Are you ready? We are... Meet the Ready Pack: It's everything you need!

Having an Impact

Every now and then the impact we have on others reminds us our importance. There are stories re-told on our testimonials page that credit us in part for people getting themselves back on trail or for stopping themselves with an ice axe during a long, sliding fall. In these reminders we see how the training we offer has really done some good. Maybe saved a life or two. Sometimes, however, our impact is realized on-mountain, simply by literally helping strangers. On mountain, you see, we’re all on the same team.

At the end of January Redline Guide Glenn Van Neil was leading a guest on the Lion Head Trail (descending after a climb). There he encountered some ascending hikers that were ill-prepared for the mountaineering challenges of the Winter Route’s “Steeps.” Glenn, having the appropriate gear and knowledges, gave these hikers a hand getting off this section safely. Having done things like this before, we figured Glenn telling us about it would end the story. In this case, however, the lead took a moment to share his perspective — and thanks — with us, as follows:

[…] On January 26, my friend and I were attempting a summit of Mount Washington via the Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head Trails. We were each carrying approximately 30 pounds in overnight backpacking gear which we planned to use while staying the night at the Gray Knob Cabin near Mount Adams in the Northern Presidential Range backcountry.
We departed the trailhead on Tuckerman Ravine Trail shortly before noon at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, understanding that given our slow arrival from Boston that Friday morning, we would likely be finishing our hike in the dark evening hours.
We made it swiftly to the Lion Head Trail and advanced quickly through the initial inclines but began to slow on the oncoming steeper sections about a half mile into this section of the ascent. Although the weather conditions were in our favor with less than 20 mile per hour wind speeds and warm temperatures near 30 degrees, we greatly underestimated the amount of snow that had accumulated on Washington during the prior week. Our hike on Tuckerman Ravine to the Lion Head Trail was steady. However, once we tested our microspikes on the near 60 degree incline and 3 feet of packed snow on the Lion Head Trail, our pace slowed and we each experienced dangerous backwards slides of 10 and 20 feet, myself and my friend respectively.
My friend’s slide came at a section of the trail that is apparently notorious for becoming a near vertical ice/snow climb with large winter snowfalls. After placing his ice axe in the ledge of the 20 foot pitch he had just risen, the axe suddenly became dislodged and he slid down the way he had just ascended. Had it not been for your guide, Glenn, there to help arrest his fall he would have continued off a small 3 foot ledge below and likely injured himself by striking a sapling grove further beyond.
Glenn had just previously descended past us with one of his climbing clients, and reported that they had turned back just before the Washington Summit due to low visibility and his client’s fatigue. Outfitted in full crampons, Glenn easily scaled the steep pitch from which my friend had just fell, retrieved the ice axe still set on top of the ledge, and returned down. He then used his ropes gear to provide us a fast and easy hip belay off the side of this steep section, which would have taken us likely 3 times the duration with our underprepared microspikes. Had it not been for Glenn, we may well have experienced another fall and a possible injury in our descent from Lion Head. Heeding his advice, we decided to hike around the lower Tuckermans backcountry, Hermit Lake, and the foot of the ravine, and spared any further steep snow scrambles with our underprepared equipment.
Please pass along our firm gratitude to Glenn and his great knowledge and calm demeanor on the Lion Head Trail. Without him, we may likely have experienced a serious injury on the steep section of the trail and been stranded with inadequate equipment due to the heavy snowpack. We are truly grateful for Glenn and indebted to his expertise.
Thank you very much for what you do and continuing to guide safe expeditions in the New Hampshire backcountry. We will return again one day with Glenn’s advice strongly heeded, a good set of crampons and a belay rope handy. —AEW, Long Island, NY


Great job, Glenn! You’re a credit to both yourself and to Redline Guiding! Well done, sir!

Don't Wait Too Long!

Book today to begin your outdoor experience. Use the button to the right to go to our booking form page...