Intro to Mountaineering on Mt Washington

December 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

Snow arrived just in time for our first winter mountaineering course of the season. Conditions had been grim for mountaineering with above above average temps during November resulting in no snow or ice anywhere in the White Mountains. Friday a nor easter arrived depositing 1 to 2 feet of snow in the mountains above 1500 feet. Finally conditions were good to work with, try out our new clothing systems, practice crampon techniques, and enjoy the magic of winter in the mountains.

Our first day was a preparation day on Mt welsh and Mt Dickey. This is a great climb with exposed rock, icy trails, and southerly views along the summit ridge.

Our progress was slow at first but once we put on the crampons we moved about very quickly and sure footed. Crampons are a necessary item to have venturing into the mountains of New Hampshire.
Taking a break at Gem Pool on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Today The deep snow slowed our progress. At the least two feet on snow blanketed the trail, breaking the path was a tough task. The team rotated the lead position to maximize our progress. Six hours later we arrived at the Lake of the Clouds hut.
Usually its the wind combined with the cold that keeps one from reaching the summit. This trip it was the deepest snow I have ever encountered on the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail.

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