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advice for dacks and mt. washington
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cush


Nov 9, 2011, 10:12 PM
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advice for dacks and mt. washington
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I was hoping you could shed some light on some climbs in the Adirondacks that would be good for winter. Iím not looking for anything too technical (so the trap dike would be out). Iím more looking for slides 45-60 degrees that get snow covered. Something that I could go up with crampons and an axe but hopefully not require any protection more than self arrest. Hoping to find something more exciting than just following a typical trail up to a summit. Bonus points for easy approach and/or close to a road. I have looked through the slide guide but all that has is some pictures from the air and doesnít say anything about steepness, quality, snow coverage ETC. what about avalanches? I realize that they are a threat but I also know that there are times that the slide danger is practically non-existent.

Side note: Iíve done a couple of the routes in tuckermans in NH. I was looking at some of the routes in huntingtons but wasnít sure of a few things. Are most of these too iced over to climb with a regular piolet? Can they be done as just a steep snow gulley? If they can be done as just a snow climb with 1 regular axe, what about protection? Is that overkill? Should I bring pickets or something of that sort or should I go so far as to invest in a screw or two? Is all of that overkill and many of these routes be accomplished with just crampons and an axe?

Iím very excited to get into more winter climbing but so far the only exposure to it that Iíve had was hiking up and skiing down tuckermanís ravine in the spring I was on some of the lower angled routes and didnít even consider the need for additional protection.


skiclimb


Nov 10, 2011, 6:42 AM
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Re: [cush] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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I can't help you with any specific routes. However I can help you with some general avalanche information.

45deg open slopes and generally the slopes leading to them are PRIME avalanche terrain. It is not a question of if a slope like that can avalanche merely a question of when. When usually means several times a season and can be figured out.

Most areas have avalanche forecasts I highly recommend you find out where to get daily forecasts for the area you visit.

On top of that you must have some knowldge in order to access the specific risk of the slope you are approaching. get the book snow sense by fessler and fredston.

Then take a multi day introductory avalanche course. Absolutely critical and a hell of a lot of fun.

With these tools and an absolute willingness to go do something else when you are not absolutly sure of stability you should be fine.

Without these tools you are completely rolling the dice and may very well end up a statistic as do 10s of people every year in NA.


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Nov 10, 2011, 6:44 AM)


olderic


Nov 10, 2011, 7:18 AM
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Re: [cush] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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Just as avalanche conditions will vary a lot so will the snow/ice climbing conditions. Regarding the gullies in Huntington - typically they will get snowier as the season progresses. Usually by March South is a straight forward snow climb. Central and Diagonal often are too. Lots of the gullies on Mt Webster in Crawford are possible candidates. Some have the advantage that it it starts to get too hairy you can bail into the woods on the side.


Rudmin


Nov 10, 2011, 8:14 AM
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I haven't done it, but the Gothics North Face might fit your description. I guess it depends on conditions as always.


dr_feelgood


Nov 10, 2011, 8:29 AM
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Re: [cush] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
I was hoping you could shed some light on some climbs in the Adirondacks that would be good for winter. Iím not looking for anything too technical (so the trap dike would be out). Iím more looking for slides 45-60 degrees that get snow covered. Something that I could go up with crampons and an axe but hopefully not require any protection more than self arrest. Hoping to find something more exciting than just following a typical trail up to a summit. Bonus points for easy approach and/or close to a road. I have looked through the slide guide but all that has is some pictures from the air and doesnít say anything about steepness, quality, snow coverage ETC. what about avalanches? I realize that they are a threat but I also know that there are times that the slide danger is practically non-existent.

Side note: Iíve done a couple of the routes in tuckermans in NH. I was looking at some of the routes in huntingtons but wasnít sure of a few things. Are most of these too iced over to climb with a regular piolet? Can they be done as just a steep snow gulley? If they can be done as just a snow climb with 1 regular axe, what about protection? Is that overkill? Should I bring pickets or something of that sort or should I go so far as to invest in a screw or two? Is all of that overkill and many of these routes be accomplished with just crampons and an axe?

Iím very excited to get into more winter climbing but so far the only exposure to it that Iíve had was hiking up and skiing down tuckermanís ravine in the spring I was on some of the lower angled routes and didnít even consider the need for additional protection.
Yale gully in huntington might fit your description. As stated before, watch the avi conditions.


divnamite


Nov 10, 2011, 1:57 PM
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Re: [cush] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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I can't think of any easy road side summits that you can walk up with crampons and ice axe in the dacks. As far as I know, unless you are doing technical routes, ice axe is mostly pointless.
If you have the slide guide, it's not that difficult to find the corresponding topo map and figure out the general incline of the slides.
If you have done some peaks in the dacks, you know there are a lot of alpine zones at the top. Instead of going up the standard trail, why not just make a detour and go up to the summit the way you like it?


davidbr


Nov 11, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Re: [Rudmin] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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Gothics North tends to come in late and has a reputation for being thin. It was in good condition late last year, and still there was exposed rock on the easiest line. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I doubt it's ever really a snow route.


rangerrob


Nov 12, 2011, 9:07 AM
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Re: [davidbr] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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Okay, so a few points worth mentioning here. First off, the angles you suggested (45-60) ARE TECHNICAL! Trap Dyke is, at most, 45 degrees, and you say that is out because it is too technical. A 60 degree snow slope really doesn't occur very often in the northeast. That is alpine ice/snow conditions generally found in the higher ranges. The lower angled Huntington routes, when filled in with snow, are quite a bit less steep than the ice underneath them, but still very steep.

A 60 degree open face is exposed, very exposed! You would want to be protected if you are not use to the exposure...that is, if you have little to no experience.

I would suggest a winter ascent of Gothics, via the normal trails, not the north face. Any of the peaks in the Presidential Range will offer some steeper snow climbing without it being technical. Essentially, you're looking at peak bagging in the winter. I would not advise you to try any of the gully routes in Huntington without someone more skilled and experienced than you.

RR


FullertonImages


Nov 29, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Re: [skiclimb] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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skiclimb wrote:

45deg open slopes and generally the slopes leading to them are PRIME avalanche terrain.

Just wanted to add something to this...

While this information is correct, it's also incomplete and potentially dangerously misleading. Slopes between 30-45 degrees are all prime angle for avalanches. And frequently closer to 30 is in a way more dangerous, just because it doesn't look steep or dangerous at all.


rangerrob


Dec 2, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Listen to Fuller, he knows of what he speaks


Partner brent_e


Jan 9, 2012, 7:44 PM
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Re: [davidbr] advice for dacks and mt. washington [In reply to]
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davidbr wrote:
Gothics North tends to come in late and has a reputation for being thin. It was in good condition late last year, and still there was exposed rock on the easiest line. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I doubt it's ever really a snow route.

I think this depends entirely on the year. I think I climbed this in feb a few years ago and there was ice and perfect styrofoam snow.


brownie710


Jan 20, 2012, 11:00 AM
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brent_e wrote:
davidbr wrote:
Gothics North tends to come in late and has a reputation for being thin. It was in good condition late last year, and still there was exposed rock on the easiest line. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I doubt it's ever really a snow route.

I think this depends entirely on the year. I think I climbed this in feb a few years ago and there was ice and perfect styrofoam snow.

I agree, I did this route in Feb of 08 and it was styrofoam snow and several hundred feet of ice, not what I'd want to tackle with a straight ice axe.


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