Hi there.

Now I know some of you are going to want to smack me just after reading the subject line of this post, but hear me out.

I am new to serious hiking. I've hiked up a few steep climbs around New Brunswick, but I have never climbed up a serious mountain.

A group of young folks (i.e. 20-30) is planning to hike up Mount Washington this coming weekend (sept 19-21) using the Tuckerman's Ravine and Lion's Head combo. I am planning to go with them.

Now I have read about all the dangers of climbing Mt Washington and I know that it is an advanced climb and I have read several posts on why it is NOT good for beginners.

That being said, I have decided to go on the trip, assuring myself that I will not push myself beyond my personal limits and safety. I was thinking that if I got to Hermit Lake and found myself exhausted, I would not go beyond that point. There is one other person going on the trip at the same fitness level I am at (I consider myself to be fit and very active -- I just haven't specifically exercised the muscles used in mountain hiking before) and the same mountain hiking experience. We have agreed to stick together as far as stopping if it turns out to be more than we are able to handle but the rest of the group wants to go on.

Anyways, I know a lot of you are shaking your heads at me by now and mentally adding to the Mount Washington body count... but I hope you'll help me by giving me some advice on what to expect AND what to pack.

I have found several articles and threads on Summer hiking and Winter hiking up Mount Washington, but since this is sort of in between the two seasons I'm not really sure about which set of advice to follow. I want to maximise my chances of being able to handle this hike physically so if anyone could give me some advice on Fall hiking gear, ESPECIALLY what clothes to wear at the outset AND what types of extra clothes and equipment to pack that would be great. I don't want to be carrying too heavy a pack, but I do want to have everything I will reasonably need.

The group plans to set out on the trail at 7:00am and be back to the starting point by 7:00pm.

Thanks for any help or advice.