General > Rock Climbing: Trad

Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle day trip

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Hello All!  I am trying to plan a trip this weekend (weather permitting) and am looking for some advice.  I was hoping to do a one day excursion, climbing the Pinnacle and once at the top, hiking to the top of Mt. Washington.  My plan would be to use the pay parking on the auto road, and get a very early start.  Im wondering if this is something thats worthwhile or doable in a one day period?  I am comfortable leading in the 5.9 range, my crew isnt the fastest in the world, with the WG Ridge taking about 4 hours a few weeks ago.  Any advice would be great!

If it is your very first time up Pinnacle I would recommend the ground up (hiking from Pinkham) option for a few reasons. If you are not already familiar with the climb then leaving the car "at the top" presents issues should you have to bail due to weather, getting off-route, taking too long, etc. If you climb "ground up" you can retreat and hike back down... vrs. pushing on in deteriorating weather... Just saying, it is Mt. Washington, and it is always easier to go down then up. Also, it is more classic to climb a great route like that by the normal approach/descent.

That being said, I utilize the auto-road for most ascents these days, however;

1) The road doesn't open until at least 8am. You could hike from Pinkham at 6am and save $30 or so and get to the base at the same time.

2) I only use the road during very good weather conditions

A fast party, from the Cow Pasture parking, can hike down the Huntington Ravine trail, rope up, and climb Pinnacle, and return to the cow pasture, in 2 hours. That's fast, and knowing the route. Onsight, first time, probably take 4-6 hours... maybe more adding in a trip to the summit...

Why add the summit if using the road? That seems.. odd considering you've driven almost 4,000 feet up the mountain already... but meh, to each there own... hope my advice helps a little...

I agree with DMan as far as hiking up being the way to go.  Aside from wasting gas and brake pads, driving seems to nullify the point of alpine climbing to me.  Huffing and puffing up the Tux trail, passing the grand boulder below Raymond's Cataract, getting your first glimpse of Huntington walls and gullies...  That's the way to go.  And the walk across the alpine garden, especially at this time of year, is spectacular.

I was parked next to one of those cars yeasterday that had a This car Climbed Mt washington sticker.. I could not help but feel a bit Superior...   Elitist Prick... :-[

Thanks for the advice everyone!  The hike seems like it is definitely the way to go, both logistically and for the real experience.  And yeah, if I wanted an easy day of climbing and no approach, I may as well stay in the gym! 


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