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Thread: Lions Head - Feb 3rd

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mongoose's Avatar
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    Lions Head - Feb 3rd

    What a trip! Friday I drove up to Pinkham Notch and camped at Hermit Lake. I took some photos around the Bowl in Tucks and explored the general area. The weather didn't sound too promising the next day, but I camped out anyways since camping is half the fun.

    Saturday I woke up and found lots of nice big drifts and deep snow all around the shelters. I checked in with the caretaker to find the same weather report, 65-80mph winds and -10F temps. That's cold and windy, but I decided to go up Lions Head anyways and poke my head above tree line.

    The Lions Head summer trail was open until this Saturday. Due to the storm that night, the trail was closed and the winter route was open. This meant I was one of the first people to hike it this season! This sounded great at first, until I found out that dredging through deep snow up a steep incline is tough stuff. A few people had gone up before me breaking the trail and making it somewhat easier.

    As I got to tree line, I was starting to feel the winds through the trees. One of the forest rangers was trying to move the trail markers around in the heavy wind to designate that the winter route was open. It was amusing to watch him shovel snow in the heavy winds. I think most of the snow flew off into the ravine. He eventually got the post anchored. There were plenty of other people hiking up that day too, either on the trail or waiting at tree line. There must have been 30-40 people.

    I tested the winds out and finally decided to try for Lions Head. I suited up, stepped out into the alpine zone and directly into the winds. What a rush! The force of the wind had my heart pounding and breathing going. It was a non-stop onslaught. I started hiking towards Lions Head being very careful with my footing so I didnít get blow down the mountain. I was surprised at the number of other hikers that were heading up to Lions Head too.

    After 30-45 minutes of hiking and a brief respite in some bushes, I made it to the base of Lions Head. A lot of other hikers were huddled under the big boulders that make up Lions Head. I quickly peaked over the top and tagged the cairn. A few seconds after that a huge gust hit me and I had to go down on one knee and wait for it to let up. Then I scrambled down to the shelter of the boulders.

    The hikers were all very friendly and one of them helped take a few photos of me, proof that I made it up there. I then proceeded down and out. I heard that a few hikers were trying for the summit of Washington that day. I canít imagine most people doing that in those conditions.

    What an excellent trip! I went from planning on heading home early, to climbing up Lions Head in very challenging conditions! Now the rest of my week will feel nice and relaxing.

    P.S.
    No photos for this post. I'm still using up my film which takes 2 weeks to get developed.

  2. #2
    Member Sticks's Avatar
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    Great to see your back into it Mongoose and camping to boot.

    Have not seen you post in some time.

    Nice TR and get that film developed and posted.

    Happy Trails

    Sticks

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mongoose's Avatar
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    My current goal is to get out every other week, like I used to do 2 years ago... I never believed I could put something off for so long. Oh, and I'm going to start using a digital camera.

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