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Ice Climbing Central Gully Mount Washington New Hampshire
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By Pablo-Roberts
From Prescott, Arizona
Dec 21, 2010
Storm over on Toms Thumb
Hello guys, just trying to find out if i need to rent ice tools for the ice sections on mount washington. the route ill be doing is the Central Gully. iv seen a couple of pictures and it doesn't look to steep, so thats why i was thinking i could just do it in crampons and a mountaineering ice axe.

Or do veterans of this route think i should rent ice tools? clearly it would be easier to do it with ice climbing axes but i was just wondering if any one has done it with out them and just used there mountaineering axe?

Thanks any input is helpful!

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By wargowsky
Dec 21, 2010
It depends on conditions and your tolerance for climbing with one tool. The last time I was on it I was carrying two tools, so I used them. If you're comfortable with an glacier axe and crampons you should be fine. If i remember correctly, you can skirt the "steeper" ice by scrambling on rocks to climbers right. have fun up there!

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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Dec 21, 2010
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.
Edit:
Just saw your other post where you asked if you could do this climb in regular snow boots.

You need to be very, very careful, Paul. Your plan looks like it depends an awful lot on luck.

Do you have a more experienced partner with you? Or are you planning to solo?

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Dec 21, 2010
Artist Tears P3
I climbed it like 25 years ago and I was pleased to have a second tool at the time. Even if you don't have to use it, its nice to have it as an insurance policy.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Dec 22, 2010
Bocan
Chris Drover wrote:
Edit: Just saw your other post where you asked if you could do this climb in regular snow boots. You need to be very, very careful, Paul. Your plan looks like it depends an awful lot on luck. Do you have a more experienced partner with you? Or are you planning to solo?


+1. I agree. Not to tell you your business, but Mt. Washington is no place to get gung ho and throw yourself into the business.

"Not without Peril" is a great but sad book about the 100+ people that have died on that mountain. It is NOT to be taken lightly!!

amazon.com/Not-Without-Peril-T...

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By john strand
From southern colo
Dec 22, 2010
My first "ice" climb. Take a second tool

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By clemay
From Boulder, CO
Dec 22, 2010
Are you planning on soloing it? If so definitely take a second tool. That was the first gully that I ever soloed and glad that I had two ice tools with me, it was pretty icy most of the way to the top of the gully.

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By Jim Amidon
Dec 22, 2010
J TREE
Just call the rescue guys the day before you head up and let them know your going to be in there.......

I'd hire a guide as it sounds like you have no idea what your getting into....

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By Brian in SLC
Dec 22, 2010
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Climbed it at the end of January last season. I guess I'd consider myself a fairly experienced ice climber (every season for 28+).

Glad to have two ice tools.

Was a fair bit of ice. Was some soft, wind blown snow that would kinda bust out under the feet and/or tools. Nice to not have to work at getting secure placements by having that second tool buried if need be. Made climbing a lot faster and much more casual.

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By Pablo-Roberts
From Prescott, Arizona
Dec 22, 2010
Storm over on Toms Thumb
Thanks guys. and yes i am going up with an experienced ice climber. i just wasn't sure how much ice is actually on the route were doing, but every body here has convinced me to get the proper tools.

chris drover..that post was awhile ago when i had no idea the advantage of the mountaineering boots over the regular. like i said im just trying to figure everything out.

Thanks again.

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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Dec 22, 2010
First morning at Indian Creek!!!
Paul U Roberts wrote:
Thanks guys. and yes i am going up with an experienced ice climber. i just wasn't sure how much ice is actually on the route were doing, but every body here has convinced me to get the proper tools. chris drover..that post was awhile ago when i had no idea the advantage of the mountaineering boots over the regular. like i said im just trying to figure everything out. Thanks again.


Paul:

Bottom line is that it's great you are getting out - but if your climbing partner is indeed experienced, I would suggest talking him directly about the gear the two of you will be needing for your adventure.

Have fun up there!

Jason

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By Phillip Morris
From Flavor Country
Dec 22, 2010
1234
For Yvon Chouinard, a second tool, front points, or even a helmet are not required for easy ice.




Your results may vary.

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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Dec 22, 2010
OMG, I winz!!!
I almost never regret taking a second tool. If you don't need it then it rides on the pack. If you do then you cruise instead of bailing or going super slow.

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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Dec 22, 2010
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.
+1 for what J said.

I'm not trying to shut you down - like I said, just be very careful, don't depend too much on getting lucky with conditions, and be ready to turn around.

My experience with Central was that it was 95% firm snow... but that was in March, so your experience will probably vary.

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By Alan Nagel
Dec 26, 2010
On Cube Point, Tetons
Paul U Roberts wrote:
.... clearly it would be easier to do it with ice climbing axes but i was just wondering if any one has done it with out them and just used there mountaineering axe? Thanks any input is helpful!

Sure you could do it with a mountaineering axe, but it would be a very good idea to get in a season's practice at cutting steps with a lip for handhold....
But why bother?! It ain't 1960 anymore.

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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Jan 10, 2011
First morning at Indian Creek!!!
Paul: How'd it go?

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