I am sorry that you took my post in that way; it was not how it was intended. I thought I had made it clear that my wife and I are relative beginners at winter climbing and knew our limitations and that is why we hired a guide to climb with us. I would agree for some one who has your experience that section of LHWR would be easy to climb with out a rope for support. But for us it was what made it safe. I wrote the post to help show others who hike primarily in the spring, summer and fall that they can venture out in the winter under safe conditions. We had a great time and experience and are looking forward to doing more winter hiking and climbing.
I meant showmanship by the guide. It's nice that you got a taste of rapelling, but this is just one of a few things that made me think your guide was overselling the route to keep you entertained and impressed. Helmets and avalanche beacons, for example, are pretty silly on this route.
Oh, and that whole "worst weather in the world" nonsense is a pet peeve of mine. (I got so annoyed a few years ago that I reproduced Brooks' original article on my website.) (Edit: I mentioned this originally as an example of the guide overselling the route, but on rereading your report it looks like the guide was not the source of that particular misinformation.)
Here's my main problem:
"they can venture out in winter under safe conditions". I don't really agree. You were totally dependent on a babysitter, and I didn't read any sign that you were trying to grow up. Did you practice using a compass? (You do realize that in February, you do not usually get such good weather, right?) Resolve to get a little more exercise? (Eleven hours on an eight-mile round-trip hiking route in perfect conditions is NOT safe. Suppose some minor mishap slowed you down further - were you prepared to spend the night on the mountain?) Spend less time thinking about the logo on your jacket (I lost count of the brand names in your report), and more time thinking about what it actually takes to get up and down a mountain, and you'll be a lot safer.
nartreb - take it easy. I guess you can't get away from trolls even on a website like this. Not everyone has had as much experience as you, and there are plenty of people with more knowledge than you could ever dream of having. The nice thing about this website is the accounts from ALL LEVELS of hikers, walkers, climbers, mountaineers, or folks who are just looking for a little adventure. Did you consider perhaps that this page might be useful to someone with zero experience looking to get into the sport? Perhaps they don't know what brands or gear to purchase for such a hike? Perhaps you ought to be encouraging that folks take a moment from the everyday hustle and enjoy the mountains.
Here's my main problem:
Even after StoneWall kindly explained to you the point of his post, you decided to still be hypercritical, and quite frankly offensive.
> Did you consider perhaps that this page might be useful to someone with zero experience looking to get into the sport? Perhaps they don't know what brands or gear to purchase for such a hike?
That's precisely why I commented. People might read this and think they need helmets, avalanche beacons, and rope.
As for "what brands", that's the wrong question. Let me give an analogy: if you are planning a drive over a dirt road, you might wonder whether you need four-wheel drive or a certain amount of clearance. Is it useful to read a report that just tells you "we drove a Ford"? (In case you're still confused: Ford makes both trucks and sedans.)
StoneWall - I've been a lurker on this site for a long time using it to find beta when necessary but rarely getting involved or contributing but I felt compelled to respond to this thread because your trip report represents the best of the mountaineering spirit and the comments above represent the darker, spiteful side.
We all read so many reports from Accidents in NA Mountaineering to the national news of climbers who underestimate their ability on mountains big and small and end up in trouble. I applaud your decision to seek the guidance and education of a guide as you continue down the personal journey of mountaineering. Sure, for many experienced climbers the LHWR is a fun hike but there's enough hard snow and slopes to get into trouble and a guide's job is to keep everyone as safe as possible - I've seen this particular stretch of rock protected both as a belay and with a simple hand-line by guides. What's important is that you all had a fun and safe venture into the mountains and one that will have you coming back for more. Anyone who fails to see that for the blessing it is has some weird personal issues to work out. Thank you StoneWall for contributing the wealth of varying levels of knowledge on SP and best of luck in your future adventures!
Thank you, this was a lot of fun my only problem is now I think I am hooked on winter hiking and climbing. So now I need to learn as much as I can, which is ok because it is like a new world being out there in the winter.