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Badass Training

Simply put, that’s what these two returning guests were after, are after, and asked for it by name. There’s more in store for them, still. We’ll be chasing the snow up the flanks of Mt Washington near the end of May, in fact, with some late season Mountaineering Skills training plans in the works. For now, though, the goal of the day was to attempt Mt Adams, the second tallest of the 4000-footers at 5774-feet (1660m). Leading the charge was Redline Guide Ken Hodges.

Expecting a post-holed, war-torn Valley Way, Ken decided to bring them up and back on Airline Trail. Many prefer it, anyway. It’s a ridge route meaning it climbs first then levels — versus a ravine route which starts “flat” but then climbs at the end. It may sound like an obvious choice, taking the fast way to the views, then relax more once you get there, but once one factors in the weather, all is subject to change. The problem with a ridge route is that pesky exposure. And there was exposure, all members of the team were downed by strong winds at least once. Moreover, it was full-on winter conditions at elevation with cold temperatures, deep snow, and rime ice. Just check out these photos.

Cool, but still spring-like at the trailhead. That will change.

As they gain elevation spring yields to winter.

Oh, my!

The sign post on the summit beautifully encased in rime ice. Very cool.

One sure way to become badass is to practice. Well done, team. See you in May.

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