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Thread: Tuckerman - Height Issues

  1. #11
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    Thanks to everyone for all the helpful replies. Sounds like I have two good options for a full day hike: (1) Up Ammo and down Jewell, or (2) Up Lions Head and down Tuck. I'll definitely need to check the posts in mid-May and then decide. A couple of follow-up questions...

    If I do (1), what is the likelihood that there will be snow on the Ammo and Jewell trails in mid-June? Do I need spikes/snow gear? I know it's been a snowy winter, but since I've never been there I don't have a good feel for what the conditions will be on the various trails. I assume if I did this trail it would be best to use the AMC Highland Center as my base (my current reservation is at Joe Dodge/Pinkham Notch).

    If I do (2), I assume sections of the Tuck trail will be off-limits due to avalanche issues. Does this typically affect the entire trail (as well as Lions Head), or just sections of Tuck? Can I still fit in a hike along the Alpine Garden Trail, which I hear is beautiful in June?

    Thanks again everyone!!

    Mitchell

  2. #12
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    The west side (Ammo/Jewel) trails should be clear by mid June (we certainly hope so anyway). The info about avalanche danger would be posted on the Mount Washington Avalanche Center site: http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/. They have historical advisories going back a full year so you can see the conditions from last year to get an idea. The last posted avalanche warning last year was May 24th.

    The Lion Head winter route is always open but winter conditions dictate full gear (ice axe, crampons). Those conditions are hopefully not going to still exist in mid-June but again you want to check back closer to the time of your trip. You can also check out the Time for Tuckerman site and forums: http://timefortuckerman.com/

    A one day trip via Ammo and Jewel is not going to allow you to get to the Alpine Garden since that's on the other side of the summit. If you come up Lion Head you cross through the edge of the Alpine Garden on your way up. On the west side trails you can still hopefully catch the June blooms in Monroe flats (near Lakes of the Clouds hut). This area generally coincides pretty well with the Alpine Garden blooms.

    Again, hope this all works out well (for both of us).
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
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  3. #13
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    Another thing that could help you is to go back through the web camera image archives to see what the Ravines looked like in June in prior years. The Ravines camera (and the others) are organized by year - then by camera inside the year - then by month at http://public.fotki.com/MWO/
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  4. #14
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    Default Heh, heh...

    My biggest concern in early June would not be ice, snow or heights. It would be Blackflies...

    KDT

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot View Post
    My biggest concern in early June would not be ice, snow or heights. It would be Blackflies...

    KDT
    Kevin, if you weigh enough they can not carry you away. So, no problem.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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  6. #16
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    Default I know that to be true, but...

    after a few hours hanging out with them, my fluid weight has diminished enough to where they could carry me away. Sometimes I just jump off a cliff to stop the buzzin'...

    True story: I can't remember who told me, which makes it all the more believable...

    This guy's on a survey crew in Northern Quebec, the flies are eatin' him alive. After a day in the woods pushin' him towards insanity he says to an old timer, "Man, these flies are horrible!"

    The old timer grunts and says, "You think this is bad? Down in New Hampshire they got this place called Pinkham Notch..."

    KDT

  7. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to KD Talbot For This Useful Post:

    Anna LeBlanc (04-11-2011), Brad (04-10-2011), Charlie (04-10-2011), CHRIS (04-12-2011)

  8. #17
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    Wink

    I never thought I'd be hoping for rain and heavy winds on the day of my hike!

    Mitchell

  9. #18
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    I've hiked up Tuckerman's and down - up Lion's Head and down - up Jewell trail and down - and up Ammonoosuc Ravine and down. In short I've hiked just about every trail up AND down. When you come right down to it, no matter WHICH trail you take in the Whites, there is going to be SOME stretch of it that is demanding. Somewhere along the way you HAVE to get up roughly 3,000 vertical feet to the ridgeline. The Jewell trail is probably the easiest/ most gradual rise of any of them - longer, too, of course - for that very same reason. Almost everyone I read about does that loop "up the Ammo - down the Jewell", but I am one of those that loves that trek in reverse . . . Don't think there's any right or wrong there - just personal preference . . .
    As to the "height issue", I, too, have hiked in the Grand Canyon. If your friend can handle some of THOSE trails (visually SEEING 8 or 9 switchbacks directly below you, decending 1,000 feet or more) then I seriously doubt they will find things here worse than that. Tuckerman Ravine trail will have sections that might come CLOSE, but I remember, in the Grand Canyon, flattening myself against the Canyon wall to
    let the "mule train", with riders, pass. I remember thinking that if I were ON one of those mules and looked to my side, I wouldn't see any ground, just the fall-off to 1,000 feet below. I hugged the canyon wall a little harder and closer and thought to myself I would never in a million years ride one of those mules. Thinking of that, I can't think, even on Tuckerman's, of any stretch that came that close to making me nervous. (and the Grand Canyon didn't really make me nervous either - more concerned for those riders on those mules - I will always trust MY feet more!) Besides that, in mid June, you probably won't even be able to go up that part of Tuckerman's - but will take that climb up Lion's Head trail and join Tuckerman's trail up top . . .
    Now, while all of this CAN be done in one day - as a strenous day hike, I would ALWAYS prefer more time, once there. A two day hike with a stay ANYWHERE would, in my book, beat out the one day "total assault". Every second I have in the mountains is precious - and every second more I get is savored. If I can extend any hike another day, I'm out there. In this case it also means being able to pick and choose the perfect day to climb. I've sat in my tent, on more than one occasion, playing cards and Cosmic Wimpout, waiting for Mt Washington to clear - hoping the next day would be perfect. More than one day out means you GET to hope for a better day tomorrow . . .
    Having said all this and read all these comments, all I can say is I'm jealous of all of you getting out there in mid June. Spring on Mt. Washington is awesome and unique! I should really pull it together and get out there myself!!

  10. #19
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    Thanks, Trekker, for the good info, and the comparison to the Grand Canyon. It looks like we'll be ok on height issues. I'm looking forward to the hike!

  11. #20
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    Any updates on current trail conditions on Lions Head or Jewell/Ammo? DO you think I'll need winter gear (spikes, etc) for a hike on June 11?

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