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Thread: 1st Time Ascent with 9-year-old

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    Default 1st Time Ascent with 9-year-old

    Hi everyone! My son and I will be doing a 3-day hike at the end of August. He decided he wanted to climb Mt. Washington a year ago, and we have been doing some training (Pierce and tuckerman's in the Whites...) We'll be climbing up Ammo and staying at Lakes the first day, going to the summit and hopefully poking around the Alpine Garden and then back down to Lakes the second day, and then back down Ammo (or Jewell???) the last day. I wanted to keep things as easy as possible which is why we're doing it over three days - as well as have options if the weather turns any of those days.

    Here are my questions... How bad is Ammo going down - especially if it's wet? Would I be better off going down Jewell on the last day? I know it is significantly longer, but do you think it would be easier? And now I am a bit more nervous about how to deal with bad weather - any additional advice? Particularly since I'll be solo with my 9-year-old?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Descending Jewell is probably going to be the easier of the two routes, especially if the ground is wet. Ammo is tough on the knees whereas the longer Jewell will wear more on the soles of your feet. Good luck and play it safe!

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    I agree. What you have mapped out sounds very reasonable. Just that i would go down on the Jewell.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Oh, that sounds great. You should get him to do the Junior Naturalist program that they have at the huts.

    Def. stick to the Jewell going down. Ammo is so slick when it rains.

    Just keep your eye on the sky for the weather. I generally hike with thermals and a fleece sweater in my bag along with rain gear, sometimes a wool hat, extra socks, a trash bag, and one of those blankets they give to marathoners after they run. I have rarely needed any of it beyond my fleece and the rain gear, but it is good to have. Also make sure you have a safety whistle.

    Don't forget to check out what time sunset is as the view from Lakes is awesome (around that time, it should be at 7:20 to 7:30 or so).

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    I disagree about the Ammo/Jewell.

    If its bad weather you are minutes away from tree line from Lakes via the Ammo. The Jewell is a long traverse above tree line. Would you rather spend a few minutes carefully walking down the Ammo or an hour or more traversing above tree line?

    I'd guess that hundreds of thousands of people have descended a wet Ammo. How many have slipped?

    If its nice go down the Jewell for a change of scenery. If its raining down to the Ammo and get it over with. No reason to get soaked.
    Bill
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    Would I be right in saying millions?

    Edit: No, over the past 50 years that would be like 55 a day, every day. I climbed it in June once and I was the only person on the trail. That means another day had to have 109 people.
    Last edited by Bill O; 08-13-2008 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Over exaggerating
    Bill
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    As Bill points out - pick your route down based on where you are at the time when bad weather is seen to be approaching. If you are close to the Hut - use the Ammo. Above treeline is wonderful in good weather - and not a place to be if it gets bad.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Ditto

    If the weather turns ugly get below the tree line or to shelter asap. You'd be better off going down Ammo to get to safety faster. As people say, "Keep an eye on the sky." I've turned around before on the account of bad weather, it's simply not worth the risk (*I could care less about rain/snow - but the electrical stuff, I want nothing to do with that.)

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    Hi Simons mom,

    This is Trish of Trish and Alex. Alex is 5 and a half, and we've been doing 4000footers for a couple of months now. We have 7 down and we'll probably do another 5 or 6 before the snow falls.

    We will also be at Lakes in late August! We will probably come up Ammno, summit Monroe (just half a mile from the hut), spend the night at Lakes and then summit Washington the next day.

    I'm glad you asked the question about the various trails. We have not yet come to a final decision on routes.

    As far as gear goes -- lightweight clothes (no cotton!) for the valley and fleece/silk base layers coupled with snowgear/raingear for the top. Wool hat, gloves, etc. Emergency flashlight or headlamp, definitely whistles!! Lots of water or a water purifier, food, etc. Try to pack as much stuff as you think you might need to keep you warm, fed, and hydrated for one night out with temps below zero. REI and other sports stores sell emergency blankets and bivy sacks (both very lightweight and compact). We also just purchased a PLB (personal locator beacon), which should clue search and rescue into our exact location within minutes, if God forbid we should ever need that kind of assistance. However, those things are very expensive, so if you're not planning on doing a lot of serious hiking during the next few years, it's probably not something you'll want to buy. Since I'm out there alone with Alex a lot, I felt it worth the expense.

    Also, don't forget the hut has no heat so you will need to plan to keep warm inside the hut at night.

    Hope to run into you up there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    Also, don't forget the hut has no heat so you will need to plan to keep warm inside the hut at night.
    No heat, but 3 nice warm wool blankets on each bunk. I carry a lightweight fleece sleeping bag for the huts in summer but even that isn't usually needed. Staying warm outside is another matter. Your suggestions about hat, gloves, etc are definitely good ones - in any season.
    Mark

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    and break clear away, once in awhile,
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