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Thread: What is good enough shape to climb Mount Washington?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    I find that treking poles really help on the way down.
    i find it helpful on the way up and down ,it helps like having a 3rd leg to lean on for balance . when my legs cramped up when i was above the tree line on Lions Head trail it helped out a lot coming down
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  2. #12
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    Default Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for the replies.

    I went up Beaver Brook trail to Mount Moosilauke last weekend and that confirmed that Mount Washington would have been a bad idea. I probably would have made it to the top but I would not have made it down on foot. I tried East Osceola earlier this spring. My friend's back started hurting him so we didn't make it all the way up.

    I haven't been using poles. I did buy a pair recently. I suppose I should practice in my own area.

    I've never had knee problems. My main concern is ankles. I can easily see myself turning an ankle walking downhill on rough ground when my legs are tired. I do have decent boots but they can't save me every time.

    Where I got sore after last weekend was the front of my thighs. I read that both East Osceola and Beaver Brook trail are class 2 climbs. Those wear me out. From 2,000 to 3,000 feet on Mousilauke felt like more work than 3,000 to 4,802.
    John

  3. #13
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    Default another vote for poles

    I find poles invaluable for both up hill and down hill. Like having 4 legs instead of 2.
    Tim

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    I NEVER leave home without my poles...

  5. #15
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    Another vote for poles - particularly for anyone with knee or back issues (both in my case). For an east side loop my personal opinion is that up Lion Head and down Tuckermans is the easier option. There are a number of sections on Lion Head that aren't too bad going up that I don't think would be much fun on the way down - particularly with tired legs. For me the worst part of this route is the last 2 miles down from HoJo's. It isn't hard in terms of steepness, rock hopping or any of the other things that are a regular part of the rest of the route. It just feels like you should be back at Pinkham by the time you get there and 2 more miles with 2000' of elevation (down) to go just wears you down.
    Mark

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  6. #16
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    First of all, thanks for the information guys. I'm training now to make an attempt on Mt Washington as part of the 3 day accelerated program that EMS offers.

    My main reason for climbing Mt Washington is skill building. My ultimate goal is to climb the Matterhorn in 2012. I'm going to the gym 3x a week with weight training and running(I'm looking at running about a 1/2 hour every day as opposed to just 3x a week). I'm looking at climbing Mt Washington in December 2010, Grand Teton during the summer of 2011 and the Matterhorn on 2012.

    My question is this. For those who use a gym to train primarily, how can I tell that I'm "ready" for Washington?

    Thanks for your help!

  7. #17
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    Default I made it

    I did make it this week. Not as wearying as I feared, but I was still tired that day and sore in my thighs the next. My schedule had over two hours of slack but I blew that by three hours to get back to my car almost an hour after dark. I got late one little bit at a time. Leave home a little late. Rest a little here. Five minutes there when I lost the trail. Slower descending over boulders than I planned. And so on.

    The train wasn't carrying hikers on Monday; it was reserved for some environmental group's excursion. Otherwise I would have bailed out that way. Near the end I met another guy who didn't make it down until after dark.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3171594...7624734949685/

    The weather was nice -- clear, warm, maybe a little humid. The summit forecast said 25-40 mph winds but I'd say they were blowing 50+ on the deck.

    There was a spot on the Jewell trail above treeline where I couldn't see the next cairn. I could see the trail clearly in the distance far below me. What was between there and here was a mystery. There was a broad rock slope and any part of it might have been the trail. I guessed wrong and had to go back and over to the real trail.
    John

  8. #18
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    I made it to the top via Amonoosuc Ravine Trail, everyone was saying that is the easiest. HOLY MOLY it took me 7 hours. We made it to take the Cog down in the knick of time. I would not of made it back down. I 'm sticking the smaller mountains. I thought I was ready but did not count on the weight of the water and snacks.

  9. #19
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    Good post - and nice to know you made it back down safely. Hitching a ride down on the Cog or in a van is an iffy thing and not one to count on.

    I have taken friends and family on Mt Washington hikes with a wide variety of results. The common theme though is - it was a lot harder than they expected. That was true even for those who run 5-8 miles a day - or bike a lot - or swim a lot. There is something different about the muscles used for hiking and the never ending irregular steps. Everyone says the only way to prepare for a hike like Mt Washington is to hike and work up to it.

    Your post should be a reminder to folks - don't start with Mt Washington and don't go up further than you can get down on your own.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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  10. #20
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    We made it up via Tuckerman's on Sept 11th! it was crazy busy up there. It took us 5 hrs to get up, including rest stops. I thought that the climbing would get easier after the headwall, i was wrong. lol This was our first challenging climb in the Whites as our usual hike is Mt Willard. my heart rate monitor recorded that i used 4400 calories going up. we took the shuttle back down (cheated). There was one spot that scared me and that was one section on the headwall when it turns back to the left, there was absolutely nothing to grab a hold of! trekking poles helped a lot to get to the headwall and summit cone but looking back on it now, they may have been more of a hinderance than a help during the last half of the hike. they definately would have helped coming down. the idea of climbing back down Tuckerman's scared me. we would have likely taken the Boott Spur trail back down if the shuttle was unavailable.

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