Clear Skies

Mt Washington gave us permission to climb to her summit again on February 5th. It’s a good thing it did as we had 4 climbers and our friend Curtis who came up from Georgia to climb this weekend. The day dawned clear and cold with a temp of -3 at the base. We geared up and set out at 7:30am. The ski trail was very firm and a bit slick underfoot, but straight forward nonetheless. After the walk to the fire road, we put on the crampons etc for the climb up to Lions Head. I was happy to see very few parties on the route, which meant no traffic jam at the rock/ice section. We broke treeline and took a break, as it would have been a crime to break below the trees considering the clear weather and awesome views. I noticed between the alpine garden and split rock the trail had moved about 20 feet to the left since last week. This section had quite a bit of wind blown snow, which concerned me slightly. It also made the footing a little bit like walking in sand. It firmed back up beyond split rock. We made the summit in a marathon of 7hrs. The wind was blowing about 40-50mph but until the summit we hardly had any wind at all. We got to watch the clouds blowing in from the west and funnel over the lakes of the clouds hut and into Tuckermans and then immediately disapate. Weather and clouds always fascinate me. The descent was fairly uneventful again and we reached the ice section as the sun was setting. After a short rappel we were back on then ski trail for a moonlit descent reaching the parking lot at 7pm….that’s an 11.5 hr round trip!!! A new record. But the bottom line is we got everyone to the summit safely.
Spent the net day ice climbing at Frankenstein. Tomorrow will find us climbing in Crawford Notch somewhere. Stay Tuned!

Climbing from tree line to Lions Head

Hanging out at Lions Head. Tuckermans behind

Heading up the summit cone!

Looking Southeast from the summit cone.

Summit! (Big thanks to Sam and Kim MacGown for all of these images)