Monday, February 25, 2013

Mt Washington KneeDeeper 2.25.13

I hadn't been up in the snow for 2 weeks and with the addition of quite a bit of new snow I was very wary of the risky conditions. Reading a few great reports of the snow conditions I thought it best to stay on something I had done before. After reading a report on Mt Washington from Sunday which relayed that there was quite a bit of traffic I was hopeful that I would be able to reach the summit and continue along the ridge to tag a few more lesser summits. The weather forecast for some blustery conditions and heading up I-90 only made that more believable. The trucks were having issues with lane travel with the strong gusty winds.


When I reached the Ollalie parking lot the weather was cold so I added an extra layer to ward of the chilly wind. The trail was in good shape without snow until 2000' ft. I remained in boots on the well worn track. I reached a portion where the trail traverses at around 3200' and blowing snow had filled the trench. I gave some thought to switching to snowshoes but I was sure that the trench would return shortly. Once regaining the trees the trench reappeared. At 3400' I finally put on the shoes. Soon after I reached the end of any broken trail and I was on my own. With the snow now well over my knees I thought it best to try to take the shortest route to the summit. I was able to find some open areas to make some very slow progress. The snow now was mid thigh and with the steeper pitch the task of climbing became quite arduous. I pushed on making very slow progress. Portions of the area were choked with small trees making the process even more difficult. I backtracked a few times to find the easiest path again resisting the urge to descend. At around 3800' I ran out of both open area and desire to continue.


On the descent I crossed paths with a young group of three who didn't have snowshoes. I tried to urge them to continue hoping with three they might have enough horsepower to at least gain the ridge. I am guessing however that they didn't continue to much further. I was pleased to get out and "enjoy " all the new snow.

Approx 7 miles 2800' of climb 4 hours car to car

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