OverviewThis long, crappy alpine rock climb climbs the obvious ridgeline viewable during the drive to the peak. While it looks nice from afar, the rock on this route is horrible choss and offers little to no protection in spots. Not recommended.
Drive to the main Mount Washington trailhead and park at the trailhead for route 1. Hike up and around the bend to the east for 1/4 mile and look for the next trailhead on your left. Follow this straight up the side of the hill. When you encounter your first rock outcroppings, traverse into the basin to your right avoiding them. Now climb some steep snow or scree up to the base of the ridge start. The start is above several chossy towers and features an obvious arete / ridgecrest.
Climb straight up the ridgecrest belaying or simulclimbing for 7 60 meter pitches, to top out of the first formation. Climbing is generally on the crest or just right of it. The first pitch has 2 bolts on it and a bolted belay. After that it is a challenge finding protection, with sometimes only 1 or 2 micronuts in 200 feet. Climbing varies from 4th class to 5.7. The rock is pretty good for the first pitch or 2, but degrades into nasty choss that breaks off when you touch it after that.
After topping out on the first tower, climb 2 more pitches of chossy 3rd to low 5th rock staying generally left of the crest to reach the first rappel station. Rappel down into the notch then climb a mid 5th pitch then a couple low 5th pitches near the ridgecrest to reach another rappel station. Rap into the notch, then climb a couple more chossy low 5th pitches to reach the top of the tower. From here the guidebook says downclimb low 5th rock to the 3rd notch. We chose to rappel / belay downclimb, as the rock is crappy and it is exposed. From the notch, climb straight for the face (5.7 no pro) and finally exit unto easier terrain to reach the route 1 scramble route.
From here, follow the scramble path traversing a ledge below the lower south summit on the right, then up the gulley behind it to access the final scramble to the true summit.
Essential Gear1 set of cams to 2.5"
1 set of nuts, extra tiny ones are nice
60 or 70 meter rope
Crampons (optional, condition dependent)