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Thread: Hiking to the Summit of Mt Washington

  1. #1
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    Hiking to the Summit of Mt Washington

    After many years of saying I'm going to hike to the summit of Mt. Washington I have decided I am going to just do it. I plan to take a week off from work to prepare, climb, summit and decend the mountain. I have nver hiked anything over 2,000 feet, so I am expecting quite the challenge.

    I am a bit overweight but I have been walking 6-10 miles a week, 2 miles at a time, at a slight incline on a treadmill. I feel I can do this and I know it won't be easy.

    Has anyone got any advice for my first summit attempt on Mt. Washington?

  2. #2
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    Re: Hiking to the Summit of Mt Washington

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    After many years of saying I'm going to hike to the summit of Mt. Washington I have decided I am going to just do it. I plan to take a week off from work to prepare, climb, summit and decend the mountain. I have nver hiked anything over 2,000 feet, so I am expecting quite the challenge.

    I am a bit overweight but I have been walking 6-10 miles a week, 2 miles at a time, at a slight incline on a treadmill. I feel I can do this and I know it won't be easy.

    Has anyone got any advice for my first summit attempt on Mt. Washington?
    Some of the ravine hikes are steeper, you may want to avoid those. The Ravines have wet slabs which are difficult to traverse. Each has their different difficult and easy sections and all have great views.

    I think what is hard about hiking Mt. Washington for those that are not familiar with the mountain is the hike above treeline. You will be on solid rock most of the time, scrambling from one rock to another. It can wear you out and batter your legs, knees and ankles. In hot weather it's like a desert (no shade). In wet weather it's a slippery mess and slow going.

    IMO the hike up Mt. Washington from the west is your best bet. You can see weather approaching from the west, which is normal there. With the advanced warning, you will have the chance to decide to turn around if need be. Also, there is shelter at Lakes of the Clouds.

    I would strongly advise you to be prepared to turn around if need be. Getting good weather for a hike is rare, so expect to not make it your first time hiking up Mt. Washington. If you do, congrats, but never be ashamed to turn around. You may end up saving your life.

    When hiking above treeline you must be prepared for all sorts of weather: Rain, sleet, freezing rain, strong winds, lightning, etc., without shelter. Your safest bet is to get down off the mountain if there is bad weather approaching. Many have suffered greatly and many have died because they push on for the summit because they have "come so far." - don't ever get caught up in that thought. Always be prepared to turn around!

    Thousands successfully hike Mt. Washington each year, many with very little experience like yourself. Keep in mind that travel above treeline is not a "walk in the woods." Things can happen quickly in the mountains, and small events can snowball into emergencies quickly. With the knowledge of what poor decisions can cost you, you are better prepared to face this hike. Have fun and enjoy your experience, but remember the mountain will still be there if you don't "get" it the first try.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hiking to the Summit of Mt Washington

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Some of the ravine hikes are steeper, you may want to avoid those. The Ravines have wet slabs which are difficult to traverse. Each has their different difficult and easy sections and all have great views.

    I think what is hard about hiking Mt. Washington for those that are not familiar with the mountain is the hike above treeline. You will be on solid rock most of the time, scrambling from one rock to another. It can wear you out and batter your legs, knees and ankles. In hot weather it's like a desert (no shade). In wet weather it's a slippery mess and slow going.

    IMO the hike up Mt. Washington from the west is your best bet. You can see weather approaching from the west, which is normal there. With the advanced warning, you will have the chance to decide to turn around if need be. Also, there is shelter at Lakes of the Clouds.

    I would strongly advise you to be prepared to turn around if need be. Getting good weather for a hike is rare, so expect to not make it your first time hiking up Mt. Washington. If you do, congrats, but never be ashamed to turn around. You may end up saving your life.

    When hiking above treeline you must be prepared for all sorts of weather: Rain, sleet, freezing rain, strong winds, lightning, etc., without shelter. Your safest bet is to get down off the mountain if there is bad weather approaching. Many have suffered greatly and many have died because they push on for the summit because they have "come so far." - don't ever get caught up in that thought. Always be prepared to turn around!

    Thousands successfully hike Mt. Washington each year, many with very little experience like yourself. Keep in mind that travel above treeline is not a "walk in the woods." Things can happen quickly in the mountains, and small events can snowball into emergencies quickly. With the knowledge of what poor decisions can cost you, you are better prepared to face this hike. Have fun and enjoy your experience, but remember the mountain will still be there if you don't "get" it the first try.
    Thank you for the info. I climbed Mt. Washington and it kicked my butt! I got 3/4 of the way to the summit and had to turn around. The weather was a little funky and I hurt my ankle and I was wet. It started to get miserable so I just turned around before things got ugly. By the time I reached the base of the mountain I was glad I came back.

    I will try to summit my new "nemesis" MT. Washington again, that I promise!

    Thanks again for the info!

  4. #4

    Re: Hiking to the Summit of Mt Washington

    Any time camping previously mentioned treeline you must be equipped for a lot of climate: Water, sleet, cold rain, robust really agitates, turbo, and many others., with no pound. The safest gamble is always to receive decrease journey mountain if you find awful climate getting close to.
    Thomas152

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