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Lions Head Summer Route in Winter?


Original Post
Eric Grothaus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

I'm going to be in the region between Christmas and new years, and was eying a trip up Mt Washington. I've done the Lions Head Winter Route 7-8 times, and was planning to take my son up for his first....

But

I'm reading that the winter route is still closed, and I've never done the summer. Can anyone describe what it would be like this early in the season?


Thanks

Eric

Troy S · · Somerville, MA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 25

I remember this post from last year and found it informative at the time. Hope it helps. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/112412964/help-dissuade-my-brother-from-a-winter-climb-idea

Eric Grothaus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

Appriciated, though not exactly what I was looking for. Note that I've got almost 20 years mountaineering experience, and my son has donned crampons and his axe in the Tetons and Glacier. I've bailed on this climb before, I'll do it again if there's a nasty low.

My question is more specific to the summer route, and what to expect in terms of snow and ice accumulation if we have to use it this early in the season. 

My Christmas wish is that there's a sufficient dump in the next 2 weeks to open the winter route, I know that one like the back of my hand.


Thanks again

Eric

Troy S · · Somerville, MA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 25

Understood, apologies I misinterpreted your first post. 

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 720

The summer route (what use to be just called the Lion's Head route) is generally closed in winter due to avalanche danger.  There was a death on it during the rescue of Hugh Herr a long time ago.  There was a book written about it. That is why they created the winter route.  

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

To actually answer your question - the summer route is a regualr trail (during the summer - duh).  MUCH less steep then the steeper parts of the winter route.  At one point right around treeline it makes a long rising traverse towards the nothwesat (on the way up).  Across  a sort of open uniform fairly steep slope.  This is the spot where the avalach danger is the highest.  Because it is such a popular routes the snow rangers are pretty conservative about switching to the winter route when the risk increases.  That said an official "blessing" is no substitute for your own judgement.  Another thing is that it is exposed to the wind for a longer distance then the winter route.

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0
Brian wrote:

The summer route (what use to be just called the Lion's Head route) is generally closed in winter due to avalanche danger.  There was a death on it during the rescue of Hugh Herr a long time ago.  There was a book written about it. That is why they created the winter route.  

Where Albert and Mike were caught was actually the old winter route - not the current summer or the current winter route.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northeastern States
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