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Thread: First time climbing Mt. Washington

  1. #1
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    Default First time climbing Mt. Washington

    Justed joined the forum and really think it's great how everyone shares input. Now i am in need of a little input.

    Thinking of taking Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to summit but it seems that Lion's Head/ Tuckerman's is the most popular. Not so sure which to take.

    Thanks in advance

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    Remember what Frost said about the path less traveled by. He even lived in NH, so I believe him. Ammo is a good route, short and steep. You can always take a rest at Lakes of the Clouds hut.

    Thanks for participating, hope you enjoy our online community.

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    I love Lions Head but we are planning on doing Ammo on Saturday. They all are nice.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Default Six of one...

    I wouldn't pick one over the other, they are both nice. On the east side people usually use a combination of Tuckerman Ravine and Lion's Head. It can be very crowded, especially on weekends. Tuckerman is 4.2 miles with 4250' of elevation gain. Lion Head is 4.1 mile with the same elevation gain, though you rise above the trees sooner and start to get views. This also means you are above treeline and exposed to the elements sooner. Climbing from the east sudden rain showers can sneak up on you from the west because you don't have a clear view to the west, it is blocked by the summit cone of MW. Regardless of what route you take, be sure to check the higher summit forecast for the day you are climbing:

    http://www.mountwashington.org/weath...t_forecast.php

    Ammonoosuc Ravine on the west side climbs to the plateau just below Mount Monroe where you will find the Lakes of the Clouds and the AMC Hut of the same name. From here you take the Crawford Path to the summit. From the parking area to the hut is 3.1 miles and 2500' of elevation gain. From the hut to the summit is 1.4 miles and 1300' of elevation for a trip of 4.5 miles and 3800' elevation. A little longer than Tuckerman, but less elevation. Most do a loop of this using the Trinity Heights Connector found at the northwest corner of the Tip-Top House, the Gulfside Trail and the Jewell Trail. This route will bring you back to the same parking lot, though using this way down is longer and requires some climbing up the side of Mount Clay to reach the Jewell Trail. This can be tough on tired legs. This loop can be quite crowded on weekends as well, but probably not as bad as Tuckerman. Also, there is the opportunity to rest at the hut and the benefit of watching the western skies for possible weather changes. One could also do this loop in reverse, taking the longer Jewell Trail to the summit and descending quickly by the steep Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. It is 5.1 miles and 3900' elevation, but the grade is easier than any of the other trails mentioned. Or one could simply go up Ammonoosuc and Crawford and descend the same way.

    Good luck and your homework assignment is: a trip report and pictures when you're done!

    KDT

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    Great detail and info from KD! Another way to look at it would be Tucks has great views, both from the floor of the ravine as well as going up the headwall and on top. Lions heads views are more toward Huntington and across the notch to Wildcat Mtn. When you reach the top of lions head the views are amazing because you can see the bowl of tucks, all the Mtns. to the East, the Alpine garden, the sunmmit cone and even the north side of Huntington Ravine. There is less waterfalls on Tucks but Crystal Cascade is a must see.
    If you head up Ammo. trail You are in the woods along a Mtn. stream for a while which is great then you get to Gem pool which is really cool, a waterfall dropping into a clear pool. Above this point the grade is steep and the trail crosses the stream at several places with waterfalls and cascades at various places. The trail takes you over ledges in places which can be tricky when wet. The views begin as you are climbing the steep grade of the trail and the higher you go the trees get shorter and you eventually have a clear view of the entire western side of the Mtn. You can see the cog train cross Jacobs Ladder which is really cool. Lakes of the clouds hut is a nice place to take a break after the steep climb. Also, if you should pack your swimsuit you can relax and cool off in one of the lakes. The hike from Lakes to the summit offers great views, provided it's not in the clouds, of all the Mtns. to the west and the Mt Washington Hotel and Bretton Woods.
    Which ever you chose, you will not be disappointed to say the least. As was said above, all the trails are great and offer a different aspect and viewpoint of the mountain.
    Have a great hike and don't forget a trip report with photos!
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    Steve,

    "cool off in one of the lakes"! Have you tried to do that? I did as a kid and it was cold cold cold. I did swim from one end to the other of one of the lakes but I do not recall which one. I think it was the first one on the right when heading to the summit. I am not sure if that is even legal today.
    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 the help. Hope to accomplish this tomorrow, will do homework

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    Thumbs up Ammo Ravine Trail is awesome!!

    I love the Ammo Ravine Trail. The waterfalls on this trail are amazing!! You also get to pop into Lake of the Clouds for food. Best loop in the Whites is Ammo to Jewell. When doing the Ammo don't forget the side trails to the waterfalls. The side trails to the falls are WELL WORTH IT!!

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    Default Too many choices

    As has been stated, all the trails are good in their own ways. I was part of a family group; two people wanted the challenge of Huntington Ravine, and three of us, well, didn't . The two dropped us off at the Ammo trailhead, then drove around to Pinkham. I loved Ammo; I know it's steep but I really don't remember feeling the pain that much. The short detour to Monroe is worth it even if you're not doing 4Ks, too. We met the Huntington guys on top; it turned out they had left their packs in the car and did the climb without food or water! No lasting effects, and we headed down Lion's Head/Tuckerman.

    Have a great day!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    Steve,

    "cool off in one of the lakes"! Have you tried to do that? I did as a kid and it was cold cold cold. I did swim from one end to the other of one of the lakes but I do not recall which one. I think it was the first one on the right when heading to the summit. I am not sure if that is even legal today.
    Well...Take a look at these photo's and you tell me! I didn't hear anyone telling them to get out of the water.



    Oh and here's me taking a break and cooling off my feet.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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