The plan is to climb to of the 4,000 footers in NH - Washington (#1 @ 6,288') and Monroe (#4 @ 5,384'). The weather looks great, but depending on trail conditions/snow accumulation we will change our plan as these are not mountains to mess with, especially in winter.
Read the entire description before you RSVP and answer all questions that are part of the RSVP. Failure to answer them will result in your removal from this event.
If you RSVP from a mobile device the questions may not show up - be sure to use a computer to update your RSVP so you can answer them (go back to the event page, click change "RSVP", click "YES", then answer them.
Your safety, and the safety of the group, is the most important thing. Don't put yourself or others at risk consider your ability, experience, and preparedness before you decide to participate.
Notice: We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you (in the cold winter months this can be particularly dangerous for the entire group if we have to wait around, getting cold). Please read the entire TRIP SUMMARY, below, before you RSVP. It is important, not only for your safety, but that of the entire group.
We will ascend Monroe first via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Mount Monroe Loop Trail. We will then hike up to Washington. We will take the same route to return to the parking lot. While we will pass the Observatory on top of Washington and the AMC Hut near Madison they are closed for the season.
A good portion of this hike will be spent above treeline so you will need to be prepared appropriately. It could be cold and windy, it could snow, or it could be warm with blue skies. Be sure to look at the gear information listed below - you will need wind protection, goggles, and traction among other things. If you don't know what to wear and/or bring with you or have any questions contact me.
We will hike at a moderate to fast pace, but with caution when needed and will take the time to properly change layers and use the right footwear so it will be hard to compare to “book time”. For those wondering, it should take an average hiker about 7 hours 30 minutes to complete this trip (this doesn't include time for rest/food breaks).
We will hike about 10.14 miles and climb about 4,335 feet.
We will have boots on the trail at 8:00am so meet at the trailhead parking lot a good 20-30 minutes before so we can leave on time. This will be a day hike, but do have a headlight in the unlikely event it's needed on return. Snowshoes and full crampons need to be in your pack!
Full details here: http://www.wmgonline.org/Map/TripReport.aspx
Environment: Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions so be prepared. If conditions will be or become dangerous on the trail (i.e., elevated likelihood of lightning, blizzard, dangerous winds, downpour, or dense fog, especially above treeline), I will cancel or terminate the hike - I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants a day or two ahead of time. We will assess travel and weather conditions during the hike and make changes to our planned trip as necessary. While reaching the summit is always our goal, we will not succumb to "summit fever" and risk our well-being in the process. The mountain will still be there another day.
Weather: http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/forecast.php, also check out http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Washington-2/forecasts/1917
Gear Info: This gear is critical in the winter. There is no cheating here. If you mess up you put everyone in danger. Below is a list describing the minimum required items to participate in this event. Hiking safely is about being prepared so that you can respond to an emergency situation or spend a night in the woods if you have to. Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.
Footwear: Proper, well-soled winter-rated hiking or mountaineering boots with heavy synthetic or wool socks with a spare pair in your pack, gaiters to keep snow out our your boots, and Microspikes/Hillsounds. You should also bring crampons AND snowshoes. I will monitor ice conditions and snow depths and let you know before the hike if I feel we can safely leave some equipment at home.
Hands and Head: A synthetic or wool cap that covers your ears and warm, non-cotton waterproof gloves as well as -0-rated mittens are critical. Your rain gear/shell, should feature a hood.
Face and Eyes: A face mask, balaclava or some other form of face protection. And for the eyes, glacier glasses with blinders and/or goggles with lightly tinted lenses.
Clothing: Dress in layers with "wicking" synthetics next to the skin and wool over to easily regulate body temperature (clothing designed to deal with sweat during exertion and insulate even when wet). Also, it can be windy at the summit and it will typically be much colder at higher elevations so please be prepared. Make sure your layers fit comfortably over each other. DO NOT WEAR COTTON! While cotton is a great insulator when it's dry, once wet it doesn't dry easily and it rapidly conducts heat away from the body. Also consider bringing an extra layer in your pack just in case.
Outerwear: Windproof/waterproof shell (with hood) as well as windproof/waterproof pants. Also bring a down or synthetic "puffy" jacket just if conditions above treeline warrant it.
Food and Water: Bring high-energy snacks making sure you have plenty of salts and sugars (this will help you make better use of your water), your choice of food for lunch, and pack extra just in case. Again, bring enough water to stay properly hydrated during the trip. Use at least two Nalgene bottles or a hydration bladder to carry your water. If using a hydration bladder like a CamelBak or Platypus, and if the weather is very cold, and especially if the tube is uninsulated, you will need to clear the tube after drinking, also pinching the valve while upright, "twanging" it, and keeping the bite-valve in your shirt. I also know of other trail remedies that can save your day, but do consider bringing spare some water in another container. It's a good idea to have a hearty meal the night before followed by a good night's sleep. Also, try to begin the hike well hydrated.
Shelter: Be prepared to spend a night in the woods if you have to. Minimal options include an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, or an emergency space blanket (which packs small and weighs just ounces).
Other Essential Gear: Map and compass: don't just bring them, know how to use them. Also, a plastic whistle, headlamp with spare batteries (required, forget and you can't come), a first aid kit containing any medications you may need personally (please let me know if you have any applicable allergies, medical conditions, and special medications you may be carrying), a small knife or multipurpose tool, matches or wind-proof lighter and fire starter, a toiletries kit (e.g. hand sanitizer, toilet paper and a zip-lock bag to pack out your used personal hygiene items), sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and a waterproof pack cover.
Optional Items: Stowable trekking poles (recommended) and camera.
Directions to trailhead: https://local.google.com/maps?f=d&daddr=44.267002,-71.360824%28Ammonoosuc+Ravine+Trailhead%29
Disclaimer: As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; You agree not to hold the Organizer, Event Organizers, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear and agree to know and follow the Hiker Responsibility Code described at http://www.hikesafe.com.