The weather in the Mt Washington Valley on day one, the training day, wasn’t any nicer. In a way it was worse. It poured. Fortunately, the first half of the day was held indoors as it normally is — our Winter Skills course — and we were able to spend about an additional hour inside for some of the typically-outdoor Mountaineering Skills class content. This allowed time for the rain to taper and us to stay dryer in the end. It was still sloppy out. We encountered soft, saturated snow which was difficult to walk in, high water, yet we still managed to get some self arrest training in. The temperatures were mild so we didn’t freeze, anyway.
One group was with Ridj-it, the other was a fellow flying solo. Neither was a designated private tour so while the teams had their own guides — Redline Guides Jeffrey Shutak and Ryan Mcguire — they all trained and hiked in together. The training was conducted by owner Mike Cherim, along with newer guide Mike Maciel. Guide Ken Hodges was also present for the morning part of the training, as was Ryan.
The team went in together on their attempt on day two. They utilized the summer route of the Lion Head Trail, as we had expected. The team went on to treeline losing one member along the way. That team member was feeling uncomfortable on the glaze ice on the trail. It stands to reason, even with crampons and the training to use them properly, the conditions were scary. You can’t very well arrest on boiler plate ice. Jeffrey took them back. Ryan, meanwhile, continued on with the remaining three team members. They were able to stand for a moment of video just behind the Lion Head cairn. From there they wisely retreated down the mountain getting back to the visitor center with plenty of daylight left.
Photos from Saturday
Photos from Sunday
Excellent job, everyone. Guides and guests alike. Good judgement leads to better safety and guests who return.