Mt Washington is one of the highest and most dangerous peaks in America. It is 6288 ft tall and notorious for its deadly weather. As many weather patterns collide here, the climate of Mt Washington is unpredictable.
A hiker has to undergo tropical storms, snowfalls, freezing temperature, high-speed winds, and many dangerous situations throughout his journey. As the travelers ascend at higher elevations, the conditions will get tougher to continue the journey. But man is not afraid of any of them.
Every year, a lot of people go for conquering the deadly mountain as well as getting an amazing thrill of adventure. In this article, we are representing top tips and tricks for ensuring your safe and enjoyable winter hiking experience in Mount Washington.
1. Packing guidelines
You have to pack these following things with you.
- Large, light-weight and robust day pack with comfortable straps
- Ice axes
- heavily insulated hiking boots
- 2/3 pair of warm wool socks
- Trekking Poles
- Warm clothes
- Waterproof or windproof jacket
- Hiking gloves
- Facemask and ski goggles
- High-protein foods and water
- Hooded rain jacket
- Map and compass
- First aid kit
- Other accessories
Be sure to carry all essentials in your bag and cover yourself with full body protection before starting the final ride.
2. Training and practicing
If you have no idea and experience about climbing a mountain in winter, don’t dare to ride Mt Washington directly. You can train yourself by hiking in snow and ice, practicing ascending and descending from low-hightmountains, etc.
Then try to climb other White Mountain peaks in winter. These will help you to learn survival skills, hiking techniques, new strategies, and develop your mental strength. You can also contact some skilled guides. They will teach you necessary mountaineering skills, self-rescue techniques, group rescue techniques, navigation, and the uses of equipment and accessories.
3. Start your journey with some experienced winter mountaineers
You must bring some skilled mountaineers with you. Especially if you have no experience of climbing on Mt Washington in winter. As they have experienced, they are quite familiar with the impediments, brutal weather conditions, and safe climbing ways.
They know exactly what to do in which situation to have a safe and successful journey, which you may not know at all. Besides, you will learn many safety tricks, ascending and descending skills, and so on. There are few services which will rent you’re the required gears as well as provide a group of experienced climbers with you.
4. Start climbing in the morning
Hiking at night is hazardous and risky. At night, the probabilities of losing track, falling from a rock by slipping feet are high. Besides, rescuing anyone in the darkness is very tough too. So, try to reach your destination before evening.
As the day is shorter than the night in winter, you need to start hiking early in the morning. Fix locations you need to cover within a time limit, try to reach there within the time and proceed like this.
5. Consume sufficient calory before the hike
Mountain climbers need almost 6000 calories per day to gain enough energy to ride the mountain. High-protein foods and snacks will heat your body by providing energy all day long. Don’t forget to carry more foods and warm water in heat-resistant bottles.
6. Don’t continue the journey in bad weather
Always contact with the weather forecast center before heading to the cliff. If there is any chance of heavy snowfall, strong wind-flow, and low temperature, postpone your journey.
Because, in such conditions, the chances of losing track, losing group and death is high. Besides, if anyone falls in danger, it is almost impossible to rescue him/her in unfriendly weather.
7. Always stay in the group
Another important rule of group hiking is sticking together. In upper layers of Mt Washington, there will be low visibility due to strong wind or cold fog. So if any member loses the group in such condition, the chances are huge that he/she will lose track, face accident and will not return home.
Moreover, if you stay in a group, you can seek help whenever you need anything or face an accident. Keep slow to moderate hiking speed, so that everyone sticks together.
8. Be mentally strong
In Mt Washington, pleasant weather can turn into a deadly killer within a blink of an eye. You may lose your gears, partners, or lose the track. You may also face food and water deficiency, get trapped in a cave, or get injured.
No matter what happens while ascending and descending the cliff, don’t lose your hopes and mental strength. Always be mentally prepared for these situations and never give up.
Many travelers have indeed lost their precious lives during the journey to reach the peak of Mt Washington. But despite everything, the immense beauty of the mountain, bonds, and friendships with other people and the taste of the victory are priceless. So, make sure that you are trained and well prepared before going for such a hike. Happy hiking.
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