We are excited to introduce our guest blogger, Zach Marsh. Zach is a local photographer and staff member at BikeWorks in Downtown Fredericksburg. He is also a great climber and loves to explore new locations, putting his skills and gear to the test. Earlier this month Zach attempted a summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with his climbing buddy Marty. He talks about his trip and challenges below. -April
Marty and I left Fredericksburg at about 7:30pm Friday night, and drove straight to Mt. Washington. We arrived in the Pinkham’s Notch parking lot at around 8:30am Saturday morning, where the temperatures where already quite warm. We reorganized our gear, shifting focus from ice routes to a summit attempt, and started on our way between 9am and 9:30am.
We followed the Tuckerman’s Ravine trail, up the the Lion’s Head summer trail. We slowly made our way up the steep, icy trail, eventually breaking through the tree line to be rewarded with stunning views. We fought our way up still more ice, now mixed with large rocks and boulders, finally gaining the Alpine Garden at approximately 5000′. Unfortunately as we crested the ridge, we were exposed to the full force of the winds for which Mt. Washington is so famous for, already registering between 50 and 60mph, and projected to reach 90-100 mph by dusk.
We made the decision to abandon the summit attempt, as the rapidly increasing winds would make our descent more dangerous than we felt comfortable with. The trip down was long, and slippery, filled with a great deal of rapidly melting ice and snow. Shortly after reaching the cover of forest, we began hearing very strong gusts of wind rushing over the treetops, satisfying us that we had made the right decision.
There will be a next time!