Ascent of Mount Washington in 2005-08

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Others in Party:none
Date:August, 2005
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Washington
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:6288 ft / 1916 m

Ascent Trip Report

I was on a road trip, heading back to western NY after cruising up the Atlantic coast from NYC to Acadia NP. My route was along US HWY 2 through New England, and the highest point of NH was calling out for me to climb it. Interesting enough, this was my first state HP, and thus far it's fallen toward the easier side of those that have required hiking any distance at all (AZ, CT, ME, NH, NY, OR, TX, VT). I'd rank only CT easier in my experience thus far, though in non-monsoon/storm conditions VT would fit that bill too.

That probably has more to do with the pretty good weather conditions when I hiked this, as opposed to some bad conditions on the others. It's arguably the second toughest of the NE highpoints (after Katahdin and perhaps a draw with Marcy or even Mansfield) via the routes I've bagged them. This is an oddity in that you can drive (or chug by train) right up to the peak, although I must say I've probably never been so happy to see a parking lot in my life! ;)

When I started up from Pinkham Notch, I had six hours, two water bottles, a map, some cash, and not much else. Looking back now I wish I could reach back in time and slap myself for attempting this peak so poorly prepared, but I've learned a lot since then. It was great weather below, even a touch hot, and I was only attired in long pants and a long sleeved (cotton - eek!) shirt.

The trail was broad and easy to follow for quite some time, although I remember it narrowing distinctly about the time it got noticeably steeper. It seemed that I was taking a less traveled route (Lion Head Tr), but it was the one that looked the best on the map, so I forged ahead. I gained the clouds at about the point I saw signs warning of the fragile "alpine" environment, and it also got considerably windier.

I'd been sweating a lot on the way up, and it was now getting pretty chilly. I was getting hungry too! I pressed on and finally gained the parking lot, slightly indignant that there were people running around in flip-flops, but I mostly just glad to tag the summit and get into the restaurant for some warmth and food! I lounged about until regaining some warmth after a quick meal, then refilled my water bottles and headed back down as fast as I could walk.

My driver's seat felt downright comfy for the rest of the trip...
: )

Written 12/2011, Edited 04/2013
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4257 ft / 1297 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Clear and pleasant at lower elevations, windy and cool near the top
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4257 ft / 1297 m
    Route:Tuckerman Ravine/ Lion Head trails
    Start Trailhead:Pinkham Notch Camp  2031 ft / 619 m
Descent Statistics
    Route:Tuckerman Ravine
    End Trailhead:Pinkham Notch Camp  

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