First I want to thank all of your for your replies. It's one thing to read about this stuff in a book, but quite another to get advice from folks who have done it! What you said falls in line with what I was thinking re: Ammo vs. Jewell for the descent. Let's just hope the weather holds!
Trish - we'll be at Lakes from the 25th-27th. When will you be there?
As far as gear goes, the only thing I'm missing is a nice shell for me - the water proof I have is a little tight and I'm not sure I'll fit the fleece under it. I have lighter down sleeping bags for both of us, so we'll be OK without heat. I'm hoping this is the first of many many trips Simon and I have in the Whites.
Again, thanks to everyone for the advice, and I'll post a trip update once we get back!
Have a fantastic time. I'm sure you will. Hopefully we'll run into you on one of the other peaks someday.
First, thanks for all the advice you gave me - we had a great trip! I have to say our trip was quite similar to the one Trish posted above (and we missed her by a day!), with a few notable exceptions.
First, we didn't have great weather coming up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail. While it wasn't raining, a wet cloud-like fog rolled in, the temps dropped alot, and the wind started howling. And then I did something stupid. I was so sweaty from the portion after the Gem Pool that I only put on my wind jacket - no fleece, no wind pants, no hat, etc. And during that last haul up to the hut, I was really hurting - shivering, starting to mumble a bit, etc. But we ended up OK. And I certainly learned a valuable lesson. And simon was an incredible trouper - he's really learned alot over the last year.
The second day we went up to the summit and got a tour from Jeff (one of the interns) who went to Simon's elementary school! Small world!!! And we got to pet Marty, which was quite a thrill. Then we went back to Lakes for our second night.
The third day was beautiful - 110 mile visibility, light winds, etc. Have any of you ever taken the Westside Trail? There wasn't much description of it in the AMC guide, but it seemed like the shortest way to get from lakes to the jewell trail. West side trail was SCARY - because the rocks are quite loose, and there is a very steep angle down to your left as you wind your way through the very narrow pathway. Simon tripped on a rock and the weight of his pack made him fall backwards down toward the steep slope. Thank god there was a boulder there to break his fall, because if he had tripped a few feet before that or after that, he might have fallen down the mountain. It really scared the heck out of me, and I don't know what I could have done differently. It really freaked him out (and me!!!), but he was able to pull himself together, and pick his way to where the trail merges with Gulfside.
It was a hike I will never forget for the rest of my life - one of many I hope to have in the Whites.
I have pictures, but they are at the Kodak Gallery site. I'm not sure if I can directly link to it, but here goes.
If anyone knows how to do that, let me know and I'll post the link again.
Great trip! Congrats to Simon! The third day looked to be incredible! Thanks for sharing.
Hey, I was thinking about you! I'm so glad you posted your TR!
You and Simon look like you're having a wonderful time, and your pictures are fantastic. It's great that you got the Observatory tour -- I didn't think ahead to try to arrange that for myself and Alex.
Congrats on your trip! I hope you do many more, and that you continue to post such great photos.
There are two caviats to prearranged tours. If you are a large group (school, boy scouts, etc) you have to call ahead and schedule and in this case, there is special pricing. The second is winter tours. Members who want to hike up and take a tour have to call and arrange a tour. Member or not, the building is closed unless permission is granted ahead of time or you are in need of medical attention.
Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)