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Thread: Lions Head....

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Lions Head....

    Has anyone been on Lions Head recently? I am planning on hiking it in a couple of weeks. Thanks.

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    We took an AMC group up the winter route a week ago today. There's one very "interesting" bit just after it gets steep, where the snow is grainy and a little rock exposed. A convenient veggie hold makes it doable, but plan on some front-pointing, improvisation, and swearing. We had a competent ice climber find the line that the rest of us followed.

    Otherwise fine, usual mix of consolidated snow and verglas on rock, fortunately all the other steep parts are snow rather than ice. Didn't need snowshoes once hit the steeps. YMMV, of course.

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thanks. It looks like they'll be getting more snow this week. I'm assuming there is enough snow that a rope isn't set up or needed on the steep section?

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Thanks. It looks like they'll be getting more snow this week. I'm assuming there is enough snow that a rope isn't set up or needed on the steep section?
    There is no fixed line left (and usual caveats about trusting a line whose anchor you haven't seen.) We set (and removed) a line and a little under half the group used it. There really is a lot of nothing on about 20' near the bottom.

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    I may bring a short section of old climbing rope. I thought I read something about the snow Rangers setting a line when the snow was lean.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    I may bring a short section of old climbing rope. I thought I read something about the snow Rangers setting a line when the snow was lean.
    There is absolutely no reason to bring a rope for the Lions head winter route.

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thanks Sierra.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Thanks Sierra.
    No problem Will. Here's what I would bring. Full crampons, a 70cm general ice axe. There is a lot of vegetation to grab and hook onto, this comes in very handy, espechally on the descent. If you find downclimbing the route hard, don't be afraid to face into the climb on hard sections, its easier then then facing out on technical moves.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thanks. Looking forward to doing it next week. Hopefully we'll get a good weather day. Looks like it's going to warm a bit mid week.

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    Senior Member Maineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    No problem Will. Here's what I would bring. Full crampons, a 70cm general ice axe. There is a lot of vegetation to grab and hook onto, this comes in very handy, espechally on the descent. If you find downclimbing the route hard, don't be afraid to face into the climb on hard sections, its easier then then facing out on technical moves.
    When that one little branch that acts as a foothold finally is gone, it's going get a whole lot trickier!

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineman View Post
    When that one little branch that acts as a foothold finally is gone, it's going get a whole lot trickier!
    No kidding! I'm allergic to veggie holds for several reasons, and that one is remarkably robust given how much air it's gripping. In compensation, every year it's a little different. (Didn't the winter route need to be recut recently?) I had to go for serious piolet manche this time around, which I don't recall from 2008, where the snow coverage was not only good but quite firm.

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    I had to go for serious piolet manche
    *sigh* panne. I used to be better that this, and cannot claim to be old, but can claim to be "no longer young," per Jefferson Airplane.

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Looks like Washington might not be a good idea for Wednesday. Might check out something in Crawford Notch instead.

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    Senior Member Maineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    I'm allergic to veggie holds for several reasons...
    I recall the words of my ice climbing buddy at the top of the first pitch if Hitchcock Gully - "There's some good dirt up here!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Has anyone been on Lions Head recently? I am planning on hiking it in a couple of weeks. Thanks.
    AMC group did winter route on 3/2. Used crampons and ice axe from the sled cache to the summit. Mostly had to side step on the steep section to Lion's Head. The crux, "Hilary's Step" was mostly bare rock and a bottleneck. Front pointed on rock and grabbed roots to get up and then back down. There was no fixed rope, but on the return we had to wait 30-45 minutes while a group from UNH set up a rope and used body rappel to down climb the rocky section.

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