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Thread: Climbing Washington in Fall and winter

  1. #1
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    Default Climbing Washington in Fall and winter

    Seems there are many threads in reference to finding out info on climbing Washington in Fall and Winter. Maybe if we can put all the info in one place it would be easier. What lodging is open in fall and winter. Harvard Cabin open?? Grey Knob the Perch? What is the best Fall / winter route. What equipment is needed? ( Crampons, ice ax, snow shoes, googles) What are the best clothes to wear? Maybe if we can get some imput of those who have hiked Washington in Fall and Winter it will help others. The one problem I had was above tree being able to know where I was in blowing snow. What is the best way to orient yourself above tree when all makers are covered?? Hopefully we can get some answers to those who are wondering about hiking in fall and winter. Thanks all, for your imput and enjoy your hike.

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    I would definetaly like to have some information on this winter hiking thing. Thanks to whoever posts any.
    5 Days 2007-2008

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    Default Start here:

    Probably a good idea to start with the info that already exists...

    Start here:
    http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/winter.php

    Advice and stories can now safely proceed!

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    yeah, I'v already seen that info. It didn't really help much. All it says is that you should be prepared for everything, sudden weather changes, blaa, blaa, blaa.
    5 Days 2007-2008

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    I'm not sure you are going to find any one source that is going to hold your hand all the way to the summit. Winter mountaineering skills aren't gained on a single webpage, they are accumulated over time.

    My first suggestion is to read "Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills." This book is a bible for mountaineers. It is huge, but its a great read. Next, search all over the internet. Google works remarkably well. You can find the best routes, trip reports, photos, lodging information, weather conditions, etc.

    Then you need to get out and go hiking. If climbing Mount Washington in the winter seems overwhelming than it probably is. Do a guided trip to the summit...you could even throw in an overnight at the Observatory. If you are lucky maybe an experienced friend could hike with you to the top. Another plan might be to hike to Tuckerman's on a nice day in the spring. If the weather is good you might be able to sneak to the summit and gain some valuable snow climbing experience.

    Finally, start asking questions here.

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    Default hand holding

    Nevis seems like you are quite negetive. I really don't think asking questions about climbing Washington in winter is asking someone to hold your hand. We all started some where did we not?? I don't think anyone one day just decided to climb washington in the winter and head up the mountain. Sometimes first hand info from people that have climbed is worthwhile!! I am sorry if you think it is hand holding. Maybe some people aren't as skilled as you in hiking and skiing. I value the info that was given to me that helped me accomplish what I have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockin rex
    Nevis seems like you are quite negetive. I really don't think asking questions about climbing Washington in winter is asking someone to hold your hand. We all started some where did we not?? I don't think anyone one day just decided to climb washington in the winter and head up the mountain. Sometimes first hand info from people that have climbed is worthwhile!! I am sorry if you think it is hand holding. Maybe some people aren't as skilled as you in hiking and skiing. I value the info that was given to me that helped me accomplish what I have.
    I don't think my post was negative at all, it just depends on how you read it. That's a big problem with written word, you can't assume a tone.

    I thought the link posted on the MWO website was very helpful for winter mountaineering. I meant what I said, there is no single source that is going to tell you everything you need to know about climbing Mount Washington in winter.

    So please, ask away. I'd love to answer any questions about climbing Mount Washingont in the winter...to the best of my knowledge.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rockin rex
    Nevis seems like you are quite negetive. I really don't think asking questions about climbing Washington in winter is asking someone to hold your hand. We all started some where did we not?? I don't think anyone one day just decided to climb washington in the winter and head up the mountain. Sometimes first hand info from people that have climbed is worthwhile!! I am sorry if you think it is hand holding. Maybe some people aren't as skilled as you in hiking and skiing. I value the info that was given to me that helped me accomplish what I have.
    The idea of climbing Mt Washington in the winter has been interesting to me for years. I owuld not take the comments i have seen so far as being "negative". Realistic maybe. Climbing Mt Washington in the summer on a nice day is something to think about and plan carefully. Study the weather and pick your day. Even in July and August I go with gloves, extra socks, wind gear, rain gear, cold weather layers, knit hat, etc. Having been caught on the ridge in the open when the clouds roll in - wind picks up - it gets wet - and it all turns to snow and your breath freezes on your face as it is blown back at oyu - all in the first week of August --- I have a lot of respect for this mountain. And I have seen way too many people on the mt in the summer who should not be there.

    I have graduated to winter hiking back into Tuckermans to take pictures. I would love to go to the summit in the winter but I am realistic - that is a bigger deal than I have ever done and I know I am not ready. It would be interesting to know how some folks got themselves ready to do it. It is not something one should decide to just go do without the proper equipment, planning and preparation - and in my view that takes time.
    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

  9. #9
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    Nevis_highwire pointed out that winter climbing skills take time to accumulate. It can also take a while to aquire the gear. Some salesman would be willing to sell you a couple thousand dollars worth of goretex and such, but it takes time to become familiar with the items.

    Start little. Go walk around a local state and freeze your water bottles. Break in your snowshoes in the town forest. If you are an experienced hiker, push your season a little later or hike a little higher. I am heading to the Whites this weekend and will be carrying my snowshoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    I have graduated to winter hiking back into Tuckermans to take pictures. I would love to go to the summit in the winter but I am realistic - that is a bigger deal than I have ever done and I know I am not ready. It would be interesting to know how some folks got themselves ready to do it. It is not something one should decide to just go do without the proper equipment, planning and preparation - and in my view that takes time.
    I am very confident that anyone who is in good condition with the proper equipment and training can climb Mount Washington in the winter. They may get turned around by the weather a few times, but you will eventually make it.

    If you are completely in the dark about winter climbing and you wouldn't know your crampons from your ice axe I'd suggest a guided climb. It is relatively safe and you will get expert instruction from a patient teacher.

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