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Thread: First time climbing MW

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  1. #1
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    Default First time climbing MW

    Hi everyone! I am looking to plan a trip from North Jersey to come hike Mount Washington! At home I am surrounded by the AT so getting out and hiking to prepare myself hasn't been an issue. I have been watching the forecast at the top and I know it's ever changing but it seems to be getting warmer. I am looking to hike mid June or early July. What do you guys think condition wise what to expect. We are also looking to do about 10 miles, 5 up 5 back, what do you suggest is a good trail route with some technical spots and nice views. We plan to hike up, camp, then return back down the next day. Any tips I would really appreciate.

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    During July 1967/1968 hikes, Tuckerman's Ravine still had some snow left! Once above treeline it was probably 40 degrees and very windy, so dress accordingly. I have read that the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail is very crowded, which is a real turnoff. You might think about leaving Pinkham's Notch Camp up Tuckerman's Ravine Trail, then take the Lion's Head Trail, which may be less crowded, but with great views. From the Cog Railway side, I would probably take the less-crowded Ammonusuc-Jewell Loop Trail:

    http://www.onchristspath.com/ammoloop.html

    You would also get a chance to stop at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, before ascending the Mt. Washington cone.

  3. #3
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    Hey thanks a lot Gregory, Im glad someone responded! Yeah tuckermans seems a little to busy to enjoy the hike. But the trails you mentioned sound like fun. Hopefully I will be up there the third week in July. Thanks again for the tips! Cheers

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    If you are up there on July 20th and 21st (3rd weekend in July), you might consider participating in the Observatory's annual Seek the Peak Hike-A-Thon. It's a great event, and there will be plenty of experienced hikers on the trails to answer any questions you may have.

    As for camping, the places where you can camp are limited. Others on these boards know much more about where you can and cannot camp than I do, so hopefully they will chime in.

    Either way, have a great hike. And make sure you are prepared for any type of weather and situation. It's a beautiful mountain, but it can be very dangerous at the same time.
    Bob

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
    I'd rather have it thirty,
    Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

    My Seek the Peak 2014 Photo Set

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Snow Miser For This Useful Post:

    Anna LeBlanc (06-18-2012), KathyC (06-06-2012)

  6. #5
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    The only time camping is allowed above treeline is winter, and even then there are guidelines.

    Here is an encapsulated review of camping guidelines, follow the links for more info:

    http://www.mountwashington.org/about.../overnight.php
    "LIVE FREE OR DIE...DEATH IS NOT THE WORST OF ALL EVILS." Gen. John Stark. "by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in..." From the letter of my Great Uncle, Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry), to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

  7. #6
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    Welcome Habskater11!

    I recently posted in a thread about the various ways we and others forecast sites produce our numbers and what is the best method to start looking at what the weather might be like leading up to your hike. It can be seen here: http://www.mountwashington.org/forum...ght=#post50395.

    As far as camping, the AMC (http://www.outdoors.org/) and RMC (http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/) offer some huts and tent sites, but, as FisherCat mentioned, camping above tree line is very difficult and can result in ticketing, especially this time of year since there are “ridge runners” looking for you. So, your best bet is to reserve or aim early for the AMC or RMC sites and huts. But, if you don’t have the funds or desire to stay at these locations, the summit can be done easily in a day for most (not ALL) individuals. So, you could hike up and down and camp in one of the great campgrounds that surround the summit.

    As far as trails go, the common one that fits your requirements is the eastern side trails of either Tuckerman Ravine or Lions Head Trails. Another pair of trails that are a bit longer (but not by much) are the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Jewell Trail. My favorite of these two sets would be up the “Ammie” and down the Jewell as it tends to be a bit easier on the knees and far less crowded. But, you can check out this site: http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/washington.html or look at the White Mountain Guide (a local hiker “bible” of sorts) either online: http://www.outdoors.org/publications...ide-online.cfm or by visiting your local library or bookstore for more information. I rely on mine heavily. On the day of your hike or the day before, you should also stop by either the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor center or the AMC Highland Center. Both are great sources of information.

    Lastly, start early and know when to turn around. While it may look like a little mountain, it’s height is deceiving and the weather can quickly turn on you. And always keep in mind that it is far better and safer to hike down than continue up. The mountain will always be here if you don’t make it up on the day you are seeking it.

    Good luck and if anything further, ask away!
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

  8. #7
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    Hi there...been up and down MW a few times in July as we always seem to vacation in NH for the 4th. Anyhoo, we've climbed up thru Tuck's and down Lion Head, with the descending always being hard on the knees, (bring your poles!) May want to consider staying in Lakes hut, (1000') down from summit and then descending via Boot spur or Glen Boulder Trail to Pinkham. as far as weather, afternoon thundershowers are common when there is heating present. Don't wanna get caught on the exposed sections if you can help it. My 19 year old, who knows everything, finally got to see one roll in , upslope last July and it was impressive...we were already at Lakes for that show! If you wanna camp, your going to have to descend below tree line and then there still are lots of rules..refer to WMNF rules. I don't think you need to be concerned about crowding on Tucks, its not as bad as people make it out to be. Try to go on a weekday and get to the trailhead early(5am??) You have to do Tucks at least once, and hopefully there still will be snow!

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