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Thread: Biggest concern for new comer?

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    Default Biggest concern for new comer?

    What would you all say is biggest concern for someone new to Mt Washington...

    Would it be:

    Weather?
    Wild animal attacks?
    Getting lost?
    Unprepared (shelter, food, training)?

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    I would say underprepared and weather go hand in hand as being the biggest concern from someone that has to deal with unprepared people that make it to the summit. Whether it is the complete lack of knowledge of weather to be expected, improper clothing, late start time, no maps, no head lamps, no crampons, no overnight supplies just in case, etc, it never ceases to amaze me how some people are able to tie their shoes and walk up right up here. Thankfully the unprepared are far and few in between and the majority of the people that hike up make it down just fine.
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

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    I was going to say unprepared. They could be unprepared in equipment, or conditioning, or their knowledge of the weather and what they are getting themselves into. I think we see the unprepared out on MW more in the summer. My experience is I see 2-4 groups of people who have no business being out there on a single MW climb in the summer.

    In the summer you see the wife and kids walking down and Dad will meet us at the bottom. Hmmm, flip flops. No pack. No water. No gear. I am sure there are lots of folks here on the forum who have carried a person out or at least carried their pack so they could get out.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Okay, that is what I figured. my main concern was this as well and I have already priced out all my equipment at Bass Pro Shops to make sure I am well prepared for it all. however, I would need crampons?!? I thought there was a trail where only walking could get you there? I nice pair of hiking boots isnt enough?

    my gf was like "omg! wild animals will attack us!" so I told her they are more afraid of us than anything and ill have a blow horn to scare it lol

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    If you are looking to start with summer hiking (highly recommended) then crampons are not needed. Once you start winter hiking you will get recommendations to start with trails with lots of folks and the walking is on well packed down snow (like Tuckerman Ravine trail from PNVC up to HoJo's). Then crampons are not needed.

    When you start getting off on to other trails in the winter you will want to invest in snowshoes with good heel risers. Crampons come later along with the ice axe and lots of experience behind you. Getting to the summit of MW in the winter is after you have plenty of experience and know you will be prepared.

    Tell your girl friend that if gray jays wanting a handout in your hand is "wild animals", then they are out there. Outside of that you will most likely never see anything bigger than a squirrel.

    I have been winter hiking (really minor stuff) for a few years. I always seemed to pick the days with a -35 F wind chill. What you are wearing is the most important. For summer hiking being prepared for anything and any weather is key. We have been caught is dense fog/clouds with zero visibility and in snow storms above tree line the first week of August.

    Keep the questions coming.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    ok great. We will be trying to make out first climb in June I hope so I wont be needing those crampons as I thought

    I read on the site that its something like 9.2 miles which should take 6-7 hrs or something? Now obv. walking uphill is a lot more strenuous..etc

    Would a Saturday into Sunday be more than enough time to get up and back if we stick to a steady pace? I want to camp out and do the whole thing, keep it rugged!

    whats the avg temp. to see in June at the peak?

    thanks alot for help, appreciate it

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    Water,

    We used to judge hiking time for going up as 1 hour for each mile + 30 mins per 1,000 feet of elevation gain. For Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit that would be roughly 4.2 hours + another 2+ hours for elevation = 6 hours going up. Coming down is a bit faster. A person who is in good shape can easily beat that time. But the formula gives you a starting point to judge things.

    A possible route would be to go up on day 1, stay at Lakes of the Clouds (gives a chance for an awesome sunset and sunrise) then continue to the summit and down on day 2. The MWO web site and others have information on restrictions about camping overnight and where and when it can be done. If you stay at LOC hut you have the option of going up Tuckerman Ravine - then down Lion Head the next day. Or you can go up the Ammo trail on the west side and down the Jewell. These are some very good options.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    Default camping on Mt Washington

    Keep in mind on Mount Washington in the summer there are only a few specific places to tent camp. The vegetation above treeline is very fragile and no camping is allowed there. The closest tent site to the summit is hermit lake shelter tent platforms and leanto's. That would make for a very nice Saturday/Sunday outing. If you are fit and ambitious a round trip to the summit from Pinkham notch is also very doable with the proper precautions. Start early, bring the proper foul weather gear (it often feels like winter up there in June), and most importantly, turn back if the weather is nasty.
    Tim

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    Default 1st hike in June

    We will be trying to make out first climb in June
    Then your gf is right. Wild animals WILL attack you.

    They're called Blackflies.

    KDT
    Last edited by KD Talbot; 03-02-2009 at 08:10 PM.

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    And if you make it to the summit and stop at the OBS there is always the danger of being mistaken for a catnip mouse by Marty...

    Seriously, read the many threads here on hiking Mt Washington and listen to the advice from the knowledgeable folks that have already replied to you on this thread.

    I'll throw in my vote for an overnight at Lakes of the Clouds hut. Not quite the "rugged outdoors" experience of tenting, but plenty of ruggedness with the hike offset by a great meal and a bunk.

    If you want to get an idea of the "average" temp and weather by month check out the F6 reports here: http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/f6/. Keep in mind though that the weather on Mt Washington can throw just about anything at you in every month of the year.

    However you decide to do it, 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/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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