View Full Version : Safest route up Washington - early winter

11-14-2004, 06:07 PM
Thinking of going up the rockpile this week; it looks like high pressure will be in control with moderate temps. Anyone have trail suggestions given current snow conditions http://www.mountwashington.org/backcountry/index.php) ? I've been up once in full-blown winter conditions w/a guide on LH winter route (which obviously isn't open yet), but never early winter so I'm curious what I should be on the look out for.

On a related note, should I have an ice axe for patchy ice/snow conditions, and what should I expect to spend on one (I remember someone telling me IME/IMCS shop in North Conway has decent prices on used stuff)?


David Metsky
11-14-2004, 06:21 PM
You best bet is probably the Lion Head summer route, until they open the winter route. It's the most protected approach, you stay in the wind shadow the longest.

I'd bring crampons definately, probably an axe as well.


Jim lombard
11-15-2004, 09:55 AM
I've gone up Washington in winter and early spring via Ammonusuc ravine trail. The advantage is from the upper ledges below the hut and on the summit cone the prevailing wind is usually at your back. The disadvantage is that you get blasted pretty good coming back. With winds in the 60's on an April hike I found the worst part was going across Trinity heights then connecting with the Gulfside on my way down the Cog tracks.

I agree with Dave about bringing crampons and an axe whichever route you choose. With Base road being plowed this winter I bet we'll see more people go "west" this year.