Ascent of Mount Washington on 2014-08-08

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, August 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Washington
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:6288 ft / 1916 m

Ascent Trip Report

Decided to hike Mount Washington on 8/8/14, which was a peak that was long overdue for a hike (last ascent of it was three years ago).

I set out from PNVC on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail at 8:55 AM, following it past Crystal Cascade to the start of the Boott Spur Trail. I went straight onto that trail, thus leaving behind 90% of the crowds on Tuck's.

The trail started out steep, but with a good footway. The woods changed rather quickly, and I passed a few outlooks on the way up. After an hour or so, I reached an open outlook into Tuckerman Ravine, which had an excellent view of it and socked-in Washington. Not long after that, I emerged onto the treeless alpine zone.

From that point, the trail climbed past Split Rock to the upper end of the Boott Spur Link, which makes a steep descent to Tuck's. I stayed on the Boott Spur Trail, following it up the cone of the namesake subpeak of Washington to the Davis Path. Since it was there, I made a short rock-hop off the trail to the summit of Boott Spur, which had good views and a metal prong sticking out of the rock marking the high point. Off on the Davis Path I went after that.

From here, the 0.7 mile on the Davis Path and the 0.4 mile Lawn Cutoff had very easy grades, albeit with some rough footing. I descended a bit, then began to see the swamp of crowds coming up Tuck's. Not long after that, I came to the junction with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. To get to the summit, I made a steep 0.6 mile/900 ft. gain climb to the summit via the trail, parts of the Auto Road and a wooden stairway. I then waited in line to get a summit pic (ugh); when it was finally my turn, a French Canadian family took my pic after I took theirs. After that, I went into the summit building to get my celebratory pizza (yum!), then I headed down Tuck's to the Lion Head Trail, which I took back to the Hermit Lake shelters.

Lion Head kicked my butt- it was steep and rough almost the whole way, and the rough rocks along the trail totaled my hiking boots (now I gotta pay a mint for ones that actually last more than a few hikes). The view from the actual bulge of rock known as Lion Head was excellent, with a good view of Tuckerman Ravine being the main attraction. From there, the trail made a steep and rough descent, with one difficult scramble along the way, to the shelters and Tuckerman Ravine Trail, which I took back to the trailhead.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4400 ft / 1341 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4400 ft / 1340 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.4 mi / 15.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4400 ft / 1341 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4300 ft / 1311 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Tuckerman Ravine, Boott Spur, Davis Path, Lawn Cut
    Start Trailhead:Pinkham Notch Visitor Center  1988 ft / 605 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4300 ft / 1310 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:Tuckerman Ravine, Lion Head, Tuck's
    End Trailhead:Pinkham Notch Visitor Center  1988 ft / 605 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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