Ascent of Mount Washington on 2011-01-08

Climber: Dan O'Keefe

Others in Party:Brandin O'Keefe
Patrick O'Keefe
Eugene Rutzler
Date:Saturday, January 8, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Washington
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:6288 ft / 1916 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hit a snow storm in Connecticut on our drive up from New jersey. This caused us to arrive later than planned to Pinkham's Notch and decided not to set up camp but just to hit the trail. After a quick inventory and change of clothes, we signed the register and hit the trail at around 4:50am. He set off up Tuckerman's ravine trail to the Loinhead's trail. We waited until we got about 200 m on the Lionhead's trail to strap on our crampons which was probably about a mile to late. After some minor issues with Pat's crampons we stopped to watch the sunrise. An awesome sight to see the sun over the mountains and low clouds. Back on the trail we stayed focused until the steep approach to Lionshead. We took some time to admire Tuckerman's Ravine and rest out legs. Once on top of Lionshead we had a great view of Mount Washington. The trail approaching Washington was very rocky and a little sketchy with our crampons on. We met up with the Tuckerman's Ravine trail again and made the steep approach to the summit. The clouds were quickly approaching the mountain in the distance and we maintained our focus until we reached the top. We did not see one other hiker until a party of about 8 or 10 on the summit. We relaxed on the calm summit for about 30 min and re-evaluated our gear for the descent since the wind was beginning to increase (only to about 20mph a very lucky day) and the temperature was dropping slightly (probably only to near 0 degrees). We truly enjoyed the rest and the soon enough we began our descent back down Tuckerman's Trail. As we got back on Lionheads Trial we began seeing the first of about 15 separate groups on their ascents up the same route. This is also the about the same time visibility dropped to near 20-30 feet and it began a light snow storm. Relieved we made the summit before the clouds came we continued on. After a few short rests we finally made it back to Pinkham's Notch and re packed the car and headed to the nearest Pizza Hut. Overall an awesome trip and probably one of the best/calmest winter hike so far.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4256 ft / 1297 m
    Distance:8.2 mi / 13.2 km
    Route:Lionhead's trail
    Trailhead:Pinkham Notch  2032 ft / 619 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:0 nights away from roads
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Overcast
Beautiful weather on the ascent relatively calm summit, quick snow storm arrived on the descent.
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 40 Minutes

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