Mount Washington: Jan 2008

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the American Northeast at 6,288 ft (1,917 m). It is famous for its dangerously erratic weather, holding the record for the highest wind gust directly measured at the Earth's surface, at 231 mph (372 km/h) on the afternoon of April 12, 1934. It was known as Agiocochook, or "home of the Great Spirit", before European settlers arrived.

The mountain is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, in Coos County, New Hampshire. It is the third highest state high point in the eastern U.S., after Mount Mitchell, North Carolina – 6,684 ft (2,037 m) – and Clingmans Dome, Tennessee – 6,643 ft (2,025 m) – and is the most prominent peak in the Eastern United States.

While nearly the whole mountain is in the White Mountain National Forest, an area of 59 acres (0.24 km²) surrounding and including the summit is occupied by Mount Washington State Park.


The Plan

The plan is to leave early on Saturday morning, January 19, at 6:00 AM and arrive in North Conway around 3 pm-ish.  Those who need to get crampons and an axe can do this when we arrive in North Conway. There is an EMA right acroos he street from the Internaltional Mountaineering School, both with rentals, and new gear.

We have available to us the Pinkham Notch Joe Dodge Lodge  at the base of our trail up Mt. Washington.  We will stay there the nights of January 19 and 20 (Saturday and Sunday nights). The price per night is $64.80 and this includes a fabulous dinner and all you can eat breakfast.  This seems a deal considering we would pay $20 for dinner and close to $10 for breakfast.  This location saves us driving out from North Conway on the morning we start up Mt. Washington. the trail is literally right outside the front door of the lodge.

Dinner is at 6:00 pm prompt, and breakfast at 7:00 am.

The phone nuymber for resrevations is (603) 466-2727 (9-5, Monday - Saturday).

For more information on Pinkham Notch Joe Dodge Lodge

Apparently, the AMA lodge is run entirely on wind and solar, so they are eco friendly, nbut there is ne reason to bring a headlamp or candle if they would like to read I bed.  There's literally a lamp built into the bunk for that! Really a posh stay for the price.


The Crew




Mt Washington can be windy and cold.  Pay special attention to keeping your core, fingers and feet warm.  You should have a full cover for your head and it should be windproof.  On the climb, we’ll carry a day pack with food water and spare clothing, camera etc.

Those of you who need to rent stuff should do this on Saturday afternoon.  You’ll need good boots (possibly Plastic if it's getting below 0), gaitors, crampons and ice axe.  Trekking poles are useful but be sure you can attaché them to your pack when we do a short, steep section through the woods - for that section you’ll need to use your ice axe. 

Consider how you’ll keep your water from freezing – start with hot water and then insulate it somehow. They will sometimes have thermos' and nalgene insulators at the Visitors center 20 feet from the Joe Dodge Logde next to the cafeteria.

Gear List

Click here to see each of the items in more detail...


  • Thin Polypro. layer
  • Thick Polypro. layer
  • Fleece Jacket and/or vest
  • Jacket shell (Gore Tex or simillarly resistant)
  • Polypro. long-johns
  • Pile or fleece pants
  • Pant shell (Gore Tex or similarly resistant)
  • Balaclava
  • Fleece or Wool hat
  • Sun glasses/Ski goggles/Glacier glasses
  • Polypro or fleece glove liner
  • Glove shell (Gore Tex or similarly resistant)
  • Multiple pairs of synthetic or wool socks
  • Gaiters
  • Mountain Boots (sturdy enough for flexible crampons; rentals available)
  • Backpacking pack or Duffel bag
  • Day pack
  • Ground pad/Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down Jacket (Optional)

Climbing Gear

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Helmet
  • Trekking poles (optional)

Personal Medical Supplies

  • Small first-aid kit
  • Aspirin
  • Moleskin
  • Sun block
  • Chapstick with sun block


  • Utensils
  • Bowl
  • Cup


  • Headlamp/flashlight (with spare batteries)
  • Water bottles
  • Heat packs
  • Camera

Trip Log

Click here to see my trip Log...



Click here to see my photo gallery from the climb...




Pics from Previous Years Climb

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."    — Robert A. Heinlein

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