General > Conditions

Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.

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Admin Al:
It's been cold up on the mountain, but there hasn't been much snow over the past couple of days. although there is some ice, it is fairly suspect, so be aware.  :P

Plenty of people out today in Huntington. Pinnacle had a line of what by the looks of those approaching planned on climbing protected. Central also looked to be getting climbed by a group of two, at least they where heading that way when i hung a  left for Odell's. A group of two had climbed Odell's taking the middle lone prior to myself. A group of three was climbing roped and with what looked like good protection on the right side. Just as i was setting out to climb myself a couple boy/girl arrived i think also roping up to climb the center and or left?

If you wanna climb there is ice that is for sure. How good that ice is and how safe well i will leave that to you to decide. I def kicked through and put my axe through a couple places. I also down climbed to choose another line once or twice as what looked solid was not! I returned the Tuckerman Ravine trail. I stopped about half way down to chat with a nice guy heading up. Not 5 minutes later i had gotten to the bottom and was chatting up a couple that had just bailed off some lower ice bulges when i turned to hear a good crash of ice followed by a slide. Nothing major but enough that you would not have wanted to be under it. Crazy part is it was exactly where i had just been talking with that nice old guy.

That's what i got! I would say the next week of cold should do some real good. Def need some snow to fill some stuff in though. The approaches are not horrible but lets just say it is not the normal mid December approach or decent.

This was posted a few days ago,  but I posted it in the wrong section:

10 hours on the rock pile yesterday and froze my a*#s off! winds were unrelenting and the temps were single digits. I had heard that it dipped somewhere around -20-25F with the wind chill. We climbed all day in Tucks and conditions are coming along. Probably 6-8" of fresh powder as we hiked in past the hut to the head of the bowl. Open Book was climbable and there were a number of parties climbing that route (as did we). Some stuff forming and climbable in the center of the headwall and left of left is coming in very nicely. We would have gone over there as both that and left gully looked nice, but the approach was boney and heinous!
Despite the cold temps, water was running pretty freely under all of the routes and the ice is still fairly undermined. Once we get more snow, conditions should firm up. Wear the micro spikes at the Tucks trail is a nightmare without them!


Admin Al:
Here's the latest from Rich, the caretaker at the Harvard Cabin up by Huntington. If anyone should know what's up in the Ravines, it's Rich.


Seasons Greetings,

Just a quick holiday greeting as Marcia and I are about to head back up the
trail with our annual Christmas Ham. Cabin visitors over the next few days
may get to enjoy some left-overs! Sorry, no guarantees!

*General Conditions*

Conditions are improving ever so slightly. Weather is still extremely
variable. For example, I enjoyed the my first frosty beard in O'Dells last
Friday while climbing with HMC President Peter McCarthy. Then on Wednesday,
it was a glove-less day in Pinnacle Gully. Even still, it was about the
best ice I've climbed this season!

So, without getting into too much detail, it is slowly but surely starting
to look and feel like winter on the Rockpile. Hermit Lake Caretaker Dave
Weston and I were able to make about 30 linked turns on a powdery summit
cone on Sunday, December 17th. As is normal, South-Easterly aspects make
for nice catch, even when snow-fall is minimal. Of course, not too long
after that we saw temperatures rise again along with the return of mixed
and liquid precipitation.

Of course, the precipitation and relatively thin snow-pack,  is making for
some interesting conditions on higher-angle terrain, thus prompting the
season's first General Advisory to be posted for Tuckerman Ravine. You can
read the Advisory and see recent photos taken in the Ravines at

*Traction Required*

As you've probably guessed, the unstable weather has made for some
interesting trail conditions. Just short of needing to pitch-out the
Tuckerman Ravine Trail, for now traction is REQUIRED!  Of course, crampons
will work but lighter forms of traction like Micro-spikes, Yak-Traks,
Stabilicers, etc would be ideal. To be clear, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is
locked in Ice from Pinkham to Hermit Lake, so please be careful, especially
with heavy packs. Exercise extra caution if you are using your crampons
while traveling on hiking trails.

*Harvard Cabin Registration*

Just a reminder, if you are planning on staying at Harvard Cabin,
registration is first come, first serve. The Harvard Cabin Register can be
found at the Front-Desk at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center from 6:30 AM - 9:00
PM. After hours, 9:00 PM - 6:30 AM, you'll find the register downstairs in
the Pack-up room. Please take time to read all instructions and information
and to complete the registration process. This will ensure everyone's stay
at Harvard Cabin is comfortable and enjoyable!

I'm hoping for a busy holiday week. If you're coming up for New
Years.....bring a tent, just in case it gets a little too "hot" in the
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and Happy Climbing!

Time to get this pig up the trail. See you soon,

*Rich Palatino
*Harvard Cabin Caretaker


*NOTE - Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the
general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by
the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a
first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and April 1st each year.
Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at ***<>

Admin Al:
hmmm... might not be the day to do Shoestring as planned!  :P


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