Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Summit Attempt 2-3-07

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Summit Attempt 2-3-07

    Hello! I'm new here. I've been reading quite a while now. From an observer standpoint, I greatly appreciate all the honest and sincere remarks and advice posted. So many other forums are filled with flame that it totally ruins the cred. This is a great resource.

    Anyway, a buddy and I are attempting to climb Mt. Washington this coming Saturday 2-3-07. We are going with an EMS guide (we weren't aware of so many other guide services in N. Conway). This is a gift from our wives. Neither of us has climbed Mt. Washington. As a result, we are paying for someone else's expertise and judgment. I have been training pretty hard for this by hiking every night with a 65 lb pack (full of cast iron weights). It's not an overnight, so I don't think I'll need 65 lbs of gear. We are physically fit, but not expert climbers. We have all the gear, and then some, EMS requires and recommends minus the boots, crampons, and ice ax. I have an ax, but it's old, so it's staying home.

    My concern after reading this thread is the sweating. I sweat just thinking about it. I bought a Patagonia (I'm a patagoniac, but not a wealthy one) prima-loft pullover which is incredibly warm. I wore it a few times while hiking with my 65 lb pack and I was soaked by the time I got home. Earlier in this thread I read that I should avoid sweating. I now understand that the down/synthetic down layer is for resting. Any suggestions on the sweating issue? I have more fleece to choose from than Biden has political problems. So I've got some choices there.

    I'm also concerned about being a newbie, but I trust I'm paying for good leadership, education, training, and judgment. We have no idea which route we are taking. I guess that's left to the guide as well.

    We are driving up tomorrow and should arrive in N. Conway tomorrow afternoon/evening. Hopefully in the middle of a snowstorm, but that doesn't look all that promising any more. We intend to ski on Sunday. Can you kind folks recommend a good spot (H2O Valley, Bretton, Wildcat, etc.) given recent weather? Anything else about the town or area that we should know?

    Once again, appreciate all the info you've given on this and other threads. There are observers soaking it all in and we are appreciative.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,679
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 33 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    I thought this thread deserved a spin-off. I'll give you my 2 cents when I get some free time in a few hours.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,679
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 33 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for joining the forum and you better post a trip report when you get back from the climb.

    Sweating is a big issue, but it is pretty easy to manage.

    First, you probably wont be running up Mount Washington. The guide will keep the pace reasonable. Its amazing how fast you can move by just slowing down a little.

    Second, you need to manage your temperature with layers. The down and fleece are nice, but those are insulation layers. What do you have for a base? I'm hoping some sort of mid or lightweight long underwear, something that wicks. My typical winter top includes: midweight long underwear, heavy weight long underwear, down jacket, and Gore-Tex shell. I might bring a fleece if it is really cold, but the down offers superior warmth to weight ratio. When you are hiking up you may just be wearing the base layer, especially if there is no wind. Even if it is 0 degrees.

    If you sweat through your base layer that usually is not a problem. Just make sure your insulation layers stay dry.

    For the bottom its a little trickier. Full side-zips are nice because they allow you to change layers withouth removing your boots. I generally just have a long underwear layer, fleece or softshell pants, and a gore-tex shell. Maybe extra long underwear if it is really cold.

    A general rule is that you want to start hiking a little cold, certainly not freezing though. If you have to stop in the first five minutes to adjust that is okay.

    I wouldn't worry about being a newbie, that's why you have a guide. Just read up on the mountain as much as possible, and be somewhat familiar with the route you will take.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Thanks

    Thanks Bill! I have multiple choices for base layers. polypro, fleece, capilene, silk, etc. I was going to wear Lifa polypro next to skin, then a thicker long underwear top like capilene then a fleece then my jacket (I'll have the primaloft sweater with me). For the bottoms, I have polypro LU, then I have a mid-weight fleece LU, then a thick fleece pant with shells over them. I have OR modular GTX mitts with an old pair of down mittens as liners and thing polypro liners. Have several pair of gloves with liners in addition.

    Will totally post up some pics. We're taking video as well in case there is opportunity.

    Any places in N Conway that we have to hit?

    We are getting super syched.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,679
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 33 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    Sounds like you have all the right gear. It's just a matter of picking the right layers to stay comfortable and constantly adjusting.

    Sorry, I don't have any recs for North Conway, I'm sure somebody on this forum does.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    63
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by alpineski
    It's not an overnight, so I don't think I'll need 65 lbs of gear.
    Correct, you don't need to carry 65 lbs of gear--unless you're a masochist. Carry everything that you'll need for the climb, plus extra food, layers, tools, and anything else to help you make it through an emergency bivy. Cutting your 65lbs pack weight in half would be good.

    We are physically fit, but not expert climbers. We have all the gear, and then some, EMS requires and recommends minus the boots, crampons, and ice ax. I have an ax, but it's old, so it's staying home.
    You'll NEED boots, crampons, and an ice ax--especially boots, do NOT try to do this climb in just your socks alone

    My concern after reading this thread is the sweating. I sweat just thinking about it... I wore it a few times while hiking with my 65 lb pack and I was soaked by the time I got home. Earlier in this thread I read that I should avoid sweating... Any suggestions on the sweating issue?
    Rather than thinking about how to stop sweating, think about trying to manage sweating. We humans sweat 24 hours a day, it's physically impossible to stop sweating--unless you're dead.

    I was going to wear Lifa polypro next to skin, then a thicker long underwear top like capilene then a fleece then my jacket (I'll have the primaloft sweater with me).
    Nix the fleece when starting out--just keep it in your pack just in case you need it later. It may be cold at first, but once you get moving it will feel fine.

    I have OR modular GTX mitts with an old pair of down mittens as liners and thing polypro liners. Have several pair of gloves with liners in addition.
    Gloves below treeline and mittens above.


    Good luck,
    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,679
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 33 Times in 29 Posts

    Default

    This is a common problem that beginners have. They have the right gear, but literally don't know how to dress. I wouldn't worry about it, you will figure everything out very quickly.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    252
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default sweating

    I have made the climb you are about to many times both on my own and with ems guides. The route you undoubtedly will take is the tuckerman ravine trail to either the lion head summer or winter route - at this time the summer route is still open, but that could change with more snowfall. The advice Bill o gave is right on the money - the key is to start out a little cold and allow your body to warm up as you hike - your heart rate will rise quickly during the first 10-20 minutes and you should be comfortably warm after about 15 minutes. The ems guides are experts at helping you and they will probably stop after about 10-15min to allow you to adjust your layers - you will invariably be making a stop at the bridge over crystal cascade to accomplish this. Even in extremely cold weather you should be fine to start out in just your light synthetic skin layer on top and at most a light fleece or wind layer over that. If the temps are around 15 and no wind I just go with the skin layer, if theres a breeze on the bottom or if it's colder, I'll add perhaps a 100wt fleece or goretex jacket over the skin layer. Again - better to start a little cold and add a layer. One other thing I usually carry is an extra skin layer for my top. You'll probably take a break to put your crampons on before the route steepens and you can change out your skin layer quickly there if you absolutely have to. I generally don't have to do this, but it's an option if you are uncertain about being able to avoid overheating. Regarding your weight, the ems guide will do a gear check at the school in the am and check to make sure you don't have any unecessary weight - your pack should be no more than 30-35lbs max - if it's any heavier, then you have some redundant gear. Hope this helps - you're in for the experience of your life.
    Tim
    Last edited by climbabout; 02-01-2007 at 01:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    252
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default a couple more thoughts

    I have a couple more thoughts for you that will help. Above treeline can be extremely intimidating if it's extremely cold and windy which it's likely to be. Bring a spare hat and a spare pair of gloves. More than 1 person has set something down during a rest break and had it blown away - think carefully before you set anthing down - and also try to know where everything is in your pack -- especially the critical pieces of gear. Practice breathing with your face mask and goggles on - it's a big challenge to keep the goggles from fogging up with the facemask on if you are breathing hard - most facemasks perform better with the breathing holes enlarged to let your breath escape better - purse your lips when you eXhale against the mask so your breath doesn't try to exit thru the goggles. Regarding town - I always visit the Red Parka Pub for dinner - at the intersection of 16 and 302 in Glen - you'll pass that intersection on the way to the mountain - theres lots of great places to eat, but that is my favorite - get there early as there's usually a wait after 6pm. I don't downhill ski anymore, but when I did, Wildcat was my favorite - it's got the most magnificent views of Mt Washington - you'll get a good look at the route you climbed if the weather is clear. On the other side of the mountain in Crawford Notch - I liked Bretton Woods - again great views of the "back side" of Washington.
    p.s. where you guys from?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Good stuff

    This is all good info and just gets us pumped even more. We are from York, Pennsylvania. Small city along the southern border north of Baltimore, MD. My climbing buddy hails from Iowa. Been skiing all over including VT, but never had the opportunity to ski in NH.

    Thanks for the good info....

    Jake

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •