Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Winter Climb

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Eastern US. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Eastern US Climbing Partners section.
 

Winter Climb

Postby pattyd82ab » Tue May 21, 2013 7:31 pm

Can anyone suggest a good Winter High Point climb on the east coast other than Mt. Washington? I love Winter and snow and want to try to plan a trip this winter somewhere. One would think that VT, ME, or NY would be the best, but I wanted to get people's opinions on their favorite winter climbs.

Thanks
pattyd82ab

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Winter Climb

Postby nartreb » Tue May 21, 2013 8:40 pm

I'm assuming you're looking for a hiking route, not an ice climb.

ME will be a logistic challenge - ski approach on closed roads. See the Baxter Park website for extensive regulations. Spectacular mountain though.

Next most-isolated would be NY - feasible in a day but well-suited to overnight camping.

VT is a great mountain but I would suggest a western approach to avoid the ski resort.

NH is fine in winter - the only time it's not crowded.

After those, no other eastern state highpoint really compares.
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 113 times in 92 posts

The following user would like to thank nartreb for this post
pattyd82ab

Re: Winter Climb

Postby pattyd82ab » Wed May 22, 2013 3:09 pm

I'd like to do ME and ski in, but I don't have skis as of yet.
pattyd82ab

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Winter Climb

Postby kozman18 » Wed May 22, 2013 5:38 pm

If you want a challenging hike to a high point in winter, try the Hell Brook trail on Mt. Mansfield (VT). The trail is on the eastern side of the mountain, but the ski resorts are not a factor (they are visible from the top regardless of which route you take). You'll need crampons and a ice ax -- a pretty steep trail. Tough to descend -- better to come down the Long Trail.

The notch road is closed in winter, so you would need to park in the lot just past the Stowe ski resort and walk the road to the trailhead (15-20 minutes). The benefit is that, unlike the western approaches, you can stop for a cold beer after the hike at one of the bars on the ski area access road (nothing on the western side).
User Avatar
kozman18

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:14 am
Location: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Thanked: 23 times in 17 posts

The following user would like to thank kozman18 for this post
pattyd82ab

Re: Winter Climb

Postby pattyd82ab » Thu May 23, 2013 3:06 pm

That sounds like a good set up. I'm thinking that Mansfield will be my choice.
pattyd82ab

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Winter Climb

Postby nartreb » Thu May 23, 2013 6:36 pm

Patty, make sure you check out the descriptions of the hell brook trail. It's one of the steepest in the east, and pretty wet, which means it'll be quite icy in winter.
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 113 times in 92 posts

The following user would like to thank nartreb for this post
pattyd82ab

Re: Winter Climb

Postby pattyd82ab » Thu May 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Good idea. I do have a bit of experience with this type of environment, but gear might be the issue. Is it steep enough/ flowing enough to require climbing crampons instead of treking crampons?
pattyd82ab

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Winter Climb

Postby kozman18 » Thu May 23, 2013 9:33 pm

If by trekking crampons you mean full crampons without front points, you should be okay. There are a few spots where having front points help, but if you have an ice ax you should be fine.

If you mean something less than a full crampon (like microspikes or the type that fit the mid-sole of your boot), I wouldn't recommend it. As Nartreb noted, it's pretty steep and icy.

A great trail.
User Avatar
kozman18

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:14 am
Location: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Thanked: 23 times in 17 posts

The following user would like to thank kozman18 for this post
pattyd82ab

Re: Winter Climb

Postby nartreb » Fri May 24, 2013 3:12 am

The other thing to be aware of is the summit cone itself. If you approach from the north (as you must after climbing Hell Brook) it's got some steep and exposed spots, and the route is not obvious if it's not well tracked by previous hikers.
See photo:
http://www.summitpost.org/the-long-trai ... 5/c-150938
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 113 times in 92 posts

The following user would like to thank nartreb for this post
pattyd82ab

Re: Winter Climb

Postby pattyd82ab » Fri May 24, 2013 3:11 pm

Kozman, that is what I meant. I was not sure if toe picks would be necessary.

So, the trail is not cairned like Mt. Washington is? Is there some sort of marker on the summit that can be seen in winter?

When you say steep are you talking rock scramble steep, or sheer ice for climbing?
pattyd82ab

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:51 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Winter Climb

Postby nartreb » Fri May 24, 2013 3:56 pm

I would recommend toe points but I agree it can be done without. You certainly don't need toe points or rock shoes in the summer - footholds (mostly tree roots, see photo at http://www.summitpost.org/mansfield/243051) do exist. This is not waterfall ice climbing by any stretch, but I'm accustomed to using toe points.

The trail is marked by blazes on trees - below treeline there are only a couple of spots where you could lose the trail, and you'll probably realize your mistake pretty quickly, even if you don't have other tracks to guide you.

Above treeline, the blazes are on rocks, which won't help you in winter. There are some cairns, but they're small and infrequent, nothing like on Mt Washington. On the north side of the summit cone the terrain is actually somewhat easier than at the bottom of Hell Brook, but there is potential for major fall exposure if you wander away from the safest line (and by "line" I mean strange zig-zag route). If the weather is foggy you will have trouble knowing where you are, where to go next, and where to avoid. If you're not comfortable scouting scrambling terrain above treeline, you should either take a different route (like sunset ridge) or have a hair-trigger for turning around.
Photo:
http://www.summitpost.org/mansfield-snow/242853
User Avatar
nartreb

 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 113 times in 92 posts

Re: Winter Climb

Postby kozman18 » Fri May 24, 2013 8:35 pm

Good advice from Nartreb.

The mountain sees a lot of traffic, even in winter, and near the summit trails converge so that you shouldn't have too much trouble finding your way up or down (unless you are first up after a snowfall or the weather turns). Pick a good weather window and you should be fine (and probably not alone).
User Avatar
kozman18

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:14 am
Location: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Thanked: 23 times in 17 posts


Return to Eastern US (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.