Batting 1.000 and Russian Roulette

As you all know, the weather last weekend was AMAZING and it wasn’t any different on Mt. Washington. Under blue bird skies Saturday and Sunday, Jamie and Brett were able to summit with all ten clients, they batted 1.000!

Saturday, the forecast predicted clear and sunny but cold. As it turned out, we stood a top New England, at the summit of Mt. Washington, around 1:30pm in temperatures in the single digits and 10 mph gusts of wind — it was fantastic! Our goal was summit or bust. We were attempting to redeem a failed summit bid [due to weather] earlier in the season. We set out of Pinkham Notch Visitor Center around 7:30am, 1/2 hour ahead of schedule, and set a tremendous pace all day. We cleared tree line around 11am, took a break atop Lions Head around 12pm and summited at 1:30! As we left the summit we had the honor of photographing a fellow climber spread the ashes of his friend on the summit of Mt. Washington; a very memorable moment. Instead of descending via Lions Head trail, we decided to drop in to Tuckerman’s Ravine via Right Gully. The avalanche forecast was lowered from considerable to low, we crossed paths with many skiers who ascended the route and decided that it was a nice, safe change of scenery. We stopped half way down the gully to watch a group of skiers descend the headwall. It looked like an awesome ride, except they forgot their dog at the top, too afraid to follow. We spent the next 45 minutes coaxing the dog away from the headwall and down right gully, as the dog’s owner was forced to climb the headwall after him. Once, he reached the dog, we proceeded down the gully and back to the visitors center. All in all, a great day on the hill!

The drive to the mountain Sunday was dark, because of day light savings time! The lost hour of sleep demanded a large coffee! The weather was more of the same. The forecast predicted winds of 45-60 mph with higher gusts. We broke tree line around 11:30am with eight climbers and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Jamie and Brett were pumped to guide everyone to a successful summit — two days in a row! At the summit, the winds picked up and gusts strong enough knock you off balance persisted. Even so, the wind chill was still above zero which allowed us to explore the summit and capture the 360 degree views from the top. It was magnificent. We descended via Lions Head Trail and returned to the visitors center with plenty of day light.

It was a very successful weekend on the mountain for NEM, the guides and ALL of the clients!
Looking forward to a climb on Friday and two-day skills seminar this weekend.

Don’t forget to check out the Special Climb: Summit at Sunrise – May 26th and our new course: Intro to Rock Climbing!

Get out and Climb!

Ice Climbing the "Hillary Step"

Summit under blue bird skies

Summit Cone: So Close!