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Thread: what time of year is most dangerous for climbing Mount Washington?

  1. #11
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    I would agree with the below statement.
    "August is the highest because it is far and away the most busy month on the mountain, but the accident rate is probably the lowest and just the opposite for December."

    I am really interested in climbing it, considering do some sort of charity work and climbing next year.

  2. #12
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    I agree with above opinions. However, I think it is Feb.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allinoneprinter2 View Post
    I agree with above opinions. However, I think it is Feb.
    What an insightful post...any reasoning behind that or are you just throwing darts?

    Given February is almost 10% shorter than most months I doubt that proclamation is correct on that basis alone.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
    I would agree with the below statement.
    "August is the highest because it is far and away the most busy month on the mountain, but the accident rate is probably the lowest and just the opposite for December."

    I am really interested in climbing it, considering do some sort of charity work and climbing next year.
    What better charity work than to participate in Seek The Peak next year? This is the major fund raising event for the Observatory, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A lot of us here - and another 400 of our closest friends - get donations to our hiker page. Then at the end of July we all hike - meet each other - and have a great awards dinner afterwards.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allinoneprinter2 View Post
    I agree with above opinions. However, I think it is Feb.
    I would not put February in the "dumb month" category. Anyone who tries to hike to the summit in February knows they are in for tough weather and are prepared. In the summer we all see things that make June, July and August really "dumb months".
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  7. #16
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    According to the SAR stats, the death list and WFA/WFR training, the peak "danger time" on the summits is in late July and early August. This doesn't equate to it being the most dangerous per say it's just normally when the most unprepared people hit the trails and get in trouble. And this curve is very gaussian in the variations I have seen. But each season holds its own dangers. Winter has snow, cold, avalanches, ice falls, winds, white out conditions, hypothermia, glasading accidents, ice axe injuries, etc. Spring has avalanches, ski accidents, ice fall, post holing dangers, drastic temperature differences with unprepared people, etc. Summer has overcrowded trails, slick rocks, lightning, disorienting fog, dehydration, heat stroke, and drastic temperture differences (snow or rime while 80 in the valleys), etc. Fall has mixed trail conditions, slick rocks, post hole dangers, hypothermia, unprepared people expecting rides down, shortening days, etc. Working up here, each month has its own challenges and rescue needs. I tend to agree that late summer and early fall are our peak rescue season but nailing down which month is the most dangerous is like asking people what color is most beautiful or which weapon is the most dangerous. And rarely are you going to get two people to ever agree on this topic based on their own personal experiences.
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

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