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Train ā€˜nā€™ Gain Weekend

The sum of several parts, this past Saturday’s group was pretty big. The result of a few classes made joinable by the initiator of each sub-group. Most were there for a full day-one training where Redline Guide Pat Ferland would teach them all Winter Skills in the morning, then take the group, plus a couple add-ins, to one of our local training locations to learn basic Mountaineering Skills in the afternoon.

For most of the group, day one was going to be it. We did have two participants enrolled in our two-day Winter Mt Washington program, however. They, as we learned, were impressed with the mountain, the stunning views, all but one of the checkboxes were ticked. There was some disappointment in the trip — though nothing that we are to be blamed for, per se. As we showed on the last post, the normally-eye-opening weather on Mt Washington was cooperative to say the least. The air calm, offering none of those famed winds scouring the mountain. The temps were cool but not cold. And there was a somewhat rare yet profoundly beautiful undercast. Things many dream of, to be sure, and our guests loved it all, we have no doubt. But they also wanted to experience the strong winds, bitter temps, and generally deplorable weather the mountain is notorious for. To receive greater challenge (allowing them to pick Pat’s brain even more). We get it, many people share this desire believe it or not. Many stand unsteadily atop Lion Head or the summit, battered by the winds, whooping it up, loving every minute of it.

Pat offered this summary of the trip along with some photos:

Today was an awesome day to be on Mt Washington. We met at 7 AM at Pinkham Notch and were on the move by 7:30. We made great time getting up to the ‘Steeps’ of the Winter Route of the Lion Head Trail. We put on our crampons and helmets, took out our ice axes, and made our way through the ‘Wilcox Step’ and the three steep pitches above it, then we continued on our way up to treeline. There we broke through the clouds walking into what could only be described as an ‘Oreo Cookie Day‘ with a layer of clouds below us and a layer of clouds above us. All the 4000-footers surrounding us were poking through the clouds. The amazing thing was it was no breeze and it was warm. We all summited wearing just base layers on our upper bodies and and used light gloves. Anything else was too hot. We took some great photos (see some below). –Pat


Day One: A Day to Train

Day Two: A Day to Climb

Great job, team. Regardless of the weather, it’s a solid summit on the books! Congratulations!

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