New to the Mountain - Need advice for this Saturday!
Myself and my boyfriend will be heading to Mt. Washington this Saturday. W're from Ireland but we've heard alot about it and can't wait to go. We are novice hikers though. Any suggestions as to what to bring and general advice?
And also, what route to take?
Looking forward to the trip up from Boston!
Luckily, it sounds like it will be warm in the valley, so thats a good start. If you are planning a MW summit hike, then Pinkham Notch is probably your best bet for a starting point. Head up the Tuckerman Ravine trail with the Lion's Head trail option along the way. Do you have an understanding of what it will take to make it to the summit & back or are you just planning on heading up to see Tuckerman's Ravine? A summit trip will be over 4 miles each way on fairly moderate terrain. It's not a small undertaking by any means. You will need to carry winter clothing... jackets, hats, gloves, warm pants, rain gear, maps, compass & or gps, water, snacks etc.. You may want to carry some Yak Trax or microspikes if the temp is below freezing & there has been any sort of precipitation. There probably isn't going to be much ice, but you never know. I don't know what you exactly want to do, but here is an alternative that may be more fun & less strenuous since you stated that you are a novice. If it's a nice day & the auto road is open to the top, drive up & then hike the summit cone. You could hike down to Lake of the Clouds, over to Tuckerman's, then to Huntington's Ravine & back to the top. You could also do something like hike to the Summit of Jefferson & back. The latter option will give you over 6 miles of hiking with awesome views the entire way if it's clear. The most important thing is to know what the weather is doing. Ask at Pinkham Notch lodge if you're there or call the summit weather phone & listen to the report for the day(603-356-2137, then press option 1 at the prompt. Ask questions & be prepared so you can have a fun & safe time. Oh yeah, don't forget the camera!!
Have a fun and safe hike!
What whitemtnvisitor said is all correct. You ALWAYS need to be prepared on Mt Washington. The hike to the summit is not only 8-9 miles round trip, but has over 4000' of elevation gain. If you don't do a lot of hiking this is a pretty tough hike. You also need to be aware of timing. It gets dark fairly early at this time of year so you really need to have a headlight with you on the chance that you're hiking out in the dark. The good news for you tomorrow is that the weather is supposed to be AWESOME for a mid October day. A couple of days ago the wind chill on the summit (during the day) was -20F. Tomorrow is supposed to be close to 50 which is considered toasty for a day in July. Hope it all works out well for you.
I'll suggest one possible option. You could drive up the auto road and park at the summit and then do a hike down from the summit with a loop across the Alpine Garden, or down to Lakes of the Clouds Hut and up to the summit of Mt Monroe. The nice thing about this is that it's less effort than a hike up from the notch and it's also a full day hiking above treeline (on what sounds like a perfect day for that). Something to consider...