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 Mt. Washington Hike?

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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 10:50 am

So, Aidan pitched this idea out a while ago and I want to see about making it happen this summer. Who would be interested? It is not an easy hike, but if you've never summited a mountain its doable as a first summit. I did it in 1999 when I was 17 (my first summit), and went with very experienced people. I've since hiked all over the country, been through two rounds of SERE (military survival training), and don't mind leading the charge.

My plan would be to drive up from Maryland on a Friday morning most likely in July, camp near the trailhead after picking Aaron up from one of the nearby airports, and hit the trail early on Saturday. The trails are all dog friendly, and I'm happy to help folks get gear together. The one thing that really struck me when I did it was how underprepared most of the hikers were that we encountered, and Washington is no joke. It's actually one of the more dangerous hikes in the U.S., mostly because the weather can get really bad in a hurry.

So, if anyone has ever had the silly notion to walk up a mountain in a day, and want to knock one of the more respectable summits off your list, chime in on the thread and we'll make this happen Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 11:11 am

Washington is in east central New Hampshire, btw, in the White Mountains.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 12:13 pm

Man, I would absolutely love to join you. I don't know how I'd get there though :/
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 12:19 pm

It's a very long day's drive from Michigan, maybe 14-15 hours if you're willing to do it.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 12:31 pm

Meredith - the idea appeals to no end. I spoke to hubby about it - his reply? He would have no problem with it - but would only take me if I could go up and down the the local gorge trail 10 times in one day...something about my knee. Also, I don't know that I could carry my pack these days, though I suppose I could leave it at the base and pick it up at the end (I'm beginning to contemplate using Ami as my "pocketbook" to carry things on extended outings Sad )

Are we talking Tuckerman's Ravine or something else?

So, the conclusion at the moment - how many miles up? My knee actually does better climbing rather than descending. I'm willing to train and we certainly have terrain around here to do that. I just don't want to commit and have to bail and have that be a problem if we are needed to make this a go. Maybe even if we can just join the camp the night before and do a bit...or go up and come back by the cog railway...just thoughts.

We are familiar with Mt. Washington - the last time we were there (by car) I had to stay in the shelter of buildings as the winds were 60 mph plus and Josh and Wayne had difficulty staying upright let alone walking. Also, for those interested, the Kancamagus Highway is a beautiful drive.

Another, rather embarassing disclaimer...despite being an avid downhill skier, I am afraid of heights...so as long as no cliffside or railroad bridge walking, I'm good. I just don't look down Rolling Eyes
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 12:44 pm

Ok, so most hikes are 4 miles up and 4 miles back with 4000' climbed.  Our gorge is 1.5 miles up with over 800 stone steps...the last section, Jacob's Ladder (which we have nicknamed "Nemesis") is almost straight up.  I even did this one 8.5 mos pregnant.  That was stupid, by the way.  We hike that regularly in season so that would be a start...then there are the adirondacks doable in a day from here...

So, time to build endurance is what, 6-8 weeks?

http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/washington.html

Meredith - your navy survival training is a big plus, too - Mt Washington can go nasty and deadly in a hurry!
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 1:03 pm

Amy-I have been downhill skiing my entire life and also am also terribly afraid heights. It's a miracle I haven't had a panic attack out here in CO yet!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 1:11 pm

@MGoBlue wrote:
Amy-I have been downhill skiing my entire life and also am also terribly afraid heights. It's a miracle I haven't had a panic attack out here in CO yet!

When I first started skiing (about 13) most, if not all, New England ski areas had surface lifts...so I refused to take chair lifts. Much to the chagrin of my peers. My first trip up Mt. Washington by car (teenager) I was terrified - the road in several places above the tree line appears to be suspended in nothingness - I remember one of my younger sisters saying in awe "is this were God lives?" I had my head hiding in a blanket...

I also remember a solo ski trip in the early '80s...took a 5 day intructor accompanied group lesson in Maine. The third day was the first time I had ever heard the term "headwall" And the damn thing was boilerplate hardback
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 5:11 pm

Sorry, I've been out all day and just coming back to this. Amy, it would be incredible if you could make it Smile

Tuckerman's Ravine is the more popular and shortest of the trails, but from what I've read it's more difficult than some of the others. I honestly don't remember which trail I took in 99, but I'll do some more research and we'll find the best trail to accommodate folks. We can also spread load your pack if you're having difficulty with the extra weight, I personally have no problem carrying extra gear if need be.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 5:21 pm

Hey Meredith - that link I posted has some info on different trails. Wayne pointed out we would have to come back to our cars, so I could ditch some stuff before we left.

The gorge trail is open this week or last, I think so my first step is draggin' my butt up and down those 800 steps...and probably time for new hiking shoes. Again. I'll have to check - my older boy does a few summits a year (less now that there are 3 kiddies under 6.) He may have done Mt. Washington at some point.

I'll have to check the fit of my pack - if the weight is properly transferred to my hips, it may be less of a problem. I haven't used the think in years...and years and years. And certainly never of this magnitude.

And now back to the tractor. Changing the hydraulic fluid and neither of us know what we are doing. Nobody wants to pick it up. The closest place is 5-6 miles away and the tractor would take about 2 or more hours to drive it their. So now we are budding tractor mechanics - of the Mutt and Jeff sort lol!
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun May 17, 2015 8:57 pm

That was a really good synopsis of the trails, thanks Amy! Tuckerman's is probably the one we want to do, and there seems to be good camping around there. From what I read, you can actually set up camp almost anywhere in the park so that's nice.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 12:11 am

Ugh, it sucks that it's so far away from me, Kohdi and I would love to do this Sad
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 12:22 am

@blueeyedghost wrote:
That was a really good synopsis of the trails, thanks Amy! Tuckerman's is probably the one we want to do, and there seems to be good camping around there. From what I read, you can actually set up camp almost anywhere in the park so that's nice.

Almost anywhere...but no tents in Tuckerman's Ravine. No wood fires, either.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 12:26 am

@Artic_Wind wrote:
Ugh, it sucks that it's so far away from me, Kohdi and I would love to do this Sad

That's what planes are for. Or trains. Uhh. Cancel that last - not big on trains at the moment. Not until they figure out what happened in Philly. I don't suppose Kohdi would fit in a satchel lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 1:22 am

@amymeme wrote:

@Artic_Wind wrote:
Ugh, it sucks that it's so far away from me, Kohdi and I would love to do this Sad


That's what planes are for.  Or trains.  Uhh.  Cancel that last - not big on trains at the moment.  Not until they figure out what happened in Philly.  I don't suppose Kohdi would fit in a satchel lol!  

Yeah I'm not super keen on trains right now either, though I'd bet money it was human error...

Good to know about the Ravine too, hadn't seen the tent restriction there.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 2:38 am

LOL Amy, I was already thinking Mishka would be making most the hike in my backpack Wink she'd probly fit too!! LOL but seriously, this hike sounds awesome, I really wish we could go, I know Kohdi would love it! I wouldn't take a plane, and yeah, the train Sad ugh, anyways, I hope you all take lots of pics, I'd really enjoy seeing them.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon May 18, 2015 2:34 pm

I'm definitely in, it should be super fun and might actually tire out Yukon for a change. (Who is currently running laps up and down the hallway if anyone is interested in knowing. xD )
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sat May 23, 2015 7:43 pm

Looking at the weekend of July 24-26. Who's in?

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:31 pm

Actually I know we had initially discussed mid-late July; but I recently found out the weekend of July 31-August 2nd would work out much better for me. If it's a bad time for you guys then I could probably make the 24th-26th work. But it's certainly not ideal... :s
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:06 pm

I don't *think* I have anything going on that weekend, and it's early enough out I think we can pull it off.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:03 pm

Sounds like fun and pretty close to us! I'd love to go with our whole family but don't think Tabitha would be able to do it this early.

There's another nice mountain in the White Mountains called Mt. Kearsarge that we've been up before. If anyone wants to tackle a less-strenuous trail (yet still a good workout and beautiful view), we'd love to join!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:21 pm

@capellalayla wrote:
Sounds like fun and pretty close to us! I'd love to go with our whole family but don't think Tabitha would be able to do it this early.

There's another nice mountain in the White Mountains called Mt. Kearsarge that we've been up before. If anyone wants to tackle a less-strenuous trail (yet still a good workout and beautiful view), we'd love to join!

Liz - is this close enough to Mt. Washington to have a central camp and those of us not up to the Mr. Washington Hike to do this as an alternate? Wayne has been having some sciatica this week, my stenosis stuff is acting up with the increased activity of the spring and I'm concerned about Ami - from what I've read, the Mt Washington hike has a lot of sharp rocks that dogs cut their feet on and, the very last of the hike is almost vertical - tough for us up and I understand many dogs need rescue on the down because they balk at the descent. I've already experienced Ami's refusal to go down and he always pancakes when we try to take him on the catwalk to our boat so it's likely this would be a problem for us. The cog railway does not allow dogs - I don't have Ami trained well enough to use him as a service dog.

Also - I think the the July 31st weekend might be better for us.
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:24 pm

There were a couple of sections we needed to scramble a bit, but I don't remember anything near vertical. It is very rocky though so boots would be a very good idea. Our dogs also have handles on their harnesses which will be helpful.

Do we want to confirm that weekend then? I'm still looking at campsites and whatnot but there's nothing wrong with camping slightly away from the trailhead and driving in the morning. I plan on making some phone calls on Monday, I want to get plans firmed up and any reservations made.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:37 pm

@amymeme wrote:

@capellalayla wrote:
Sounds like fun and pretty close to us! I'd love to go with our whole family but don't think Tabitha would be able to do it this early.

There's another nice mountain in the White Mountains called Mt. Kearsarge that we've been up before. If anyone wants to tackle a less-strenuous trail (yet still a good workout and beautiful view), we'd love to join!


Liz - is this close enough to Mt. Washington to have a central camp and those of us not up to the Mr. Washington Hike to do this as an alternate?  Wayne has been having some sciatica this week, my stenosis stuff is acting up with the increased activity of the spring and I'm concerned about Ami - from what I've read, the Mt Washington hike has a lot of sharp rocks that dogs cut their feet on and, the very last of the hike is almost vertical - tough for us up and I understand many dogs need rescue on the down because they balk at the descent.  I've already experienced Ami's refusal to go down and he always pancakes when we try to take him on the catwalk to our boat so it's likely this would be a problem for us.  The cog railway does not allow dogs - I don't have Ami trained well enough to use him as a service dog.

Also - I think the the July 31st weekend might be better for us.

Eep, I guess I didn't realize just how big the White Mountains are and that when we last went there we only visited the southern part. Mt. Washington and Mt. Kearsarge are about 3.5 hours' drive from each other! pale Scratch that plan!
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PostSubject: Re: Mt. Washington Hike?   Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:03 am

Well, I wouldn't be able to do the 31st, but I'm in if you do the prior weekend. Smile
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