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Mount Washington Hike

2 posts
Mount Washington Hike

Hello! Wondering how safe it would be to hike Mt. Washington with the potential of rain. I have 6 friends that are planning to hike it. Two of us have done Pikes peak on a somewhat nice day. Familiar with the mountain's conditions, just wondering how many people do hike it on a 50 degree rainy day?

9 replies to this topic
Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,373 posts
58 reviews
1. Re: Mount Washington Hike

Silly question. See prior post on topic.

Sandown, New...
Level Contributor
41 posts
186 reviews
2. Re: Mount Washington Hike

I climbed Mount Washington last week and the temperature at the base was in the 80's but it was 52 on the summit. I always check the Mount Washington Observatory website where they post higher summits forecast up to 48 hours out. We hiked the Ammonusuc Ravine Trail up and Gulfside to Jewell Trail down. There is lots of exposure on this hike, always good to pack a jacket and dry clothes. Have fun!

Lincoln, NH
Level Contributor
3,015 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Mount Washington Hike

I will disagree with mountlombard. You may not have any fun at all.

Lombard gave you two of the ten essentials. One essential not on the list of ten is experience, which includes knowing when and when not to hike. Invariably, people who ask your question, which is almost always "I've done *this*, so can I do *that*?", are poor candidates for this hike. As Newslaw said, read the other posts on this subject. You and your one partner may be physically fit, but you certainly do not sound like people who should be hiking in the rain -- and fog on Mt. Washington.

Sandown, New...
Level Contributor
41 posts
186 reviews
4. Re: Mount Washington Hike

I have climbed Mount Washington in every season including January on each trail to the summit both east and west. I have provided good advice in this case. The Ammo Route is easiest. If you are reasonably fit and pay attention to the Obs forecast you will have fun.

hudson valley
Level Contributor
3,213 posts
5. Re: Mount Washington Hike

I have provided good advice in this case."

In a previous post you seemed to equate non-strenuous with easy, even though there's far more to elevation change and rough/smooth footing that determines whether a hike easy, difficult or hazardous. In this post you seem to be confusing good with accurate but woefully incomplete.

Maybe you've reached the 4th stage of learning in regards to hiking above treeline but forget that others don't have the same knowledge, skill, and judgment that you take for granted. I think that what you've written is more easily explained by being at the first stage. Either way I doubt that many of the people with the competence to evaluate your advice would describe it as good.

For the OP: Lots of people hike MW when it's in the 50's and raining. Most of them do it because they've planned very poorly and started with better weather. Most of them just have an unpleasant day, but once in a while it's worse than that (did you notice the other thread that's only a few posts down the page?). It's a bit like wearing your seatbelt. My worst injury from a car accident was a minor cut on my hand from flying glass. That wouldn't be different if I'd never worn a seat belt, but I'll continue to wear it every time I'm in a car.

I've been on the summit several times in the winter, but I wouldn't set out expecting 50º and rain without a really good reason. Asking the question forces me to assume that you're not really familiar with the mountain's conditions or that you don't have enough experience with poor weather in the mountains. If you're competent to do it there's very little reason to be asking. And regardless of your competence the group is only as strong as the weakest member.

Edited: 08 August 2018, 11:22
Boston...
Level Contributor
4,526 posts
1 review
6. Re: Mount Washington Hike

"potential for rain" says absolutely nothing about the conditions you are considering.

That could be a sprinkle in which case extra care over slippery rocks is the only real problem, or it could mean massive thunder storms with bad wind and 0 visibility.

And the forecast, especially way in advance like must be the case here, is always just a guess.

You should not decide to hike Mt. Washington, or not, based on a forecast several days out regardless of what it is.

Lincoln, NH
Level Contributor
3,015 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Mount Washington Hike

To Steve's point about strenuous vs. difficult. I did not find either Huntington's Ravine (up and down, once in rain) or the Knife's Edge to be strenuous... but yep, they were *difficult* and took me right to the limit of my capabilities.

To the OP if she is still with us. The scenario you may encounter is cold rain, high winds and clouds so thick you cannot see from one cairn to the next. Wandering to find a cairn is a sure way to get lost.. So you wait for it to clear, you study the rocks for signs of wear and work hard to stay on the trail. You may only be able to see 20-40 feet. Among the absolute essentials is a paper map (they work just fine when you phone battery dies) and a compass -- and the knowledge to know what to do with them.

An entertaining post from Outside Mag on the Five most dangerous mountains in the US....

https:/…

hudson valley
Level Contributor
3,213 posts
8. Re: Mount Washington Hike

The same author wrote a more detailed story back in May about why MW can be dangerous:

https:/…why-mount-washington-kills

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
67,134 posts
250 reviews
9. Re: Mount Washington Hike

Mt Washington is the crown jewel of the Whites and more specifically the Presidential Range. No one, imho, should ever plan or attempt the hike without gaining experience on several other hikes nearby. If you choose to skip the more important steps and try to jump to the top, for whatever reason, you are making a grave mistake.

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