View Full Version : Mount Washington Winter Attempt #1

01-04-2004, 02:52 PM
After the rough weather and the long hike over Pierce and Eisenhower on Jan 1, 2004 I headed to Hikerís Paradise for a few hours of rest before my plans to meet Mongoose for an attempt of Washington on Jan 2nd. I stopped into Pinkham to check the weather and wind forecasts for the following day and was told that it was expected to be pretty much the same as it was on the 1st. So after a quick meal and a short chat with some of the folks at Hikerís I fell asleep at about 9:30pm. I woke up nice and early at 3:15am and got to Pinkham a little before 5am to start preparing for my hike. There were 3 other hikers there who were getting ready in the Hikerís room. I hung out and waited for Mongoose who arrived a little while later. We started up the Tuckermanís Ravine Trail at 6:00am, and I was moving at a pretty good pace for me, though my muscles were acting funny probably from the hike the day before. I took a bunch of Advil and pushed on. We got to the junction of the Lionís Head winter route at 7:30am. I am unsure of the distance from here to Lionís Head but am thinking it is about a mile. This mile took us almost 3 hours, with the bulk of time being the difficulty of the steep ascent in sections of the winter route up to treeline. Once we were above treeline, the climbing was MUCH easier. In the steep sections, Mongoose helped me clip my poles to my pack and I used my ice axe to pull myself up the steeper sections. The muscles in my legs have never burned SO much in my whole life. It felt like quite the accomplishment just to work my way up some of those steep, icy, root filled sections. When we got to Lionís Head, it was about 10:40am and we knew we had only about 5 hours of daylight left. Not wanting to push our luck and with the visibility being in and out we turned around. In hind sight I almost wish we had gone on because a closer look at the map back in the warmth of my car made me realize that much of the difficult climbing was done by that point and we were within 1 mile of the summit, but hindsight is 20-20 . . . We also overestimated the descent time. I was back at my car and on the road my 2pm and that included time to stop at the falls and take pictures. We couldíve summited and gotten back by dark is my guess but I will be back later this winter to give this beast another try . . . It was the toughest hike I have ever done and SO VERY different from the same climb in the summer. Every muscle in my body was engaged in that hike and if nothing else I came out with the confidence that though I was scared out of my wits at some points I am capable of ascending Washington in the winter. The next attempt will be in clear weather however . . . Washington Ė 1 and Me Ė 0 . . .


Here is a picture of me on Lionís Head . . .

Mohamed Ellozy
01-04-2004, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by sli74
. . . Washington Ė 1 and Me Ė 0 . . .Jefferson - 3, Mohamed - 0

01-04-2004, 03:47 PM

I am going to attempt Jefferson from Gray Knob (2 nights at Gray Knob) sometime in February. If you are feeling up to a trip like that by then, we can co-ordinate it, I would love some company . . .


Mohamed Ellozy
01-04-2004, 04:23 PM
Probably the easiest way of doing it, let's see how fit I am come February. Last week I managed to do both Moosilauke by Glencliff and Lincoln (without Lafayette), both with over 3,000 feet of vertical. But I was wiped out after both trips, so I still have a long way to go before I am recovered.

01-04-2004, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by sli74
. . . Washington Ė 1 and Me Ė 0

Monroe 8 and Me 2
We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature. She decides where you will go in the Mountains.

Mohamed Ellozy
01-04-2004, 05:44 PM

It is the "Me 0" that hurts, not the total score!

01-04-2004, 05:49 PM
It's not that you win or lose, but how you play the game.
We try to play fair, but sometimes the other side doesn't. :(

01-04-2004, 06:04 PM
It was Monroe 8 and Me 0 at one point ...

Carole , you are soooo right

Mohamed Ellozy
01-04-2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by ytmountains
It was Monroe 8 and Me 0 at one point ... Ouch :(

Does that mean that I may have five more failed attempts on Jefferson?

01-04-2004, 06:34 PM
No Mohamed ... Im sure you'll do better.
Just bad timing and... Nobody ever exused me of being the sharpest point on the crampon :D

Mad Townie
01-04-2004, 07:17 PM
sli74 (I assume you prefer being addressed that way;) ),

Based on my recent experience (today), I'd say your score was more like: Mt. W 1, you 1/2.

We were supposed to go practice some self arrest and roped travel at Tucks today (Sunday), but based on yesterday's avalanche reports we stayed home. Of course, you know the rest of the story. Today's avalanche reports were for "LOW Avalanche danger". Now that's what I call Mt. W 1, me 0!!!

Oh well, the idea of freezing fog didn't particularly appeal to me, either.

01-04-2004, 07:51 PM

These pictures didn't come out as well because of the fog and precipitation . . .


Mohamed Ellozy
01-06-2004, 05:41 PM
Good memory, Sir Edmund! And thanks for the attempted consolation.

I hike through the Thanksgiving to Christmas madness, so I have "bagged" an impressive number of peaks in non-winter December, many of them fairly gnarly. Alas, they do not count :(

Mohamed Ellozy
01-06-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by SherpaKroto
Seema, no way it's Washington 1, you 0. If you stayed home, then it's 0. It's more like .6897325 :) Well, Sherpa, if you add the various fractions of Jefferson that I have "done" by your definition I have bagged it. Time to uncork the champagne I guess :) :)

Maybe I had better check with the Four Thousand Footer Committee first. It is just conceivable that they might disagree with your arithmetic :(

01-10-2004, 08:26 AM
I'm making my first attempt at George in Winter in two weeks with an AMC group. Sounds like it may be the first of many. Here's hoping for favorable (and warmer!) conditions...