MT. WASHINGTON ASCENT
The tallest peak in New England is an even greater challenge in winter. Over half of the 8.2 mile round trip is above treeline where conditions can be famously harsh. Mt. Washington still holds the world record for the highest land wind speed at 231 mph and winter wind chill factor reaching a staggering -50 degrees!
If facts like these get your competitive juices flowing, our experienced guides will provide all the technical gear you need (ice axe, crampons and boots) to take on Mt. Washington at its toughest. While no prior mountaineering experience is required, we do recommend taking our Winter Climbing 101 course so you can make your ascent with total confidence.
Our personal gear and clothing list details everything you are required to bring with you. The morning of the ascent, you will need to arrive on time at 7am, be dressed appropriately, and be outfitted with the required gear in your pack when you meet your guide. Before starting out, your guide will briefly cover how to dress for extreme winter conditions, as well as how to pack and how to climb efficiently. Along the way we will also introduce methods for identifying hazards such as frostbite, hypothermia, avalanches, and whiteouts. Coming to the school by 3pm the night before your summit day is a good idea if you have questions so that more time can be spent on the mountain and not on the morning of your summit day (be sure to call ahead if you are planning on arriving the afternoon before)
Our guides have logged hundreds of Mt. Washington winter ascents over the years. Each one of them knows this notoriously unpredictable mountain well and has the training and experience to lead you to the summit successfully and with an unforgettable story to tell.
Group climbs attract many people of all abilities. Although we request that everyone should be in above average physical shape to have a better chance at reaching the summit on a favorable day, not everyone comes prepared. The scheduled dates are reserved for those individuals who are interested in a mountain experience with a potential summit attempt. The group you are with may have an earlier “summit” than the actual top of the mountain. We book these group dates at a 4:1 ratio. If there is someone in the group that may need to go down early, the whole group will need to descend. For this reason, if you are more goal-oriented and would like to have a better chance at summiting without being at the whim of any particular group member, it is best to book PRIVATE (either as a single or with friends).
Skill Level: Beginner
Length: 8-10 hours
Prerequisites: No previous mountaineering experience required
Clothing is as important as your boots and ice axe. Being properly dressed is essential to enjoying your outdoor adventures. Cotton has no place in your winter layering system: it keeps you cold if you sweat and it takes a long time to dry out. Synthetic fabrics or wool keep you warmer when they become wet with sweat and certain synthetic base layers are designed to wick the sweat away from your skin to keep you drier and warmer. In order to make your experience more enjoyable, please do not wear any cotton as layering pieces. Also, remember, you have to carry all your clothing with you, so packing efficiently is important. If you can’t wear it all at once, you don’t need to bring it. If you have questions about how many or which items to bring, please call 800-310-4504. We expect that you will be dressed and ready to go upon arrival to your lesson.
Groups meet promptly at EMS 7am. In the morning you will meet your guide, sign a waiver form, and get fitted with climbing gear for the day. Once everyone is outfitted groups will leave straight for the trail head. The whole day will be spent outside so please dress according to the gear list and bring enough food and water for the entire day. Plan to be back at EMS approximately 4:30pm.
Included/ Not Included
Includes: Students will be outfitted with all technical equipment for this course. You are welcome to bring your own equipment but it will be subject to approval by your guide. Equipment provided includes plastic double boots, crampons, and ice axe
Not Included: Students will be expected to arrive dressed appropriately for the weather. See gear list for required gear and clothing. Students will be responsible for lodging, meals, transportation, and personal gear and clothing.
Payment is due in full at time of reservation to secure your reservation. Events run rain or shine. Eastern Mountain Sports Schools reserves the right to cancel or reschedule events for low participation, weather or safety concerns at any time. We will try to give as much advance notice as possible, but may not always be able to give much advance warning, especially for weather cancellations.
1) Cancellations or schedule changes 8 DAYS OR MORE PRIOR to the event start date will be fully refunded or credited with no penalty.
2) Reservation changes of any kind WITHIN 7 DAYS OF THE EVENT START DATE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED and you WILL NOT be permitted to carry over deposits to future events. Please mark this date on your calender after making your reservation!
**EMS Climbing School does not provide any transportation unless otherwise specified.
**For participants 17 or younger, a parent MUST sign a waiver form for EACH days course.
If you have any questions please call 800-310-4504. We will be more than happy to review our cancellation policy with you.