View Full Version : Gear & Preperation for Young Family In Whites

03-05-2004, 09:47 AM
Okay guys I need your help and years of experience. I am going to bring the family up to the Whites the week of March 15th for a couple of days. The plan is to do some relatively easy day hikes in the Crawford Notch area with some elevation gain.

I have two children, age 9 & 12, who have climbed many of the Presi's in summer, but have no winter experience. We have access to snow shoes (or could we bear boot it), but I would like to know of any suggestions as to boots, clothing, gear, and more importantly hikes that would have some views without going above treeline for any extended period.

I don't plan on going out with them in any type of questionable weather, only if conditions are good. If the trail requires crampons, that would nix it. Thanks for your help in advance!

Mad Townie
03-05-2004, 01:41 PM
You probably already know this, but the most important things for kids on the trail in winter are food and clothes. They use up their energy stores quickly, so bring lots of snacks (like chocolate) to keep their energy and heat production levels up. They also tend to cool off more quickly than adults, at least in my experience, and sweat is less of an issue, so dress them warmly and check on their hot/cold situation frequently.

Basically my personal rule is to follow the same guidelines as adults, but more so. Since your kids are experienced hikers, they should be fine. Right after a snowstorm is a great time to take them out and let them see how different the woods and mountains are in winter.

Have fun!

03-05-2004, 10:06 PM
The Lonesome Lake Hut is open year round. It would be a great overnight trip or just a destination for a day hike. The trail in is about 2 miles with 1000' elevation gain from the Lafayette campground. Should be great on snow shoes. There are nice views of Mt Lafayette from the hut. If you overnight there are good trails from the hut on Kinsman ridge.

03-06-2004, 08:32 AM
My reference was to dress my kids (10 and 8) like they're going skiing. They both have good fitting snow boots, smartwool socks, and the ski pants they wear have gaitors that go over the boots. Fleece pants underneath also works when they are young like Mad T. says.

Goggles help if the wind picks up as does a hood, also a second pair of gloves if the first get damp (from snowball making generally). Ski/hiking poles also help.

I try to avoid having them carry packs, but that only works if I can take a sled. Bring a thermos of a hot drink and pack the chocolate.

Good luck.

03-07-2004, 07:18 PM
Recent reports seem to indicate most trails are hardpacked - but weather there is variable - check and see if this weeks new england storm coming across the catskills will impact NH. Also, my opnion would be that while you may not need the crampons, having them with you is a good idea - you could rent them if needed.

Remember WIWU - water ingested equal to water used. In normal conditions an adult loses 3-6 liters per day without exertion - so pack a good deal of hydration. Children compensate differently than adults in cases of hypothermia, dehydration and exertional states. Therefore after a day of exertional hiking, removing the wet clothes, rehydrating, keeping the energy stores high to ensure thermoregulation and strength are important.

Have a great trip. If you have hiked most of the pres. already, you know how quickly weather can change be safe.


Bob Kittredge
03-07-2004, 07:31 PM
or could we bear boot it
Hmmm. Interesting image. Would you use the claws like crampons?

But seriously...

Here are some possibilities in ascending order of difficulty, all with either good views at the top or something really cool to look at:

1. Mount Willard

2. Arethusa Falls

3. Mount Avalon

4. Mount Crawford

5. Mount Tom

6. Crawford Path to Mount Pierce.

7. Mount Jackson

Most or all of these should be well packed out, and you may be able to bare-boot them. Then again, some of that packed snow is turning to ice, and it's nice to have snowshoes with crampons.

Sounds like you're going to stay at the Highland Center. Even if you're not, you could always stop by there and ask for advice or directions to trailheads.