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Thread: Winter ascent Sat Jan 20

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  1. #1
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    Default Winter ascent Sat Jan 20

    Made a winter ascent this past Saturday, Jan 20: Left from Pinkham, took a stroll up Tuckerman, snapped on some crampons and started up the summer Lion Head route, got to tree-line where extra garb was donned and that’s where things began to change dramatically.

    Winds were absolutely crazy! Had to lean heavily into the slope, had to plan each step carefully to avoid being caught mid-step during periods of higher gusts. Foggy skies and lots of blowing snow everywhere. Visibility was good enough for maneuvering around the rocks, and to locate cairns, but wasn’t much better than that. We climbed to a point just below Lion Head ridge, to an area where several groups ahead had briefly gathered before turning around and descending—we did likewise. Continuing on, under these conditions, would have been quite foolhardy.

    Going into the hike (with temperatures below zero and winds in excess of 100mph being forecast) a climb up to the top wasn't even realistically considered. We went into this with the attitude that the summit wasn't the “be all and end all” of the trip. The journey and experience was what really mattered, and the experience was absolutely invigorating. I definitely hope to do again sometime.

    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by mk10
    Made a winter ascent this past Saturday, Jan 20: Left from Pinkham, took a stroll up Tuckerman, snapped on some crampons and started up the summer Lion Head route, got to tree-line where extra garb was donned and that’s where things began to change dramatically.

    Winds were absolutely crazy! Had to lean heavily into the slope, had to plan each step carefully to avoid being caught mid-step during periods of higher gusts. Foggy skies and lots of blowing snow everywhere. Visibility was good enough for maneuvering around the rocks, and to locate cairns, but wasn’t much better than that. We climbed to a point just below Lion Head ridge, to an area where several groups ahead had briefly gathered before turning around and descending—we did likewise. Continuing on, under these conditions, would have been quite foolhardy.

    Going into the hike (with temperatures below zero and winds in excess of 100mph being forecast) a climb up to the top wasn't even realistically considered. We went into this with the attitude that the summit wasn't the “be all and end all” of the trip. The journey and experience was what really mattered, and the experience was absolutely invigorating. I definitely hope to do again sometime.

    Mark
    Smart Smart smart... There is always tomorrow.

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    Default Winter Ascent Sat. Jan 27

    I agree. I will be going up to Lion's Head this weekend with a buch of friends. There is plenty of challenges and opportunities to test gear and learn new things without going to the summit every time.

    Jesse

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    Quote Originally Posted by djester2000
    I agree. I will be going up to Lion's Head this weekend with a buch of friends. There is plenty of challenges and opportunities to test gear and learn new things without going to the summit every time.

    Jesse
    Yes, the point of a winter ascent is for the challenge and experience. If you are merely interesting in getting to the summit, you might as well just drive up the auto road during the summer.

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