Mt Washington Attempt 2/3/2012

Tim and I attempted to climb Mount Washington yesterday.  We knew it was going to be windy when the winds were already in the 20mph range at the parking lot. The hike up the Tuckerman ravine trail was nice now that it is mostly packed snow with few icy spots.  We took a little break at the bottom of the Lions head winter route threw on our crampons and traded are trekking poles for ice axes. We then made the climb up through the very steep winter route.  The winter route was still out of the wind and a nice place to be.  We stopped just below tree line to prepare for the wind, we started the ascent and the wind got more and more brutal the higher we got.  and I had to change back to my poles just to keep from being blown  over. Visibility was good and it was easy to follow the trail even though it was filled in immediately after you made a track by the snow being transported by the winds.  It had snowed a few inches the day before and it was really amazing to see how much snow was being transported by the 60MPH winds.  The wind and snow was like a sand blaster when you would have to hike directly into it,  My Balaclava wasn’t full face, it didn’t cover my nose.  And by the time we got to just below the lions head I was starting to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to go much further without getting bad frost bite on my nose. Tim and I found a big rock to duck behind and I told him my situation.  Tim decided to turn around too even though he did have a full face balaclava.  It was fun to be up in the weather but it was nice to get back below tree line again.  We descended the lions head trail  using a 100 ft static line that you could rappel down pretty quickly without need of harness or hardware using a technique Tim showed me.  It worked slick.  Once off the winter route we decided to take a walk over to check out the Harvard Cabin, Since we had plenty of time to kill now we walked up to Huntington Ravine too to see what conditions looked like.  After hiking out we went to Conway for Lunch and headed home.
The TRT Bottom of winter route Going up winter route Above tree line
You can kind of see all the debris in the air in this picture.  It was mostly snow but there were also a lot of larger chunks of rime ice that were blowing around, and they really stung when they hit bare skin
 In this pic you can see the wind and snow on the ridges
Huntington from below. You can see how much snow is being wind loaded into the ravine from above. Thats not a cloud its blowing snow.
On a related note yesterday the observatory time lapse filmed a Lenticular Cloud cloud that was forming, Lenticular Clouds form from waves in the atmosphere yesterday.  I remember seeing this unusual looking cloud while we were up there

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