i wonder....are you hiking alone?....
i wonder....are you hiking alone?....
On July 28th, I highly doubt anyone will be hiking alone on Mt. Washington...especially out of Pinkham. There could be rush hour traffic at points.
For all who are concerned remember...there's strength in numbers.
I am hiking alone but the seekthepeak homepage claims that there will be people and helpers all over the place. If I go up The Tuckerman way and then the Lion Head Trail, will I miss walking on or near ledges?? I don't want to walk on or near any ledge. THX
I have created a new folder on our Fotki MWO site for trail information. I added 2 topo maps - one of the Pinkham - Tuckermans - summit route and the other being the Pinkham - Lions Head - summit.
They are both the same distance - 3.4 miles. Obviously, the same elevation gain about 4,300 feet. However, the profiles are a bit different. With the Lions Head route at about 2.5 miles there is an increase in slope as you leave the Tuckerman Trail and get above tree line. This is where you have the ladder.
The Tuckermans Headwall route is more gradual all the way.
Link to new album
Tuckermans Headwall route
Lions Head route
On either route you will be scrambling over boulders. There are ladders over some nasty sections on Lion's Head. By ladders, we mean something more akin to stairs, with no railing. As for ledges, in Tuckerman there are a few spots where there is drop off on one side. I think you are picturing in your mind a cliff with a narrow crawlspace along a ledge. As I've stated before, it's not really like this. If you can scramble over boulders and can get past a few short spots where an inexperienced, afraid of heights person might not want to look down for a few steps, then you will be fine. If you are uncomfortable, turn around and call it a day.
Without trying to sound like a jerk, we have tried to answer all of your questions, you haven't answered any of ours as to your experience, ability, etc.
You asked for alternate routes, what we would suggest. We have suggested alternate routes, i.e. the Boott Spur Trail and the Jewell Trail.
Every route to the summit has it's own degree of difficulty. I've climbed just about all of them and I would not pick one over the other. If you are looking for assurances here that you are going to have a nice safe trip to the summit of the highest peak in the northeast, nobody here is going to give you that. This trip involves climbing a mountain often referred to as the "Rockpile" and is billed as the "Worst Weather in the World". Only you can decide where your comfort level begins and ends.
We all want to help you out in every way we can. Mary's post is about as nice as it can be put:
"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.."
"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..."
We are all pulling for you here, but no one is going to assure you that you will not find someplace you are not comfortable on ANY trail. The Jewell Trail is moderate, has no rock scrambles and pretty good footing, but then you must get on the Gulfside Trail and walk right next to the edge of the Great Gulf. Tuckerman Ravine and Lion's Head have rock scrambles and places where a person uncomfortable with heights may be afraid. My personal suggestion would be Boott Spur Trail, as most of these hazards are avoided. That's all I can tell you, the rest is up to you. Good Luck!
PS: to Brad: Tuckerman Ravine is 4.2 miles, Lion's Head 4.1.
Last edited by KD Talbot; 07-23-2007 at 11:03 PM.
Ditto on the suggestion for Boott Spur. One aspect to also consider is if Tuckerman's is receiving high traffic(which we're sure it will for this occasion)you may also have to factor in people above you dislodging(inadvertently)loose stone. If one is already trepid this is just another factor to consider. Normally, not a problem, but as stated with increased traffic it could be. It has never directly happened to myself, but I have encountered those who say it has happened to them when the trail was busy.
There are many factors to consider about the Rockpile, the mountain itself, the weather, etc., and the personal factors :ability, health, experience, and judgement. You are in control of the personal factors including the ability to continue or call it quits till another day. We can all agree that over the years we have seen people try to climb Mt W, pass by them and swear they would never make it, then lo and behold, later on at the top they are there. Then there are those you think will have no problem and they just can't do it.
Boott Spur keeps you away from the feeling of severe dropoff. All-in-all it helps your perspective. Some people have no problem climbing headwalls until when they pause for a break, turn and look out behind them, they freeze because perspective -wise they feel they are going to fall all the way down to the parking lot.
Whichever way you go and however far you get, just have a good time in what you can accomplish, that's about as much of a guarantee that the White Mountains will give you !
I have never done Boott Spur - up or down. With all the times I have been on that range it is a bit odd. I should find a day to go that route. Maybe I should retire and do a hike a week.
Kevin, you are right on the real distances for the 2 trails (4.2 and 4.1 miles). When I switch the Topo software to show "terrain distance" the Lions Head route is 3.8 miles and 3.6 miles for Tuckermans. It is still off a bit.
When talking with folks at the office about "hiking" on Mt Washington I find the terminology is not always clear. Some think of the hike they took in NC around a park along the coast - perfectly flat terrain. That is "walking" to me.
Others think of rock cliffs and ropes. This is "climbing" to me.
As a kid we used to try to get to the top of Mt Washington on whatever trail we were using and not touch your hands to anything the whole way. On many of the trails this can be done with good balance and conditioning. Tucks, Ammo, Jewell and Lions Head are some that can be done. You are going up irregular sized steps for 3-4 hours. That is the killer. At the top there is about 25% less oxygen. You will get tired and then your balance is not as good. Part of the issue on these trails is they are accessible and therefore people are out there who should not be. They go beyond their abilities and conditioning. I have seen some who went up in a car and decided to walk down and have the car meet them at Pinkham. They were struggling. I have taken a High School top notch in shape kid to the summit. He would not admit how much he was struggling even though we were checking. He rode the Cog down.
Mt Washington trails are rugged - tough on the body - the weather can turn nasty in a minute - and no matter what conditioning I do beforehand I know I have worked hard at the end of the day. Going to the summit is not for folks looking for a walk. The Seek The Peak release form tells it all - we assume all risks.
But, it is beautiful up there . . .
Another suggestion would be to check out the photos taken by folks of the different trails. I know Kevin and Lloyd have many to look at. Mine for Mt Washington have been grouped at http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstre...mt-washington/
Last edited by Brad; 07-24-2007 at 06:56 AM.
All I wanted to know is if there was ledges on Lions Head, I said I never hiked before BUT the seekthepeek page claims it is for all people like there would be lots of help!! I'm not going, forget it. I don't want to be part of something where the people don't really help much. I can't even read the maps left why did you think I could know how to read that map?? You aren't very nice or helpful to new people.
Too bad, everyone here was trying to help.
And yes, there are ledges on Lion's Head Trail. Some of which you could easily fall off.
The problem is that everyone on this forum has a hard time dealing with irrational fear. For instance, falling off the side of a mountain. Most of us understand the difference between possibility and probability. When climbing Mount Washington one of the last things you should worry about is falling off the side of the mountain. Statistically you should be much more worried about heart attack, lightning, hypothermia, frost bite, falling into crevasses, cog disasters, and piercing yourself with an ice axe. The only thing I'm worried about is the drive up. That's one of the most dangerous things in the world to do.
I'm not sure that STP is for all people. Nothing ever is. But I'm satisfied that all people who want to climb MWN and do STP have signed up. Or they will by 5pm tomorrow.
Last edited by Bill O; 07-24-2007 at 08:31 AM.
Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
Hey Dorothy...how are ya?Originally Posted by Dorothy
I'm pretty sure they meant seek the peak is for all people that enjoy hiking and have some experience at hiking (enjoyment of weather too, this is a fund raiser for the obs facility, correct?).
I don't think Mt. Washington is often suggested for someones first hike in the whites. Your attitude is yucky. Everyone here replied to your posts and not one of them was useless. Like I said before, there are plenty of hikers out there who would help you and most likely you'd hook up with people who go at your pace.
Not really fair to say everyone here didn't help you out thus far! You should apologize to Brad for your comment on his post with the maps. He took his time to put that together...pretty generous I think and all you did was SLAM him!