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Thread: Mt.washington in late sept.

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    Talking Mt.washington in late sept.

    i was wondering if anyone would beable to give me some advice here.

    i wanted to plan a mt.washington day hike for the end of sept. i noticed late of clouds hut closes on the 13th which is why i have turned this into a day hike.
    is it safe to hike in late sept.?
    is the hut closed because it isn't safe after that date and advised against?
    any suggestions/advice/words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

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    Its not dangerous that time of year, the weather is just more changeable. A cold storm could bring snow and rime to the summits. Or the weather could be dry and beautiful.

    You need to watch the weather and be prepared to change your plans. Other than that its a great time of year to hike.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    I have been told the hut closes that time of year due to opperating costs more than anything else. Plus it gives them enough time to properly secure it for winter so they can drain lines, board up, clean etc before full on winter.
    But, it is safe to hike this time of year as long as you:

    1. look at the weather report before going. If it is forecasted to be 20F blowing 80 mph and all you have are tennis shoes and a sweat shirt, then no, it might not be the brightest thing to do. Also, asses the weather as you go. We forecast the weather but no forecast is written in stone. If the weather is turning bad, make the correct decision to turn back down. Once you are above treeline, you are exposed to whatever is going on with little protection.

    2. hike with a friend. Even the most experienced people will tell you it is safer to hike in pairs than alone. And even then, check in or let others know your plans.

    3. start early. days are getting shorter so the sooner you start off the more time you have to play with.

    4. If you hike up, plan to hike DOWN. This time of year, there is no guarantee that there will be a ride down. This is true at any point in the summer but this time of year with icing starting, the cog and autoroad stop running in bad weather. And for rides down, the cog goes one way and the road the other so if only one is running down, you might be taken 50+ miles away from where you need to be.

    5. Avoid anything cotton. cotton does not breath and it does not dry for a long time. and pack plenty of layers. it might be 60-70F in the valley but it might be 20-30F up top.

    6. don't be ashamed to turn around. the mountain is surprisingly deceptive. it might seem like you are close to the top but it is usually an optical illusion. I can't tell you how many rescues or hypo cases we have had where they said they thought they were close to the top so they pushed on growing more cold rather than heading down where better weather lies. The mountain will be there another day. Just because you planned to hike on x day three months ahead does not mean you have to hike on x day when it arrives.

    These are some of the key things that come to mind. I am sure others can feed in. But don't let us deter you from going. Just be prepared and heed any advise given so I or anyone else does not have to rescue you. Shoulder seasons (spring/fall) have the most recues due to niave thinking and unpreparedness.
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

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    Great post Ryan

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    I always have plenty more gear than I think I need. I would rather not have to use it all. If needed it's great to be over prepared rather than under prepared. Fall and spring can throw you some major cruve balls.
    Last edited by donnellyvj; 09-04-2008 at 09:01 AM.
    Think Snow

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    Thank you for the great advice.i tend to be a stubborn person but also know that the mountain is MUCH bigger than me.
    you mentioned checking the weather as i asend..how do i do that other than by using m senses?
    do you suggest any particular route or is it hiker preferance this time of year?
    how long should an intermediate hiker give themself?
    how early do you recommend starting my hike?
    do many people hike up and down in a single day?
    i apologise for all the questions....

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    your probably right.more is always better...too much weight though i feel can be annoying,huh?
    what sort of gear/clothing do you recommend?

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    thanks for the response to my post.i hope for a nice day.

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    Thumbs up Ryan great post

    Ryan's post was right on. In Sept. you just have to watch the weather. Always check the weather before heading above tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EarlyBird View Post
    Thank you for the great advice.i tend to be a stubborn person but also know that the mountain is MUCH bigger than me.
    you mentioned checking the weather as i asend..how do i do that other than by using m senses?
    do you suggest any particular route or is it hiker preferance this time of year?
    how long should an intermediate hiker give themself?
    how early do you recommend starting my hike?
    do many people hike up and down in a single day?
    i apologise for all the questions....
    Do a search and check the many prior threads on this subject. Lots of advice on gear, planning, conditions, etc. Definitely many people do this as a single day. At that time of year it is nearly the only option since the huts are closed and there is no place to camp above treeline. You can start as early as you want (including before sunrise if you want to give yourself lots of time) but on a good day if you are not fighting the weather you can easily make it up in 4-5 hours and down in 2-3 if you are in good shape. Only you can determine your condition and speed though. Remember that you are talking about 8+ miles and 4000+ feet of elevation gain (depending on the choice of routes, of which there are many). There are also many threads here about the various route choices - the most popular probably being Ammo/Jewel and Tuckermans Ravine (possibly in combination with one of the neighboring trails for a loop). There is great information on hiking Washington and the rest of the White Mountains here: http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/washington.html

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
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