Green Mountain Club
Montpelier Section

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Long Trail News and Long Trail Guides.
Trip Reports
July 21, 2001
Mount Washington summit via Huntington Ravine Trail

On Saturday, July 21, Ed Loewenton, Nick Newton, Paul Deluca, and Cynthia Takos arrived at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at the foot of Mount Washington at 8:30 AM, and started up the Tuckerman Ravine trail, with surprisingly little company on such a perfect morning. Turning off onto the Huntington trail, we emerged from the treeline and climbed over the boulder gateway to the steep open boulder field on the lower half of the headwall. Halfway up, at the base of the "fan", where the real climbing begins, we stopped to catch our breath. The day was hot, and we could scarcely drink water fast enough. Nick and Paul ascended like mountain goats; Nick especially enjoyed showing off the traction of his sticky new Five-Tens. Cynthia was doing rocks for the first time, and as we reached areas that were nearly vertical and seriously exposed, she conquered her natural anxieties and met each new challenge without difficulty. The utterly unobstructed view was grander and more vast every time we stopped to look. We reached the top of the Huntington Trail about 2:30, and paused for lunch at the junction with the Alpine Garden trail, walked to the Lion's Head trail, and then straight up to the summit. That seemed like the hardest part of the day; or maybe we were getting tired. At the top, we refilled water bottles and watched the coal-burners crawl up and down the cog railway. We descended via the Tuckerman Ravine trail, a relatively easy stroll. At the bottom of the ravine, we marveled at the extensive six-foot-thick snow pack remaining from the winter. We got back to the visitor center much too late for our dinner reservation, but satisfied and happy for a perfect day and a mission accomplished.

Here is a link to a site with photos and trip reports from other people's previous Huntington Ravine trips: (That link is no longer valid, but you can search for Huntington Ravine here. KH Feb 2019)

Ed Loewenton

Nick, Cynthia, and Paul atop the "gateway" boulder at the base of the steep boulder field. Paul points to the trail ahead, which lies just to right of notch at top.

Paul and Cynthia take it one rock at a time climbing the steep boulder field on the lower half of the headwall. This was a good warm-up for what came next.

Cynthia takes a break before starting up the "Fan", the beginning of the real climbing. Red line shows "trail".

Paul takes in the view some distance above the Fan. This is what we mean by "steep and exposed". In red circle, barely visible, is a real rock climber, ropes and all.

Ed stands at the top of Huntington Ravine. The trail is 50 yards to the left.

The southern end of the Alpine Garden trail. The horizontal trail was a well-appreciated, if brief, change from Huntington Ravine. In the circle is the signpost marking the junction with Lion's Head.

The Lion's Head trail seems to go up forever, especially when you're tired to start with! Yes, it's as steep as it looks, and it's .9 miles from the Alpine Garden to the summit.

Ed, Nick, Cynthia, and Paul pose just below the summit (where that bunch of tourists who drove up are standing, top center). We never made it that far - so I suppose the trip was a failure. Oh, well.

That white patch at the bottom of Tuckerman's Ravine is five to six feet of snow!

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