Ascent of Mount Washington on 2009-09-17

Climber: Michael Petcher

Date:Thursday, September 17, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Washington
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:6288 ft / 1916 m

Ascent Trip Report

Brother Bill, Sister Hazel, and Father George.......9/17/2009

Mt. Washington via Tuckerman's Ravine Trail up and back

Date: 9/17/09

Participants: My brother Bill, Petch

Trail Conditions: Dry except for typical wet sections on headwall

Commentary: My Brother Bill has been asking about a hike in New Hampshire all summer, and we were finally able to sync a time. Bill has done some hiking in Maine, the Grand Canyon, and in New Zealand; but has never done any peaks in N.H. So, I played hookey and we took a drive to Pinkham Notch. I was being a nice guy, forgoing a needed 4k Peak on my list, and elected to take him up big George. Why not start with the tallest, I thought. A good beating was in order. The weather was not looking promising, with a 3k or so cloud ceiling. I was a bit discouraged, as I wanted him to get some above treeline views of the Presi's. We got a late start and took off from Pinkham Notch at 9:20am. We were hoping that the clouds would burn off as we hiked on.

I forgot how much of a beating the Tuckerman's Ravine trail can be. The lower section is much easier in the winter with microspikes on the Snocat tracks. Anyway, we made pretty good time up to the Caretaker's cabin and chatted with him a bit. Very little hiker traffic, which was very nice. The views into the ravine were real nice as the clouds had cleared some. We hiked up to the base of the headwall, and started going up. Bill was doing fine leading the way, while I was starting to breath quite heavily. This is when I thought....You know, if someone was selling Oxygen hits on the side of the trail, (like a lemonade stand), I would pay up to $3 for one......Really I would. See Bill is older than I, has more hair on his head than I, and in better shape. Ya, your right, I hate him.(sarcasm) We crested the headwall in fog and clouds. Ever since reading "Without Peril", I tend to be a little cautious above treeline. But the clouds seem to be dissapating and we could see multiple cairns on the way up the summit cone. I took a compass heading and off we went.

We continued up and began to see the summit towers through the clouds. The winds were minimal, but I got some real cool pix of the fog and clouds moving around above treeline. We arrived at the summit to view the crowds arriving on the Cog. Lots of heavy equipment and construction going on. We battled our way to the summit sign and got our picture taken. Then off to the cafeteria for lunch. We thought about the Childogs (only because we could), but decided to forego the potential intestinal chaos in favor of our own sandwiches.

We then began our descent. My knees always like this part. On the way down the summit cone, the clouds parted momentarily giving us some views of the Southern Presi's including the Lakes hut. I was very glad Bill got a chance to see this. We continued down and over the headwall and back down into the ravine. We stopped again at the cabin to refuel a bit. Then off down the trail back to the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center arriving at the car at 4pm.

We took off for the Moat in N.Conway for a congratulatory beverage, with Sister Hazel playing on the CD player. Congratulations to Bill on his first NH 4K.

Hiking Stats: Around 8.4 miles, about 6 hours, 40 min

Cool flag Pictures:

Ascent List:


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