Mount Washington Mountaineering Trip Log: Jan 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008: Driving to NH and arriving at Pinkham Notch

Driving from the city to North Conway, New Hampshire. The town is nice, the EMS is even nicer!

Word of advice. Check out the prices at EMS and across the street at IME before making any purchases or rentals. They both have good stuff and knowledgable staff.  

Couldn't beleive how nice the Joe Dodge Lodge was. Besides the really nice rooms, with beds and sheets and pillows and blankets, the bathrooms were immaculate.

They also had two really nice reading rooms with fireplaces. Oh the fireplace. But I have to say, the biggest surprise was how good the food was. The menu for the night was a nice salad, a really good vegetable soup, and a chicken, stuffing and gravy dish that was delicious. They even had a vegetarian dish for those non meat eaters (or crazies as I call them). between the excellent meal and the nice rooms and ammenities, I could not beleive the cost was only 62 bucks a night. I would have gladly paid more. This was definately worth the price of admission.

After dinner we got together to try out our gear and make sure we had everything for the morning.

Since it was my first time using crampons, I wanted to try them on outside... But I didn't want to tear up the nice carpet. Yeah, these little 100 pound women can just walk on the floors and nothing will happen. An ogre like me would probably go right through the floor. So I gently crawled out the back way!! :-)

After the comic relief, and the assurances that all crampons fit and ice axes were good, we counted sheep so we could get up in the morning.

Sunday, January 20, 2008: Up the Mountain We Go

We had breakfast, (a pretty good one too) and threw some hot waterin the nalgenes and thermoses so it wouldn't freeze.

Then we loaded our packs, put on our crampons, and got on our way.

For the first part of the hike, I had way too much clothing on. Once again, I failed to follw my rule to be cold before I started. But I was the last one out as usual, so I was feeling a little rushed. Once we got going, I had to strip off my fleece and only wear my hat halfway on myhead in order to stay cool enough. but once we got going I was fine. I didn't start out using my crampons, but in retrospect, that was a mistake. It definately saves energy as you will do a little sliping on sll the snow. next time, ill throw em on right in the beginning.

The trail is basically in three parts. The first thrid is steady climb to the trees.

Then you go the next third up a step section thats a little techinical in a few places.

Then the last thrid is above the treeline.

I felt great for the most part, except my knee was bothering me since its still not completely healed form the patellar tendon tear. And since I was compensating a little, me left hip flexor was sore from about the middle of the climb on. But other than that I felt really good.

Once we got to the tree line, it all of a sudden turned into a mountain. The winds started really really blowing, and it dropped to fifteen below, with a wind chill of -50, and 70 mile an hour winds. Unfortunately, I was too stoopid to keep my goggles in my jacket and instead wore them on my forehead, so by the time I really neeeded them, they were caked in ice that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get rid of. Note to self.. Don't do that again.

At that point, I went on for a little bit, but turned around after the winds were really blowing. I knoew I wasn't going to get to the top, and once I got above tree line, my only true goal for the climb, I lost some interest. Honestly, if I can't see a good view, I lose pretty much all interest. I have to admit, I was also pretty tired by that point.

As I turned around, I met Aneka, who was also ready to turn around. She was feeling bad about turning back since she had trainined for four months. But as I said to her, it'll be her for you next time. better to turn around in bad wether than to not return from it. This is all about fun.

So we walked down the mountain and had a few good laughs. And of course, shes from NYC so we excahnged info and we'll probably hook up for another hike one of these days. Such is the small world of outdoor sports.  She was definately good company, and had she not also turned back, I would have had a very broing hike home by myself, so I definately appreciated her company.


Once I got back to the Lodge, I juped in the shower, and was ready to go grab a beer and a Steak. No way was I going to wait for Dinner at 6:30.

We ate at the Moat Brewery and Restaurant, which had killer nachos, rediculously good BBQ brisket, and a really good micro brew. Hit the spot. I highly recommend going there. I will surely be going back.

Of course, on our way back, we had to fill our Nalgenes with beverages other than gatorade.

And toast the day.

And enjoy the company of good friends.

All in all, a good day of mountaineering.

Monday, January 21, 2008: The drive home

Nice and sore. Man I don't mind driving. But for 8 hours, it kind of sucks!

Suggestion for those doing this trip.. If you are driving through Conn near NYC on I95 on a weekday, make sure its not even close to rush hour. Even on a semi holiday like MLK day! Going through that last bit of 95 really took way longer than it should have.


"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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