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Thread: 1st Time Climbing Mt. Washington Part 2

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    Default 1st Time Climbing Mt. Washington Part 2

    hey this is the guy from the earlier post. We decieded to push the date up to the 3rd week of june (if the weather looks good) i would like to describe what we intend to do and get your guys reaction.

    so basically its our first time doing anything like this...we have hiked trails but never climbed a mountain. we all think we have decent woodsman skills so we're kinda going for the excitement of it. anyways we intend to camp there in the treeline and climb the whole mt. in a course of 2 days. so i ask to you. what is the best trail to take and since we are planning to camp in the woods on that first day what is a good elevation to set camp and what should we be expecting and what should we bring. im sure this information would be helpful to us. also do u recomend drinking alcohol at camp ...haha ok

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    Please don't camp in the woods on mount Washington. Use the designated campsites.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    why not? what would that entail? i read that u can as long as you camp a certain distance from the trail...curious to know why u say not to?

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    Default Woods Camping

    Much of the woods area around Washington is a Forest Protection Area, so no camping is allowed there (according to the 28th edition AMC maps). With restrictions around huts, trailheads and designated campsites there isn't much flat ground left to camp on anyway.

    You probably need to take a side trail down off the ridges to the West to get out of the "no camping areas", which makes using a hut/site/shelter the easier option.

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    Default Rules

    Since I never get tired of posting this, and you, as readers never get tired of reading it

    CAMPING

    Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness

    Wilderness regulations, intended to protect Wilderness resources and promote opportunities for challenge and solitude, prohibit use of motorized equipment or mechanical means of transportation of any sort. Camping and wood or charcoal fires are not allowed within 200 ft. of any trail except at designated campsites.

    Hiking and camping group size must be no larger than 10 people. Camping and fires are also prohibited above the treeline (where trees are less than 8 ft. tall), except in winter, when camping is permitted above the treeline in places where snow cover is at least 2 ft. deep, but not on any frozen body of water. Many shelters have been removed, and the remaining ones will be dismantled when major maintenance is required; one should not count on using any of these shelters.

    Forest Protection Areas

    The WMNF has established a number of Forest Protection Areas (FPAs)?
    formerly known as Restricted Use Areas?where camping and wood or charcoal fires are prohibited throughout the year. The specific areas are under continual review, and areas are added to or subtracted from the list in order to provide the greatest amount of protection to areas subject to damage by excessive camping, while imposing the lowest level of restrictions possible. A general list of FPAs in this section follows, but since there are often major changes from year to year, one should obtain current information on FPAs from the WMNF.

    (1) No camping is permitted above treeline (where trees are less than
    8 ft. tall), except in winter, and then only in places where there is at least
    2 ft. of snow cover on the ground?but not on any frozen body of water,
    and not on the east face of Mt. Washington's summit cone from Boott
    Spur to Nelson Crag (the area above Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines,
    including the Alpine Garden area). The point where the above-treeline
    restricted area begins is marked on most trails with small signs, but the
    absence of such signs should not be construed as proof of the legality of
    a site.

    (2) No camping is permitted within a quarter mile of any trailhead,
    picnic area, or any facility for overnight accommodation such as a hut,
    cabin, shelter, tentsite, or campground, except as designated at the facility
    itself. In the area covered by Section 1, camping is also forbidden within a
    quarter mile of Glen Ellis Falls.
    Take Tuckerman Ravine Trail and Lion Head Trail. Camp at Hermit Lake Shelter.

    http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/camp...ke-shelter.cfm

    KDT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawtown View Post
    why not? what would that entail? i read that u can as long as you camp a certain distance from the trail...curious to know why u say not to?
    See what others have posted.

    I highly recommend the Hermit Lake Shelters. You can use a lean-to or pitch your tent on a designated tent platform. It will be far more comfortable than any legal camping site on the Mount Washington massif. I believe the cost is just a few dollars per night, there is easily accessible well water and its in a great spot.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    we really want to just camp ourselves...in accordance to the rules it is perfectly fine to do so and we will leave no trash...but on another note ...which trail should we choose to go up...one that is fairly easy and has some good views and good spots to camp (in the wilderness) if anyone knows? come on some one gotta have some ideas..lol thanks for all the help so far though guys.

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    I don't think anyone's trying to rain on your parade, it's just that you've picked one of the toughest mountains in the Whites to find a decent legal campsite in the woods and climb the mountain in two days. Just look at the contour lines on the map and you'll see why. The only routes on Mt. Washington that have good legal campsites are ones that are very long tough approaches, for the simple reason that they have flat stretches because they start so far away. Those are the Dry River trail and the Great Gulf trail. Both of them have 5,000+ vertical feet of climbing and are very long. Both have very tough headwall sections to get up above treeline (Oakes Gulf on Dry River trail and the Great Gulf headwall on the Great Gulf trail). Dry River trail also has difficult stream crossings. But hey, at least the ice on the summit will be gone...

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    so you are saying great gulf or dry river? those trails will have the most and flatest camp areas in the woods? them trails are longer than the rest because they start further away and take a flater climb....are they do-able for 1st timers you think? cause let me explain to you how much of a noob i am...let me sum it up in this one question...whats a headwall? is that some kind of vertical cliff?

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    A headwall is as you guessed. Tuckerman Ravine, for example, is like a horseshoe canyon. Lion Head is up on the north side and Boott Spur is on the south side. The base of the horseshoe is the Headwall. In the case of Tuckerman Ravine headwall this is how most folks go up on the east side of the mountain to get to the summit of Mt Washington.

    Here is a picture I took coming down the Headwall last summer looking across the headwall itself and the waterfalls which flow all the time.

    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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