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Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, New Hampshire (White Mountains)
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David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH Gear List for Review on 12/29/2009 11:49:53 MST Print View

This gear list is based on a single day winter climb of Mt Washington in New Hampshire. The weather can change in a heartbeat on Mt Washington and a variety of equipment is needed. The route taken would be Lion's Head Winter Trail, which is generally safe avalanche terrain. All the same I would bring a shovel for emergencies, clearing trail, etc.

I will update the list this week in terms of the First Aid Kit but the weight for cough drops etc. won't be too much. Food and Water is based on a single day (bars, pizza, water, gatorade, etc.)

My main goal is to have fun, go light, and remain safe. Have climbed Mt Washington a handful of times in the winter. Just trying to lighten my load. Thank you.

Input, advice, and critiques?

Kit Detail-Updated 12/04/09
Mt Washington, NH


Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Hestra Ski Glove 15
1Black Diamond Absolute Mitten 13.4
OR instead of Hestra gloves
1Black Diamond Punisher Gloves 5.1


Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Smart Wool Expedition Socks 4.0
1La Sportiva-Nepal Evo Boots 85
1Outdoor Research Exped Gaiter 12
1BD Sabretooth Pro Crampon 34


Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Wild Things Power Stretch Hood 10
1Wild Things Power Stretch Pant 7.0
1WT Primalight Jacket 15
1WT Mountain Guide Jacket 22
1WT Mountain Guide Pants 23
1WT Superlight Alpinist Jacket 16
1WT Belay Jacket 34
1Army Belt 1.0

Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Outdoor Reasearch Wind Pro Cap 1.6
1Seirus Combo Clava 2.0
1Zeal Detonator Goggles 3.0

Other Gear

Quantity Item Total (oz)
1 Canon Camera 4.23
1 Camera case 4.2

Toiletries/Hygene/First Aid

Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Ibuprofin/Vicodin 0.5
1Electrolyte pills 0.5
1Toilet Paper
1Outdoor Research First Aid Bag
1Krazy Glue 0.7
1Golf Pencil w/Duct tape around it
1Small 25g Quik Clot 0.88
1Cough Drops
1Ace Wrap
1SAM Splint 4.5

Technical Gear

Quantity Item Total (oz)
1Black Diamond Raven Pro 13.5
1Wild Things Guide Pack 28
1Blizzard Bag 12
1Black Diamond Icon Headlamp 6.6
2 16oz Nalgene Wide Mouth 8
1 40 Below Bottle Insulator 3
1Princeton Tec Safety Strobe 3.3
1Adventure Medical SAM Splint 4.5
1Leatherman Squirt P4 2.0
1Verizon LG Cell Phone 2.0
1Black Diamond Deploy 3 Shovel 20
2BD Trail Trekking Poles 18
3 Orion Red Aerial Flares 3.0

On Mountain Totals

Gear Category Total (oz)
Clothing 18.50
Other Gear 0.53
Toiletries / Hygene / First Aid -
Food/Water -
Technical 6.30

Total Pounds (no food) 25.33 +/-

Edited by stanhope2003 on 12/30/2009 09:32:59 MST.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
How Timely.... on 12/29/2009 11:53:55 MST Print View

Hoping to do this next month....thanks!

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Any suggestions... on 12/31/2009 10:34:32 MST Print View

No problem Scott. Any suggestions you can see to improve gear/weight?

Suggestions on 12/31/2009 13:09:28 MST Print View

3 pairs of gloves?
unless two of them sync to create a layered mit system
I think two is fine one mitt one glove.
One for walking warmth one for dexterity

Could have lighter gaiters not the expedition versions.
Sabertooths are on the heavy side.

WT B. Jacket Wild things Im assuming? There are lighter Down Fill Jackets out there. 18 oz is mine

You could MYOG a camera case:

my version of that is .4 oz

Two sam Splints? you may just have two listed

Two nalgenes, could just use 1 lighter bottle or two lighter plastic bottles (reused bottles)

Thats what I saw.

tell me what you think of my list:

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH Gear List for Review on 12/31/2009 14:42:04 MST Print View

David and TenTon: Snowshoes! You usually need to carry them.

Water: 2 liters minimum plus a way to keep it from freezing (start with 100 degrees C water). Dry winter air dehydrates you and dehydration makes you more vulnerable to the cold.

Wind: Neoprene face mask + goggles or other way to protect face from cold wind (military surplus tunnel hood works for me). Extra hats and mitts for when your good ones blow away. Polypro liner gloves so you don't have to adjust gear with bare skin.

Small thermos filled with something like hot chocolate (calories + hot), useful when on the edge of hypothermia.

David, I think the shovel may not be useful. I'm not sure snow caves are feasible in exposed above treeline locations -- any other opinions on this?

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
... on 12/31/2009 15:29:15 MST Print View

sounds good, possibly a little heavy on the cloths - might leave the primaloft sweater or shell at home. Most of the time I'm good w/ a baselayer, R1 hoody and r2 vest. I also sometimes in the cold pack a r.5 top.
Also maybe a little heavy on the safty stuff - I thought you were ice climbing in the other thread. Why do you need flares if you could use your headlamp to signel after dusk?
Gloves I feel are good with 2-3 total.
A bothy bag would be good.
Might drop the gaiters if your pants seal around your boots well
other then that sounds like a good list - enjoy

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
... on 12/31/2009 15:31:55 MST Print View

FYI wrap your (hot) water in your belay jacket at the trailhead, I find that keeps it warm most of the day. Have another in a bottle parka on your waistbelt for access.

James Gealy
(surnailz) - F

Locale: White Mountains
Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH Gear List for Review on 12/31/2009 20:02:21 MST Print View

First thing that caught my eye on your list was the Wild Things gear! Sounds like you have a good setup there. How do you like the superlight jacket?

I've done this hike a couple times myself. Off topic, I've decided to not take Lion's Head anymore just because of how steep it is, even if it makes me a wuss. I'm more for Boott Spur and an early start I think.

Anywho, the sam splint is one thing that I would take out. It does look like you have it on the list twice. In either case, for that weight I usually carry a torso length ccf pad in case I'll be spending the night. I always plan on spending the night, even if I'd rather not! The pad can also be used as a splint.

As for the shovel, I use one of the plastic ones found here on BPL.

You know this I bet, but for others, the snowshoes are optional if the trail up to Lion's Head is groomed out, but they do help a bit. I cache mine at the start of the real climb.

I think your clothing is pretty good right now. Mine is similar but I go with lighter layers since I run hot. Let me know if you'd like a list of any kind.

How warm is the blizzard bag? Maybe a loft equivalent for comparison if one exists.

Don't forget a knife and fire starter! Well, that's just me I guess.


David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Follow up... on 12/31/2009 22:27:16 MST Print View

Thank you everyone for your input. I meant to just put one SAM Splint, you guys are really observant. I will consider taking it out all together though.

Also I was going to take 2 pairs of gloves, the Absolute Mittens and either the BD Punishers or the Hestra Ski Cross gloves. I'm going to try out the Hestra's I've never used leathers and they are warmer. Maybe not as breathable we'll see how they workout.

Generally snowshoes arent needed on the Lions head trail it is pretty well used and packed down for the most part.

One thing an EMS Guide taught me instead of bringing a lot of water out like 2Liters was to hydrate a LOT the night before. I generally carry one bottle on my belt the other in my pack. One is water the other is gatorade.

I should have mentioned this earlier but at the head of the Lions Head winter trail is an emergency cache. Last yr for the first time I brought a $10 Benny's Sled and put all of my gear in it and stored all the extras at the cache. So I think I will bring additional water/food for the hike up then store the extra gear here before the climb past treeline.

Knife is on the Leatherman. I've only used it to open food though. Good point about the flares as well. I always just try to be very prepared. Sorry about any confusion from another post I have ice climbed a handful of times but 99% of the time it's mountaineering. The shovel would also be a new piece of equipment for me. I could have used it two yrs ago to clear trail of new fallen snow. We'll see how I feel about it. I agree I'm not sure at least in NH how it would do above treeline exposed to build a snow cave, might be better off getting below tree line asap. Still unsure.

The Blizzard Bag is said to be good down to around 40F. I've never used this product. Only read reviews. I have considered a few other bags for emergency purposes. Wild Things makes a Half Bag but it's up there for weight. Bothy bag seems like a decent option as well for an emergency shelter. I've never packed an emergency bivy/shelter so I am unsure what would work best in the White Mountains. Is a snow cave feasible in bad weather if so would a bivy be best. If not would a quick set up of a bothy bag be the best option for Mt Washington?

The Superlight Alpinist Jacket is nice no complaints it's a solid hard shell jacket. Although I might take it out of my gear list for Mt Washington. Don't get me wrong I understand the use of a hard shell but, the Belay Jacket also will protect against the elements.

Gaiters I've never been successful with. The OR Expedition are ok. I've been looking at the new BD Apex Gaiters.

One thing I'll say about the Wild Things clothing. It is made from a local climbing company in North Conway, NH. A guide turned me on to them a few yrs ago. One thing I like about them even if the Belay Jacket is a little heavier, is they are a local small company. In such a down economy I try to support the small businesses. The other reason their gear is well made and they are an easy company to work with.

I like the idea of a thermos with hot choc. I could put that in my sled for the hike up to the cache. I'm trying to change my eating from a million cliff bars to something I enjoy more like pizza etc. It'll improve my morale to have a sausage pizza compared to a cliff bar.

Thank you for the suggestions and comments. If you have any others please post. It's a great help with organizing my winter gear.

Edited by stanhope2003 on 12/31/2009 23:02:17 MST.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Follow up... on 01/01/2010 00:21:42 MST Print View

".... might be better off getting below tree line asap. Still unsure."

I would like to hear if anyone knows a way you can stay sheltered above treeline without setting up a serious 4 season tent. I would think the only recourse is to get below tree line as soon as possible- but what if you are injured and can't get below treeline? I have a Wildthings Half bag that I thought I could mate with a Parka but I still need to go outside and see how warm this is. I still bring it because its better than nothing.

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Good Question...and..half bag. on 01/01/2010 22:44:15 MST Print View


Good question about what ppl do above treeline if injured or stuck above treeline and how they seek shelter. I've thought about posting this question. How do you like the Half Bag? What are your thoughts on it's weight, durability, warmth? I just ordered the Blizzard Bag. I don't like how it's a one time use type of bag. But it seems to have good feedback. I am ordering the Wild Things Belay Jacket so that may work well with the Half Bag.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Good Question...and..half bag. on 01/02/2010 11:20:39 MST Print View

I haven't used the half bag I just carried it as emergency gear. Thats why I said I needed to try it out -like in the yard or something to see how warm it is. I have a Patty DAS parka that I would use with it. It has an epic shell that feels pretty durable. It is kinda heavy and bulky but it is synthetic which I guess is good for an emergency bag. I imagine using the combination parka/halfbag in a W/P bivy for emergencies. I still haven't gotten around to making the bivy.
Also I got the halfbag real cheap.

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
half bag...and replies on 01/02/2010 22:09:41 MST Print View


Let me know how you like the half bag when you test it out. If I do get it I can get a discounted military price as well. So that's one reason i'm considering it too.

James, post away your gear list it'd be great to have a White Mnt gear list to compare. Also why do you bring a CCF pad for mountaineering?

Thank you everyone for your input I appreciate it. If anyone has any other good suggestions post away.

Edited by stanhope2003 on 01/02/2010 22:27:07 MST.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Any suggestions... on 01/05/2010 06:38:01 MST Print View

Finally coming back to this....your list is close to mine, but with a couple exceptions.

For one, I carry a PocketRocket stove w small canister in the winter...I also may have missed it in your list, but I also carry an emergency bivy. Note that you also listed your SAM splint twice...

I do like the idea of the flares - hadn't seen them before but think they'd be a good add to my pack.

I hope to be up there on the 16th...

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: half bag...and replies on 01/05/2010 06:40:09 MST Print View

Most of my winter hiking friends carry a small piece of CCF to sit on during breaks...otherwise your backside gets a bit chilly! I actually took a Tyvek Fedex envelope, put in a small piece of an old yoga mat, and taped it up. Easier to carry and quite insulated enough to sit on.

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH on 01/05/2010 09:08:51 MST Print View

A buddy of mine and his friend are doing a 7 day mountaineering primer class threw Alaska mountain guides school and where talking about doing Mt Washington before they go to AK. I told them I was interested and I would have to get a couple of things first. They said they didn't have everything quite yet for over night trips. I told them you don't need all that stuff and we could do a day trip. They said you can't do it in a day.

So basically I'm wondering if it is something that we could do in a day. I have no winter mountaineering experience my self but hey have some. A Guided Rainer trip. I know this mountain can be a scary one. Is this something we should have some someone who has done it before go with us?


Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH on 01/05/2010 09:12:11 MST Print View

I personally haven't done it, but do know it can be done in a day. I just signed up with EMS to do it in a couple weeks - check here:

Also, there are two other forums with TONS of info about climbing Washington...Views From the Top ( and Mt Washington Observatory (

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH on 01/05/2010 09:19:02 MST Print View

You can easily hike up Mount Washington in a day.

You don't need a guide for it provided you have at least some experience with hiking in winter conditions and you have some basic experience with crampons and an alpine axe and you pay attention to the weather and avalanche conditions.

Most people get in trouble on Washington because they're either unfit or they ignore weather and avalanche warnings.

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH on 01/05/2010 09:26:03 MST Print View

Do you really need mountaineering boots? Can I do it in inov8 390 gtx's and katoola crampons?

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Re: Re: Winter Single Day Climb- Mt Washington, NH on 01/05/2010 09:30:43 MST Print View

I know a large number of people who have done this in winter....nearly all use mountaineering boots (which you'll probably need in Alaska, too). There are places near there that rent them, and the EMS course includes the boots, ice axe and crampons.

You could probably use a decent pair of winter boots, but from the looks of the ones you mention, I'd be hesitant myself to wear those for fear of frostbite.

Edited by WinterWarlock on 01/05/2010 09:31:42 MST.