• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Training to Hike Mount Washington

tomcat

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
258
Points
0
Location
Dover Foxcroft ME
Website
tomcatoutdoors.blogspot.com
Definately don't let it deter you, just keep it in mind...Except the crowds if you go on a summer afternoon (they can be overwhelming on the summit especially in the buildings). On a clear day you can see forever and on a hot summer day the area above treeline can be a glorious retreat from the heat. If you can, plan a few days in the area to get a better chance of clear weather since the summit is in the clouds a lot.
The Devils Path and Precipice are both trails in the cascades that go up and down numerous peaks.
 

skiersleft

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
682
Points
0
Thanks to all for all the great advice!

Turns out I found some hiking partners to go up to Mt Washington this summer. But they want to do a three night route. A couple of you mentioned you had done something like this. Any suggestions? Should I plan the hike around the huts?
 

tomcat

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
258
Points
0
Location
Dover Foxcroft ME
Website
tomcatoutdoors.blogspot.com
Are you friends talking about a Presi Traverse? Huts can get costly but meals are included. No need to carry tent if using huts and you can carry less food. There are a few shelters and tent sites..much cheaper but no meals. There is a tentsite by Mitzpa Springs Hut. Several options for shelter are available around Mt Adams that are cheaper run by the Randolph Mtn Club and no meals. There are three high huts in that stretch Mitzpa, Lake of the Clouds, and Madison, all full service. Lower there are some tentsites but they are not really useful during the traverse unless it's near the end of your trip. Camping away from these area is difficult due to terrain. No camping above tree line and until you get to low elevation, legal camping is very hard to find with a tent.
 

David Metsky

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
793
Points
0
Location
Somerville, MA
Website
www.hikethewhites.com
Thanks to all for all the great advice!

Turns out I found some hiking partners to go up to Mt Washington this summer. But they want to do a three night route. A couple of you mentioned you had done something like this. Any suggestions? Should I plan the hike around the huts?

The huts run $100/person/night, so it's not a cheap trip if you do that. But camping has its issues as well. There's no camping allowed above treeline, within 1/4 mile of any hut or shelter, and no camping in the Tuckerman or Huntington ravine drainages. Doing a 3-day Presidential traverse you can camp at the Perch (off Mt Adams) on Day 1, and drop down into the Dry River wilderness for Day 2, but you're talking a much longer and more difficult trip than a single day hike. You're carrying much more weight, getting out later, and you're forced to climb up and down much more elevation to camp.

A 3-day overnight backpack is not the way to get introduced to hiking in the Presidentials. It's not a very good plan, IMO. Take a few dayhikes first, and take at least one easier overnight before tackling something like a Presidentail backpack.
 

Cannonball

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,670
Points
0
Location
This user has been deleted
The huts run $100/person/night, so it's not a cheap trip if you do that. But camping has its issues as well. There's no camping allowed above treeline, within 1/4 mile of any hut or shelter, and no camping in the Tuckerman or Huntington ravine drainages. Doing a 3-day Presidential traverse you can camp at the Perch (off Mt Adams) on Day 1, and drop down into the Dry River wilderness for Day 2, but you're talking a much longer and more difficult trip than a single day hike. You're carrying much more weight, getting out later, and you're forced to climb up and down much more elevation to camp.

A 3-day overnight backpack is not the way to get introduced to hiking in the Presidentials. It's not a very good plan, IMO. Take a few dayhikes first, and take at least one easier overnight before tackling something like a Presidentail backpack.

Dave's right about that.

But on the other hand. Rather than doing a traverse, you could come up Lowe's Path to Grey Knob, Crag Camp, or the Perch. Then stay there as your basecamp for a few days and stay up high doing a few day hikes with a light pack. It's a great way to explore the ridges without lugging a huge pack around the whole time.
 

skiersleft

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
682
Points
0
Dave's right about that.

But on the other hand. Rather than doing a traverse, you could come up Lowe's Path to Grey Knob, Crag Camp, or the Perch. Then stay there as your basecamp for a few days and stay up high doing a few day hikes with a light pack. It's a great way to explore the ridges without lugging a huge pack around the whole time.

This sounds like a good plan. I just checked the RMC website to learn more about the shelters at Grey Knob, Crag Camp and the Perch and it says that they're on a first come, first served basis. The plan is to go there the third week of July, midweek. Probably Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. There's probably going to be space, right?

Also, what would be good full day hikes from those camps? Mindful, of course, that we want to summit Mount Washington.
 

David Metsky

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
793
Points
0
Location
Somerville, MA
Website
www.hikethewhites.com
Midweek you should be good, but you can never predict when a big party will arrive. The Perch is the only one that allows tenting - there are 4 tent platforms there. No tenting is allowed at Gray Knob, Crag Camp, or the Log Cabin. But if you are willing to go to take whatever has room you'll always find someplace to spend the night.

From the Perch you can dayhike to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison fairly easily. Washington is the longest day but you're starting at 4,000' so it's not that bad. The weather will dictate if you succeed or not.

Another good dayhike would be to drop down into the Great Gulf via the Buttress trail and come back up via Six Husbands.
 

skiersleft

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
682
Points
0
Midweek you should be good, but you can never predict when a big party will arrive. The Perch is the only one that allows tenting - there are 4 tent platforms there. No tenting is allowed at Gray Knob, Crag Camp, or the Log Cabin. But if you are willing to go to take whatever has room you'll always find someplace to spend the night.

From the Perch you can dayhike to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison fairly easily. Washington is the longest day but you're starting at 4,000' so it's not that bad. The weather will dictate if you succeed or not.

Another good dayhike would be to drop down into the Great Gulf via the Buttress trail and come back up via Six Husbands.

Thanks again, David. You've been most helpful!
 

Cannonball

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,670
Points
0
Location
This user has been deleted
Skiersleft, here's a short version of one of my Mt Washington excursions. Wish I had time to tell the whole tale. It had pain, suffering, comedy, triumph....it was like a Ron Howard Movie. But the point I want to make here is that Grey Knob is heaven and the RMC are angels.


Our group of group of 8 left Dolly Copp campground at dawn on a hot Friday morning. We planned for 3 days up high with the Perch as base camp. But the Perch is a long ways from Dolly Copp so our goals were ambitious. We started by summiting Madison. That is a tough rocky climb, especially with 3 day packs. And it was hot. One member in our group was very slow and we were way behind schedule by the time we got to Madison hut. The faster members of our group decided to go over Adams on the way to the Perch while the slower bypassed it. As we summited Adams the weather came in...torrential downpours. Our group regrouped at the Perch. It was that feeling of "I can't take another step". The giant packs, which were now soaked, were torture devices. But the first thing we learned was the that the Perch was full. We came in right behind another big group. Arghhh!! Half of our group moved straight on to Grey Knob to attempt to secure some space. The slowest and fastest of our group waited at the Perch for awhile so the slower ones could rest. The stronger hikers stayed with them to take on some extra load and help make the remaining distance at the end of this long day. We left Grey Knob in the torrential pouring rain with our hoods on and our heads down. This caused us to miss the turn to Grey Knob and instead descended WAY down the trail. It wasn't until we hit Lowe's path that we realized how far down we had gone. Our only choice was to head back UP. We eventually reached Grey Knob at dusk. I have never seen a more beautiful cabin in my LIFE!!! Our arrival put it over capacity by 1-2 people. But the caretaker and the other hikers were amazing and generous. We cooked, drank, laughed, and SLEPT! The next day was a day hike summit of Mt Wash. And the following day was a descent back to the car. I've been back to stay at Grey Knob but it was never as gorgeous as that first amazing night.

That's why you're up there. To push yourself and make memories. Enjoy it!
 

skiersleft

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
682
Points
0
Skiersleft, here's a short version of one of my Mt Washington excursions. Wish I had time to tell the whole tale. It had pain, suffering, comedy, triumph....it was like a Ron Howard Movie. But the point I want to make here is that Grey Knob is heaven and the RMC are angels.


Our group of group of 8 left Dolly Copp campground at dawn on a hot Friday morning. We planned for 3 days up high with the Perch as base camp. But the Perch is a long ways from Dolly Copp so our goals were ambitious. We started by summiting Madison. That is a tough rocky climb, especially with 3 day packs. And it was hot. One member in our group was very slow and we were way behind schedule by the time we got to Madison hut. The faster members of our group decided to go over Adams on the way to the Perch while the slower bypassed it. As we summited Adams the weather came in...torrential downpours. Our group regrouped at the Perch. It was that feeling of "I can't take another step". The giant packs, which were now soaked, were torture devices. But the first thing we learned was the that the Perch was full. We came in right behind another big group. Arghhh!! Half of our group moved straight on to Grey Knob to attempt to secure some space. The slowest and fastest of our group waited at the Perch for awhile so the slower ones could rest. The stronger hikers stayed with them to take on some extra load and help make the remaining distance at the end of this long day. We left Grey Knob in the torrential pouring rain with our hoods on and our heads down. This caused us to miss the turn to Grey Knob and instead descended WAY down the trail. It wasn't until we hit Lowe's path that we realized how far down we had gone. Our only choice was to head back UP. We eventually reached Grey Knob at dusk. I have never seen a more beautiful cabin in my LIFE!!! Our arrival put it over capacity by 1-2 people. But the caretaker and the other hikers were amazing and generous. We cooked, drank, laughed, and SLEPT! The next day was a day hike summit of Mt Wash. And the following day was a descent back to the car. I've been back to stay at Grey Knob but it was never as gorgeous as that first amazing night.

That's why you're up there. To push yourself and make memories. Enjoy it!

Thanks so much for sharing! This sounds like a plan. Looks like RMC is the way to go for our multiple day hike. Looking forward.

Now comes the training!
 

snowmonster

New member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
4,066
Points
0
Location
In my mind, northern New England
When you posed this question, I was thinking of answering it from the physical conditioning standpoint (i.e., what can I do at the gym to get ready to climb): get some good cardio workouts (running, biking, stairmaster or treadmill) and strengthening your legs and core Work on your quads and hammies. They'll take a pounding on the way down. If you could lose some weight before the climb, do it. Every pound around your gut is weight you're carrying up and pounding your knees on the way down. Every time I climb into Tux, I always wish I shed at least another pound before I headed up.

On the gear side, bring eveything you need and nothing that you won't need. Sounds simple but you'll be surprised by the amount of crap people hike around with. Lay 'em all out on the bed and choose your gear wisely. Remember that every pound you leave behind is a pound you won't have to haul up.

If you don't already have a map of the Mt. Washington area, get one now. Start doing your homework. Know the terrain before you go.
 

ski_resort_observer

New member
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Messages
3,423
Points
0
Location
Waitsfield,Vt
Website
www.firstlightphotographics.com
The Whites are amazing, not just the mountains but also all the great waterfalls. The auto road is longer but definately easier. I agree with TB you don't want to go that route.

My fav hike in the Whites is Mt. Lafeyette, I first hiked it when I was 12 but it's still the coolest. The view from the top of Cannon down the valley with Mt. Lafeyette, My Lincoln and Mt. Liberty on the left is IMHO the finest alpine landscape view in the east. The tallest mountain in the east might be down in NC but the Blacks down there just don't hold a candle to the alpine environment of the summits of the Whites. Good luck, hope you post some pics.
 

andyzee

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
10,884
Points
0
Location
Home
Website
www.nsmountainsports.com
Yep, gotta love the falls:



Oops, that was Paterson, NJ, sorry.

NH:











 

Wavewheeler

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
495
Points
0
Location
The Jersey Shore
Regarding places to go in preparation for Mount Washington:

I love the Shawangunks right outside of New Paltz. There's the Mohonk and Minnewaska Preserves, which feature challenging conditions, rock scrambles and beautiful scenery. It's a great way to spend the day hiking.

The NY-NJ Trail Conference has some great maps you can get and their website has a wealth of information about hiking all over the NY metro area.

http://www.nynjtc.org/view/parks_ny

I've driven up to Mount Washington in late June a few years back. At the bottom it was sunny and 90 degrees. I drove up in my Jeep Wrangler with the top down and doors off. Good thing I brought long pants and a heavy sweatsuit because it was 45 degrees at the top and the wind gusts were approaching 30 mph. Even so, the place was crawling with tourists. It was a nice clear day, something is quite a rarity it seems on Mount Washington.

The next day I hiked Tuckerman's Ravine. I found it much more scenic. A really nice day hike.

BTW, if you are looking for people to hike with then go to Meetup.com. There are tons of hiking meet up groups you can join. An example would be http://www.meetup.com/Northeast-Hiking-and-Exploring/

Good luck and have fun and don't take on too much at once. Start with some relatively easy day hikes and work your way up.
 

skiersleft

New member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
682
Points
0
Thanks for all the great advice. I just wanted to give you a status report. I've been hiking a couple of times per week for the last several weeks. The last two days have been tough. I did Breakneck Ridge/Mt Taurus yesterday. I think it was a 9 mile strenuous hike. Did it in about 5 hours. Today I did Schenemunk Summit hike via Long Path to Jessup Trail to Trestle Trail. Think it was a 7.5 mile hike. Also somewhat strenuous. So 16.5 miles in 2 days with OK elevation and significant scrambling is not a bad way to start training for the prize. Still a ways to go, but feeling good. My legs are toast, btw, much worse than what they've been after skiing recently. Feels good!
 

andyzee

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
10,884
Points
0
Location
Home
Website
www.nsmountainsports.com
Thanks for all the great advice. I just wanted to give you a status report. I've been hiking a couple of times per week for the last several weeks. The last two days have been tough. I did Breakneck Ridge/Mt Taurus yesterday. I think it was a 9 mile strenuous hike. Did it in about 5 hours. Today I did Schenemunk Summit hike via Long Path to Jessup Trail to Trestle Trail. Think it was a 7.5 mile hike. Also somewhat strenuous. So 16.5 miles in 2 days with OK elevation and significant scrambling is not a bad way to start training for the prize. Still a ways to go, but feeling good. My legs are toast, btw, much worse than what they've been after skiing recently. Feels good!

Way to Go! With this kind of hiking, I think you'll be disappointed with the difficulty of the Mount Washington, but not the views. You could easily hike it now, believe me. And the don't rule out tha Dacks,
 

Wavewheeler

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
495
Points
0
Location
The Jersey Shore
Thanks for all the great advice. I just wanted to give you a status report. I've been hiking a couple of times per week for the last several weeks. The last two days have been tough. I did Breakneck Ridge/Mt Taurus yesterday.!

I'm heading up the Gunks this weekend. I'd like to check out Breakneck Ridge as well. Beautiful country up there! I love a good view and lots of rocks to scramble up!

Sounds like you have it all set for your expedition to Mount Washington but don't rule out the surrounding peaks as well. Nice thing about hiking is that there's always a mountain to hike on and it's never the same going up or coming down. Have fun and enjoy!
 
Top