckerman, though it would add 1.2 miles to the trip, one way. The hike from Boott Sput to the Crawford Path is relatively easy and takes up most of that extra 1.2 miles, then the climb to the summit would begin. This avoids the ravines, and I cannot think of anywhere you would face any shear drops, though you would be above treeline and exposed to any weather there may be for a much longer time than on Tuckerman.

    If you still do not feel comfortable with this idea, say so and I can suggest some other hikes.

    KDT
    Last edited by KD Talbot; 07-18-2007 at 05:17 PM.

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    Dorothy, I think the question would be how much trail experience do you have and how physically fit are you? Hypothetically, if you have never set foot on a trail besides a walking path, are very overweight and no exercise, and smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, then I would suggest you not hike to the summit at all. It is roughly a 4000' elevation gain over a 4-5 mile hike. If, however, you have some trail experience, are in fairly decent shape, and exercise regularly, then you should be fine on most trails. You may be slower than those who have more experience and are in great physical shape but you should be able to handle it. Many people hike to the summit each year who aren't experts and do just fine. The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail would also be a good choice. There is one steep section that is still below tree line that if you should slip you would not fall off the mountain . Once you reach tree line you are a short way to the Lake of the Clouds Hut and you could take a rest and make the decision of whether or not you wanted to continue to the summit. Many people use that trail as well so you will not be alone. That trail starts off Base Rd. on the Western side of the mountain by the Cog Station.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    I want the safest trail up and down. I don't want to be on ledges where I have to be really careful of every step!!! All the threads say that Tuckermen's is a good one to start on and then there's a thread about a person almost falling off the ledge!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorothy
    I want the safest trail up and down. I don't want to be on ledges where I have to be really careful of every step!!! All the threads say that Tuckermen's is a good one to start on and then there's a thread about a person almost falling off the ledge!!!
    Others will add their comments, I am sure. Hiking anywhere on Mt Washington has its risks. It is a balance of hikers' conditioning, trail and weather forecast that help me determine which trail(s) to use. Lions Head up and Tuckermans Headwall down is a popular combination. Once above tree line you do not have good visibility on what weather is coming in from the west - and you are exposed. For a good weather day this is a good combination.

    An easier (in my opinion) combination is Ammo-Jewell. If there are late in the day storms predicted this would not be a good combination as you are exposed. You can see to the west to watch what is coming in though.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    i think its pretty much like everything else in life....if you get to a place where you are afraid or wondering about your safety/ability....turn back....no one can really make that call for you....ive personally been up to the top of mt washington before.....and while i certainly can not offer you anything substantial about the trails i can suggest the following....this is a great fundraiser....so make the goals small to start with....raise some money for the mountain....and make it a goal to do the best you can for the hike....its stated several places that you dont have to reach the summit....im going with my son and his girlfriend....while they have hiked locally....(bear mountain and a few others)....this will really be a challenge not only for them but for me too....so make the decision to have a great day and accomplish what you can.....listen to your gut....its usually right on the money....i hope this is taken in the spirit in which it is intended....good luck....

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