Mt. Washington via Huntington Ravine
Hiking/Walk DATE: 08/13/2011 - 08/13/2011
Trip/Event Location: Pinkham Notch, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Very Strenuous
We will hike up the Huntington Ravine to do Washington. Then we will descend using Lion's Head.
THIS IS AN ADVANCE HIKE and you should be in great hiking shape to attend. Everyone must...
We will meet on the porch at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. I'll be wearing a Patriots hat. It is located west off NH 16 around 11 miles north of the junction of NH 16 and US 302 in Glen and about 10.5 miles south of the junction of NH 16 and US 2 in Gorham. The parking lot is big, and it probably will be crowded.
We had picture-perfect Presidential Weather. Today’s hike was 8.5 miles, 4300’ elevation gain and would take 9 hours.
We met at Pinkham Notch Visitors Center at 8:30 AM and were under way by 8:45. It was crowded at the start but we left them once we split Huntington Ravine. We skipped the lower section of the Huntington Ravine trail by using the Fire Road. From the road section, you can get a few glances at the headwall of the ravine which lies ahead. Looking up at the gullies [in awe, I might add] we saw some other people moving. One small group was hiking Huntington's as we were but the other two were rock climbing up the Pinnacle, the most-prominent feature in the ravine.
Presently the trail turns onto the lowest stretches of The Fan, boulders the size of SUVs or small houses even, with gaps between them that could easily swallow all of us. We snaked our way over, around and even under these boulders at first and then saw the yellow blazes off to the right leading into the scrub that made the ascent much easier.
At the top of the talus field, we studied the slabs for a short while and then made our way up. While steep, they are not particularly smooth and it was not difficult to maintain contact. Above the slabs, it required careful attention to find and follow the fading yellow blazes. It was handy to have people if there was any question which side of the next boulder to go on. I personally found this section to be the most challenging, even though the grade is not as steep.
As we crossed the lip of the headwall, we were greeted with a bit more of a breeze, enough to help cool off and dry out from the prior effort, but not enough to induce a chill. We then hooked up with the Nelson Crag Trail to bring us to the summit.
At the summit, we availed ourselves of the facilities which it offers and enjoyed lunch in the caferia followed by taking in the views on the observation deck. As predicted, the winds were light (5-15MPH) and the temps were nudging up to 60 degrees. The views extended well into Maine, including Elephant and Rangeley, and north to Megantic in Montreal. We met Rob, Rick and Rich who had ascended using the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail on the observation deck. Good to see you boys! After an extended break on the summit, it was time to head back down.
We wandered down the top portion of Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Lion Head trail. On the way down, we met up with the most other hikers we'd had seen all day. Thankfully the Tuckerman Ravine Trail had just opened this weekend so the crowds then split between this trail and the trail we would use to descend, the Lion Head Trail.
At the top of the massive rock, Lion Head, we found wonderful views into Tuckerman Ravine. You could see the head wall, Hermit Lake and even tiny little hikers over on the Boott Spur Trail on the southern wall of the ravine. The trail then leaves the ridge and descends steeply to Tuckerman Ravine Trail. At the Tuckerman Ravine Trail we went into autopilot (zombie) mode at some point and woke up when we were back at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Love the Wild Eye video as it captures how steep the ascent really was. What a fearless group - the Mountain Gods smiled and gave us an amazing day. - JDNnh
- What a fantastic day! LOVED Huntington Ravine. Thanks, guys! - JR
- WHAT A DAY! Everything went perfect and was a BLAST! Thanks Mike and Jon for hosting this hike. Here is a YouTube video of The tough part (in HD): www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9oCVV4BY5c Other videos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3HF9s4r4Jw and www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg6TFbafzTI - WalkaboutBrian
JDNnh Aug 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM
Comment: Love the Wild Eye video as it captures how steep the ascent really was. What a fearless group - the Mountain Gods smiled and gave us an amazing day.
JR Aug 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM
Comment: What a fantastic day! LOVED Huntington Ravine. Thanks, guys!
WalkaboutBrian Aug 14, 2011 at 3:54 PM
Comment: WHAT A DAY! Everything went perfect and was a BLAST! Thanks Mike and Jon for hosting this hike. Here is a YouTube video of The tough part (in HD): www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9oCVV4BY5c Other videos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3HF9s4r4Jw and www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg6TFbafzTI