The stuff dreams are made of

The weather forecast was pretty grim for Saturday April 28th and I was scheduled to climb Mt. Washington with one climber. Cloudy, -30 wind chills, and 65 mph winds. We headed out to stick our noses into it and see what the mountain would allow us to do. Mike is a Scuba Diving Instructor from Connecticut and a fit one at that. He is starting his training for his second marathon in D.C. and what a way to do it than climbing Mt. Washington in the winter. It may be flowers and butterflies in Massachusetts but Mt. Washington is holding onto its notorious winter weather. We skipped over our normal first break and pushed straight onto the second break. Here we took 10 minutes to get a snack and water before we pushed onto Lions Head. We reached Lions Head at 10AM.. about an hour and half earlier than normal! We felt great and kept the pace across the Alpine Garden which, wouldn’t you know it, was windy as usual.. 25mph sustained with 45mph gusts. I was surprised at how much snow there was on the trail, which we had to break because we were the first to go up since the summit received 5″ of powder. The climb to split rock was slow going due to knee deep powder. We didn’t see another soul on the mountain until we began our trek down. The clouds parted as we crested the summit which gave us an amazing view as a reward. Then the clouds closed in as fast as they cleared. This continued throughout our 30 minute stay on top. It took us 4.5 hours to the summit. Depending where you stood, the wind was 30mph – 60mph. We got the full experience of Mt. Washington on this day! The descent took another 3.5 hours only taking 1 leisurely break and a few smaller ones to adjust our clothing. All in all it was a great day, setting our new guiding record of fastest climb all the while in great company! Thanks for a great climb Mike!

Passing through the Apline Garden covered in rime.

Descending from Split Rock to the Alpine Garden. Lions Head is the furthest prominent point

Playing in 60mph winds!

Mike checking out the views as the clouds parted.

Sunday, we were rock climbing with Paul and Amelia! First time rock climbers and we are pumped that they chose NEM to show them a good time. We climbed a number of routes and their forearms still haven’t forgiven them fully for the 4 hours of work. It was a fantastic day to be out there…and everyone else must have agreed because it was busy! Folks were climbing just about every major route on the cliff. We’re looking forward to Paul and Amelia’s return to tackle some unfinished business on the end crag.

Paul resisting the urge to use the tree as a hold.

Amelia is all business on "Pine Tree 5.4/5.5"

Paul climbing "End Route 5.5" while Jamie assists Amelia with the belay