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Mt. Washington winter ascent info wanted!


Original Post
Eric T. · · St. Augustine, Florida · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 160

I'm looking to hike/climb Mt. Washington this weekend but have not been able to find much information on the best winter route.

Anybody have any beta?

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,984

If you check out neclimbs.com/ you should be able to get good local information. The site caters especially to people from the area.

The forecast for tomorrow is:
"In the clouds with a slight chance of snow showers. Wind chills 25-35 below.

Highs: around 0°F

Wind: WNW 30-50 mph increasing to 40-60 mph with higher gusts"

Sounds balmy :) Winds were in the solid triple digits a few days ago.

Tosch Roy · · Bend · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 45

I'm guessing you're talking about Mt. Washington in Oregon not the one in Maine or wherever that hill is they call a mountain. I've only done it in the summer so sorry if none of this is new. The North ridge should definitely be the easiest but I imagine it's covered in rime already so you'd have to dig for decent pro which is mediocre at best. There's the first technical section you get to at the summit pinnacle which is vertical and then there's another steep (but not vertical) section right before topping out. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt there's any real ice to get a screw in at this point in the year.

If you get up there, report back!

M LaViolette Jr. · · The Past · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 370

I'm guessing you're talking about Mt. Washington in Oregon not the one in Maine or wherever that hill is they call a mountain.

Oh, you mean the one in NH that's the second deadliest peak in North America?
Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110

My guess is there are many more MP'ers who know details and dangers of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire well before any unknown mountain in Oregon. Respect the East Coast for the challenges it provides!

Brendan Blanchard · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

My guess is there are many more MP'ers who know details and dangers of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire well before any unknown mountain in Oregon. Respect the East Coast for the challenges it provides!

Yupyup. When I saw this thread I started looking for the death warning signs you find on the trails, but didn't find anything off hand. Regardless, if you were talking about our "little hill' like that...Yer gonna die.
M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,984

Doh!, lol. I forgot about the other Washingtons and didn't even notice this was in the Pacific NW forum.

I have friends who trained on Mt Washington in NH by getting used to the worst conditions and when they got to Denali early season it was no problem for them when everybody else was bailing because it was too cold. So yes, it might be small, but it sticks right into the winter jet stream and is at the intersection of two storm tracks. The results are Antarctic like conditions with average daily wind speeds of 44 MPH with hurricane winds over 100 days out of the year and temps down to -46 degrees F. It can be pretty brutal for a hill.

Dan Friedman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 55

I'm guessing you're talking about Mt. Washington in Oregon not the one in Maine or wherever that hill is they call a mountain.

That hill with the second highest surface wind speed ever recorded. Grab your mittens and toboggan lets have at it.
Eric T. · · St. Augustine, Florida · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 160

Yeah, still looking for info on winter routes for OREGON'S Mt. Washington. Thanks!

hotlum · · Bend, Oregon · Joined May 2009 · Points: 365

Hey Eric, I work up at Hoodoo and look at the northwest side of Mt. Washington just about every day while eating lunch in the top liftshack. Obviously snow is pretty minimal this year. I would say take the normal north ridge scramble (4th/5.1). I did it a decade ago in the fall. I remember there being a tree rooted half way up the route you could use as a mid point belay/rap spot.
We got a bit of weather on Thursday (5th) which put a nice coat of rime up there. Wait a few days because temps will rise, even in the high country and make the route more like early April conditions (wet rock, some rime). Three Finger Jack is pretty cool also. Should be in the same shape via south ridge (4th/5.1).

Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180

Eric, I live in your area and wouldn't mind going up Mt. Washington with you. I've done it in the spring, not winter, but the pack this year is pretty thin. North rib is definitely the easiest route.

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,635

Hey Eric,
I climbed the North Ridge a number of winters ago in December (06) when there was far more snow and found excellent thin ice/rime. I doubt you'll find those conditions now, but haven't had eyes on it recently so don't really know. Here are some pics.

Bud Torcom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hey Max,

Looking to climb Washington in Oregon this weekend. Thanks for the pictures!. I was wondering if you used ice screws? Also wondering if you wore crampons on the vertical summit push?

Bud

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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