Last edited by Uncas; 02-22-2009 at 06:01 PM.
I had a great time, the forecast was not good for a summit when we left and my guide for EMS Craig left hints that it might be a rough go. There was wind advisory at 70mph and the summit expected to be in the soup all day. But as we caught a glimpse of the mountain we could see the summit just fine.
We left Pinkham and soon came to the Lions head where we put on Crampons, there was about a foot of snow and we soon passed another ems group and began breaking trail. I was feeling good the top of the third steep section and we started toward the nook in the big rock. This is where things started slowing down. We both were post holing with each step and eventually started making our way up to our break on our knees while using the axe to slide ourselves up. When we finally got to the rock we were still on schedule, our turn back time was 1:30 which was conservative, but it was based on the forecast. We headed into the wind, and I had the vision of all the photos of walking on ice across the flat section to the summit cone.
This was only the case for very small sections. And as we climbed the hill to the ridge that led to the summit I was sinking in with every step. At about 130 Craig said it didn?t look like we were going to make it.
I must admit I had an inkling when we saw all the groups turning around before us due to the drifts from the snow the day before. Groups younger and fitter then me.
When we turned to leave the forecasted wind really picked up and even though my guide was only a few feet in front of me, he started to disappear a few times. Going down this slope and back to lions head was hard, our trail was gone and I was breaking though a lot. Craig picked up the pace as the wind was starting to really pick up and I felt like sitting down for the first time.
But we eventually made it to the tree line and I got a second wind and had fun descending lions head, we broke out the rope on the third step and I was taught self repelling which was a blast. Then glissaded the rest minus crampons.
I really can?t say enough about my guide and EMS, I pay a lot of money these days for things that are not worth a tenth of what I?m giving. But the 250 for EMS guide was probably the best money I ever spent. It was worth its weight in gold. As he explained EMS is a climbing school first and a guide second and I felt like I learned a ton of valuable information.
Had a great time, sucks I didn?t summit but I think I would rather have a cool story then an easy hike up to the summit. And I will be back soon.
Awesome account and attitude!
"LIVE FREE OR DIE...DEATH IS NOT THE WORST OF ALL EVILS." Gen. John Stark. "by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in..." From the letter of my Great Uncle, Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry), to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.
Looks like snowshoes would have helped there?
They wouldn't have got you to the summit in said conditions, but would have made the trip easier and more enjoyable, no?
I'm sorry. I just can't get around not having snowshoes on a hike through snow on a mountainside. I think it would increase the likelihood of success for most of the folks EMS guides to the summit. Why would they take folks out and let them flounder around in the snow until they're exhausted and have to call it a day? I know that was not the case on this trip. The weather conditions prevented them from reaching the summit, but I'm sorry, I just don't think snowshoes are something to be left behind on a trip like this and I have a hard time understanding why EMS would go without them. I respectfully disagree with this method. Sorry again, I'm not trying to hijack this thread, just had to rant.
Great pics, glad you had a good time!
Last edited by KD Talbot; 02-23-2009 at 05:49 PM.
LOL I would be lying if I said that the "Snowshoe" post did'nt go through my mind a few times!
At the same time the agony of the deep snow seems to be what im talking about the most.
Now all I can think about is getting back to the region. Ive spent a lot of time in the Adirondaks and never felt a place so special until I went on this trip. I will be spending a lot more time here in the future.
It is funny you call the place special. I just finished re-reading the book "Among the White Hills", The Life and Times of Guy L. Shorey by Guy A. Gosselin and Susan B. Hawkins with a foreward by Bradford Washburn.
How about that for a mouthful of White Mountain experience all rolled into one book! All of them have left quite a mark on the region. But, they felt that "something special" about the place.