[…] so enthralled by the epic that he kept having to stop to take it in so his mind wouldn’t explode — he was wow’d into submission. It happens.
Soon Redline Guide Ryan McGuire will head out west to guide on Mt Baker (and you can join him). So this was his last tour up Mt Washington this season. There is still some skiing to be done, and some snow climbs available upon request, but the season, we admit, is slipping away. One day soon we will surely have one of those seriously hot days and then all but the die-hard will hang up their winter toys. At that point the summer hiking and backpacking season will begin in earnest. And for us, some classes.
Also guiding on this trip were Redline Guides Pat Ferland and Will Murphy. And in their charge, and in Ryan’s, were a party of eight of people. Three were experienced mountaineers so we didn’t require them to train. The other five did train with Ryan and Redline Guide Deb Dunn the day before taking the day for winter skills in the morning then mountaineering skills at Black Mountain in Jackson, NH (thanks guys) in the afternoon. We were told Ryan and Deb were terrific teachers! We loving hearing positive feedback like that.
We would love to tell you they all made it to the summit, but as is often the case, that didn’t exactly happen. One member had cramping issues very early on and decided to let the others go on. Three of the others called it at Hermit Lakes, Pat led them back. One other, with Will, had pacing issues that ended up forcing a turnaround due to time 0.4 mi. from the summit. Though pacing issues might be the wrong words. More accurately, perhaps, is that Will’s guest was so enthralled by the epic that he kept having to stop to take it in so his mind wouldn’t explode — he was wow’d into submission. It happens. And the remaining three, including one of the experienced ones, led by Ryan, summited. The ascent route was Lobster Claw which is a forked gully on the Lion Head side of Tuckerman Ravine — looker’s right — and what an awesome way to climb up, the firm conditions providing good leg. Pat suggested it over South Gully in Huntington Ravine as they had planned originally. The descent route was the Winter Route of the Lion Head Trail, but it was an icy mess. Not fun. They were glad they didn’t go up that way. Good call, team!
All three guides took photos and Ryan also provided some video. This is their story, compiled:
Well done guides and guests. And congratulations to the those making attempts and well as to those succeeding.