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 Mt Washington hike on Jan 5 
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Mountaineer
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 Mt Washington hike on Jan 5
Amy and I , along with another friend, are planning to hike Mt Washington on Jan 5th. We are experienced winter hikers having hiked Jefferson, Eisenhower, Lafayette, and quite a few other 4000s in winter. We have never hiked Washington in winter and are looking for advice on the best route. I originally suggested Annonoosuc/Crawford, but Tuckerman/Lion Head has been recommended as the better route considering the usual stronger westerly winds. Anyone have first hand experience they can share?

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:08 am
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The wind may be worse on the west side, but it is also far less technical (less likely to need an ice axe / crampons), less dangerous, and 500 feet less elevation. Many people do Ammo - LOC - Monroe - Crawford - Jewell.

If you go on a day like today, then the wind is not really a factor (<10MPH right now). I have gone this way each of the times I've been up there in winter.

Tim

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:57 am
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I have hiked it twice in winter conditions and have come up from the Cog side both times. From that way once above treeline the hike is relatively tame. I have never actually hiked up from Pinkham but those trails intimidate the heck out of me.

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:01 pm
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I've done both and they are similar in difficulty with the exception of the lower "winter route" section of Lions Head. That's a step up in difficulty. When we did it 2 or 3 years ago it was after a big snowstorm but that section was still icy and slick under the snow that did stick and crampons/ice axe were used by us as well as all of the 20 person or so guided group we got stuck behind there. :evil: I think it's a fairly common bottleneck spot because of the difficulty of that one section. Last winter there was a rope there I believe, which might make the ice axe not required but that changes from year to year I think.

Other than that the trails are similar. Easy starts, steep middle and then a climb up the summit cone. Tucks trail might be a bit more direct and steeper climbing the cone too. Crawford does traverse a large sloped snowfield just past the hut but it's not a big deal and I found that route to be fairly pedestrian other than that as far as difficulty goes.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:02 pm
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I suspect the weather will have the biggest influence on our ultimate decision.

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Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:14 pm
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