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Thread: made it to the summit yea! 11/28 lions head trail update

  1. #21
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    I see, that clears it up a bit. According to the map I was looking at, the winter/summer lions head route is not differentiated. I just assumed that the tuckerman ravine headwall route was the summer route, which with not much snow would make sense and the winter route was the lionshead which avoided the headwall. Your explanation cleared it up for me though. Thanks Brad.
    "Commitment is doing the thing you said you'd do, long after the mood you said it in has left you." - Bear Grylls' mother

  2. #22
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    On this image I traced the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in red - Lion Head trail in blue - and a very rough idea of the Lion Head winter trail in purple.

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

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    iceclimber (12-18-2010)

  4. #23
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    I see, so when the visitor center trail info says the summer route is open, they are meaning the blue lions head route and when the sign says the winter route is open, it is recommended to use the purple route which avoids the steeper avalanche prone lower section of Lions head? Thanks for the map.
    "Commitment is doing the thing you said you'd do, long after the mood you said it in has left you." - Bear Grylls' mother

  5. #24
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    That is correct. You do not use Tuckerman Ravine Trail going up or down the headwall in the winter. You use the Lion Head Trail - winter route when it opens.

    The Headwall also is very avalanche prone in winter. As things warm up in the spring the snow packs down and then you get into spring skiing and the Headwall is "okay".

    When you stand at Hermit Lake looking at the Headwall in the winter, the conditions all around you are very different. On your left (south side of the ravine, the sun never hits the ground in the winter since the sun is so low. Therefore, snow piles on top of snow. On your right (the north side of the ravine) the snow is warmed by the sun and then cools at night. Lots of ice there and in some conditions large blocks of ice can break off and slide down into and across the ravine. Lion Head summer route is off on the right in the ice prone area. Looking ahead at the Headwall the wind from the west blows the snow up and over the ridge letting it dump and pile up at the base of the Headwall. Some of the Headwall gets sun in the winter. So, there can be layers of firmer or frozen snow and then fresh snow on top. This can be the cause of avalanches.

    Here is a shot of the Headwall in the beginning of January 2008 with a 12 foot high avalanche break. Notice it is over in the sunny area. And this shot was mid-morning. The sun did not get much higher and you can see the shadow across the Headwall.

    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  6. #25
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    thanks again, that really clears alot up. When I called and they said the summer route was still open I was scratching my head on that one as I was thinking the summer route was the tuck's ravine trail up the headwall. I know there isn't much snow cover that low on the mountain this time of year up there, but still.... that is a nice photo of the ravine though.
    "Commitment is doing the thing you said you'd do, long after the mood you said it in has left you." - Bear Grylls' mother

  7. #26
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    The Lion Head winter route is not really usable in the summer or early winter due to the way it was constructed. The trees that were cut down were left with stumps - as it is a trail designed to be used only when there is adequate snow cover (several feet). And as Brad pointed out, the winter route is really only a short, but very steep bypass slightly north of the lower part of the summer route.
    Tim

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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbabout View Post
    The Lion Head winter route is not really usable in the summer or early winter due to the way it was constructed. The trees that were cut down were left with stumps - as it is a trail designed to be used only when there is adequate snow cover (several feet). And as Brad pointed out, the winter route is really only a short, but very steep bypass slightly north of the lower part of the summer route.
    Tim
    Good explantion... Ever thought about why they picked that track to put the route?
    I'm never heard nor read anything but kind of always assumed that the picked the route that is in area that is less likely to get windloaded and slide due to the expected weather pattern - wind directions
    'when it starts to hurt your nearly halfway and probably should get out those ropes & put your crampons on"

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtim View Post
    Good explantion... Ever thought about why they picked that track to put the route?
    I'm never heard nor read anything but kind of always assumed that the picked the route that is in area that is less likely to get windloaded and slide due to the expected weather pattern - wind directions
    That's pretty much it. This is actually the "new" winter route. Years ago (maybe 15 or so), the "old" winter route was somewhat between the current winter route and the summer route. A massive slide took away a good portion of it as I recall.
    Tim

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbabout View Post
    That's pretty much it. This is actually the "new" winter route. Years ago (maybe 15 or so), the "old" winter route was somewhat between the current winter route and the summer route. A massive slide took away a good portion of it as I recall.
    Tim
    I am convinced the summer route was also changed years ago after an accident and rescue I was involved with. The image I have of the trail when the big boulder rolled down the trail right at our group is very different from what it is today.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  12. #30
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    Congrats on making it to the summit. I have been wanting to tackle lions head for awhile, but I need to get myself another pair of crampons. I lent mine to a buddy and haven't seen them since. Oh well

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