Hiking washington for 1st time, questions
i plan on hiking washington this sunday with 2 buddies of mine. i am a novice hiker, other is completely inexperienced and the 3rd has plenty of experience and has hiked washington 3-4 times. BUT NEVER in the snow. i hear that it may snow this weekend on the summit.
what i am curious about is if it is wise for the 3 of us (a few more may come) to make this hike. i have heard how dangerous it is but i wanted to make sure it would be safe for us before we made the 2.5-3 hour drive up. we are all over 22 and are responsible.
thanks for your time,
p.s.- what gear should we bring?
extra clothes, first aid kit etc.. anything else?
I'll be hiking this weekend as well. Crawford Path
I've hiked the Tuckerman Ravine trail many times in the past to ski in late spring, early summer. This will be the lastest in the season I have hiked.
Weather is obviously an important factor, and it's looking like there will probably be some precip. Sunday. Whether it's rain, sleet or snow or a combination of the 3 is not known at this time. But you best plan for all three!!!
Also, map out your route and guage how long you think it will take. For a novice, you can plan on 2 MPH + 1 hour additional for each 1000' gained. But don't forget sometimes you need to go down to go up. So factor that in as well. Also look into escape routes should you get into trouble.
Remember, above treeline is where a lot of the danger lies!
Here's a list of things to bring:
we are all in pretty good physical condition.. i've been training for timberman next year (half ironman), we are pretty much fast hikers. the only thing we are really worried about is the weather past the tree line.
what type of clothing do you reccomend. i don't even own hiking boots, i prefer to hike with sneakers. i'm thinking pair of long underwear, sweat pants, a sweater with longunderwear should do it. bring jacket and mits etc for the top.
as of now we might not go, just because we are worried about the bad weather past the tree line. how long of a hike (ft, elevation wise) would it be if we just hiked to tree line?
thanks for the info so far man.
Funny you mention triathlons. One of the guys I'll be with this weekend does them often.
Anyway, if you decide to go, I'd say stick with the Tuckermans ravine trail since it's well travelled and you can stop at Hermit Lake (HoJo's) and decide from there if you want to proceed. Plan on rain gear, and also on a change of clothes. It's sucks being wet and cold.
I try to stay away from cotton. Once wet, it doesn't dry and it robs you of heat. I'll be decked out in synthetics myself.
Wear winter and wind gear.
Go to EMS and bring $$!
John, you are asking the right questions and you have a good attitude.
As for gear, bring enought stuff to stay warm and dry if you have to sit around and wait for help in an emergency. Everybody can stay warm hiking, its keeping warm when you are sitting around that is the hard part. Avoid cotton at all costs since it absorbs moisture.
I have no idea what the forecast is this weekend, but why don't you stick with your plans. Who knows, the weather might be great and you don't want to be stuck at home because of a bad forecast. The trick is to know when to turn around. Its perfectly ok to turn around on Mount Washington because the weather is too bad. Making it to treeline or Hermit Lake is fine. On the way down you can be thankful you aren't up any higher in the raging storm. Better than being up in the storm wishing you were down there.
Need more people like John!!
This is what we need more of. People that are not afraid to ask questions instead of just heading and having no idea of what they are up against. As you can see the people who have responded to you have all given great advice!! Those of us who have climbed Washington in Winter are more than glad to give advice if asked. We know what it takes to be able to not only climb this mountain in rough conditions but also to get back down safely. As previously mentioned most important is warm clothes that can be shed ( YOU DO NOT WANT TO SWEAT) and proper foot wear. Sneakers in Mid October might not be a good idea. If you guys do go have an awesome time but be safe. Many of us have turned around if the weather is bad.
Hey John, how did it go? We would enjoy reading about it!
Just so you know, EMS = Expensive Mountain Sports.
Originally Posted by MtnMagic
Anyway, if you're going above treeline be aware that there is absolutely no shelter from the weather. Everything coming out of the sky will hit you, so make sure all of what you have is waterproof/resistant and not cotton. If you get wet at all cotton is a very bad thing to be wearing. Also, I would follow everyone else's advice and take the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail. The caretaker at HoJo's is very willing to talk to you and he will most likely fill you in on what the weather will be like at the top and the conditions you should expect. Also, if you talk to him/her first then someone will know you're hiking so if you do get lost someone will know where you went. Anyway, have fun and safe hiking
5 Days 2007-2008
Btw, EMS has a 20% off everything in every store sale from Thursday, October 19 thru Sunday, Oct 22.
Summit conditions and the mountain registry can be found at the Pinkham Notch visitor's Center. Ask the AMC desk folks questions. They are paid to answer them. Also ask other hikers.