This was my first "big mountain" experience as a young guy from Pennsylvania. My buddy and I spent a week here back in 2009 and it was an experience that I'll never, ever forget.
We left work at 12 am on a Saturday, and drove the 8 hours straight to the trailhead from Northeastern Pennsylvania. The fog along the highway in New Hampshire was rather wicked and we had both been up for approximately 24 hours already. I'll never forget looking at the "moose crossing" signs and thinking that, if a moose were to cross the road, I'd never see it and my little Subaru WRX would be totaled... Good stuff!
We got to the trailhead, and it was a beautiful fall day with temperatures in the low 70's and plenty of sunshine shining. Despite our exhausted state, we began to rocket up the trail from Pinkham Notch with the goal of getting to our camp at Hermit Lake Shelter. We started with a bang, passing numerous groups initially; however, our fatigued state began to get the better of us, and soon enough, those same groups were re-passing us, as we caught our breath on the side of the trail... Embarrassing!!
After arriving at the shelter, we found that the attendant was not there, which meant we had to wait around for our permit. Because it was rather cold and windy, we decided to drop the bulk of our stuff and continue on up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit. Screw patience!!
As we got higher on the mountain, the beautiful weather we experienced at the trailhead had completely disappeared. We were now ascending Mount Washington in near winter conditions, with most of our gear back at the shelter. To add to it, we both had been up for over 24 hours at this point and were hallucinating... I felt like I was on Everest or something as the snow came down on us while we gasped for breath and struggled to make progress up the hill.
Slowly but surely, we made our way up the trail, and eventually topped out. It had been a strange (but awesome) trip to the top of the Northeastern United States all the way from Pennsylvania, and it only got more strange when we decided to head out of the snowy weather and into the visitor center for junk food. Exhausted and delirious, we sat and stared at each other as we crammed down donuts and hot dogs, knowing we still had to trek back to camp and set up.
Since that day, I have ascended Mount Washington numerous times from about every way conceivable (Huntington Ravine still stands as one of my favorite scrambles). However, nothing will ever compare to that first ascent via Tuckerman Ravine. To a couple of guys who had only done their hiking in Pennsylvania, that mountain seemed like a giant and that day was as epic as it could get.
Ever since then, I have been hooked to getting outside and spending as much time as possible in the mountains. It really was the trip that changed my life, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire will always be special to me. I look forward to returning one day soon.
Did this as a long day trip by hiking up Edmands path. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day for hiking! Didn't stay too long though because of the crowds.
I am considering hiking Mt Wash alone in October. 65 and in good shape. Do I need a guide or are trails well marked. Are other hikers around on a Saturday? Cell phones work in case of emergency? Guides want $300 for a day. I appreciate their skill but do I NEED a guide?
Climbed up Tuckerman and down Lion's Head. If I did it again, I would reverse the route. Lion's Head is kind of a knee breaker coming down. We left early and had 4 mph winds at the top, but a storm developed on the summit later as we were half-way down.
I climbed Mount Washington in the winter with a group called Dynamic Outdoors. I am estimating our summit day but decided to bag all 50 so thought I should start logging in. Only 5 in total so far. From here on out I will be posting the next 45 in real time since I just found this site. This was likely #2...
and down Lion's Head. Probably one of the nicest days of the summer. The top is a zoo. I knew there were some buildings up there but was not prepared to see such a crowd. Crazy stuff. Sent a post card home from the post office on top. That was kind of fun. Next time I'll check out Huntington trail.
Via the Tuckerman Ravine - Great route - thoroughly enjoyed the early am start and hike. Only saw a few folks on the route at 6:30am. Sort of disturbing though as the thunderclouds and lightening moved in as I descended through the treeline after hanging out on the summit on a close to bluebird morning - I had passed about 40 people that would have been about a mile from the summit on the rocks - hope they had enough common sense to abort their hike or it would have been an epic storm story. Sitting at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center watched a lightening bolt come out of nowhere and hit about 100 yards off the highway ... YIKES!
We must have been next to each other that day because I heard the same lightning strike down at the visitor center. I was happy to be back at the cars after that.
I drove most of the way up with my wife and kids. I hiked the last part so I wouldn't feel too guilty signing the this log. I loved the views from the summit.
Climbed via Lion's Head; started around 6ish. Needed an ice-ax on the way up in one section, but unnecessary on the way down as the temp went up significantly. No view on the summit, but great view from just below.
Went up the Ammonoosuc trail and down the Jewell. After reaching Lakes of the Clouds hut, the fog rolled in. The final ascent to the summit was helped greatly by the cairns guiding the way. The summit was windy and cool as usual. Going down the weather cleared making the hike much easier to navigate.
With mixed feelings I am reporting that I got to the highpoints of 8 of the 9 states I visited recently on my trip to New England. I flew into Albany August 14th. The next day on my way to meet my cousin at the base of Mt Washington, I stopped in Stowe,VT to 'run up' Mt Mansfield. Taking less than 30 minutes to get to the top I got disoriented and came down the wrong side of the mountain. Got back to my car in four hours! Because of my delay I didn't stop to eat a regular meal but proceded to drive to Mt Washington and got in about 11:30pm. The next morning my cousin (Scheila Hufford)and I headed up Tuckerman Ravine Trail at 8:30. I still hadn't eaten a legitimate meal since flying in two days before. The 'book' says about 4 hours up the trail to the top (I am almost always faster than the book) but it took us 7 hours!!! Because of my jet lag, lack of sleep and lack of nutrition my stomach bothered me all the way up and I was the one who slowed us down. Scheila was in great shape and patiently waited for me along the way. Got to the top at 3:30pm and rode down in a hired van (the $22 was well worth it). Finally had a nice meal that night with Scheila then we parted company, Scheila driving back to Boston and I headed for Maine. My quads were burning because of the back-to-back climbs on rocky trails (at age 52 I usually need a day or two between climbs) and had to give up trying for Katahdin after waiting in Bangor, Maine, for two more days for some healing. Drove to Rhode Island highpoint (a guy chased me off his property), then to NJ highpoint and spent the night in a motel on NJ/NY border. Next day I drove down to Delaware highpoint then back up to Poughkeepsie, NY to spend the night. Next day I drove an hour or so to Mt Frissell in Connecticut and scampered up to the top (about a half hour). Quads felt pretty good. Trekking poles helped. Drove to Mass highpoint. Really pretty. Drove to Albany where I spent the night. Next day drove to Lake Placid, NY, and the following day (August 23 - one week after my Mt Wasington fiasco)went to Mt Marcy trailhead at 7am where I started and got to top of peak at about 11am. Up in four hours and down not much quicker - about three hours. Having the poles helped tremendously.Drove back to Albany the next day and watched the Iowa State-Florida State game in my motel (what a great treat to enjoy some college football!) Flew back to Alaska the next day, Sunday, August 25th.
Anchorage, Alaska USA
Solo hike via Lions Head Trail, descended Tuckerman Ravine Trail.
I was able to take a side trip while traveling on business. I climbed via Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The fall colors were on full display and the weather was amazing. About 500 feet below the top it was completely fogged in and by the time I reached the summit there were winds exceeding 80 mph. As soon as I descended below the fog the weather was beautiful again. This was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to do it again.
Beautiful views and perfect weather. We started late in the afternoon and camped in the woods, the next day we climbed Mt Madison and walked the Presidential range all the way to Mt Washington before coming down the other side and back to the car. Fun way to do it.
This was our first summit in the Eastern US, and maybe our highest latitude summit thus far (depending upon calc. of latitude of Cerro Tamango in Southern Chile). Given the horizontal rime ice, we were fortunate to have had very good weather on summit day.
Had tons of fun at summit!
It started as a beautiful day but as we got from Madison to Adams all wind and rain broke loose. The summit of Washington was so cloudy and windy, we couldn't see more than 10 ft in front of us.
Awesome views. Everything at the summit was coated in rime ice from the rotten weather the night before.