Mt. Washington Winter Ascent - Open Enrollment
Jefferson, New Hampshire
3 people per guide
Mt. Washington is without a doubt the most sought after and recognized peak in New Hampshire. Climbing Mt. Washington with MMG is a truly awesome experience you will remember for years to come. With a sub-arctic climate, this mountain's weather and conditions can make finding your way quite a challenge. We'll let the mountain's reputation speak for itself.
This is an open enrollment climb. You and your group will meet your guide early to check essential gear. As you ascend you will be transported through various zones of temperate forest before reaching the alpine. Arriving above tree-line will experience the mountains true colors. On a clear day the summit treats you to a 360-degree view of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Canada.
Mountaineering Boots and Crampons
We provide double mountaineering boots and crampons to keep your feet warm and firm traction for when the climb gets steep.
Mooney Mountain Guides LLC
Mooney Mountain Guides LLC goal is to provide the highest quality guided experience to our guests on guided climbs, lessons, and courses. It is the continuous effort of all MMG guides to not only guide the climb, but also create a personalized experience for each guest, each day based on guest goals. MMG guides will practice safe climbing techniques, teach up to date information, follow Leave No Trace principles and treat our guests and other climbers with the highest degree of personal respect.
In addition to the service provided, MMG’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for our guests by being at the leading edge of industry development and professionalism. This includes in-house training, guide mentorship, and personal professional development. Guides who pursue personal growth are rewarded with increased benefits and compensations. This commitment to industry leading guide training sets us apart from other guide services. Being a pitch above the rest our guests will come to expect the highest degree of professionalism and care and as a result choose to climb with MMG over other guide services.
Where you'll meet
What to bring
Mooney Mountain Guides Winter Mountaineering Equipment List
To ensure an awesome experience with your MMG guide, it is important to arrive well prepared for our day in the mountains. The equipment list provided here might be a useful tool in preparing for our day. Remember luck favors the prepared. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email.
- Weather appropriate clothing (see bottom of the list for a full checklist)
- Snacks, a sandwich, leftover pizza, snickers, gels, cheese, salami,
- Liquids to drink in a thermos/vacuum flask or insulated Nalgene Bottle. 2 liters minimum.
- Back Pack 30 – 40 Liters (MMG can Provide)
- Gaitors if you prefer or if deep snow
- Hand warmers as needed
- Double Winter mountaineering boots. (If you have your own MMG recommends something like the Sportiva Nepal Cube, G5, Batura/ Scarpa Phantom series/ Mammut Norwand Pro/ Scarpa Inferno plastic boots.)
- Well fitting crampons meant for mountaineering. (If you have your own, 10 or 12 points are fine. MMG recommends Petzl Vasac.
Base Layer (Top & Bottom): There’s no way around it. You will sweat. Wear fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. Unlike cotton that gets wet and stays wet, wicking fabrics help you regulate your core temperature and avoid overheating or chilling. A mid weight top with a light fleece layer are ideal. Mid weight bottoms with light fleece pants or R1 pants seem to work well for most people.
Over-Base Layer (Top & Bottom): Mid-layers add mild insulation to help retain heat that your body creates, and are worn between the base layer and insulation if needed. Examples of over base layers are Patagonia #3 or any lightweight wool shirt. Top and Bottom. Light-weight fleece or heavy-weight EMS® Techwick®. Power-Stretch and micro-fleece are ideal materials for this layer. No heavy, 300 weight fleece trousers—you will be over-dressed. I prefer a short or long sleeve tech tee with a Patagonia R1 hoodie or Outdoor Reasearch Rydiant Hybrid pullover. I will add a light zip neck long sleeve shirt if it’s super cold. For extreme cold I use a power stretch union suit. It’s too warm most of the time. I generally wear Patagonia Alpine or Simple Guide Pants over my bottom base layers.
Insulation Layer (Top Only): Mid-layers add insulation to help retain heat that your body creates, and are worn between the base layer and outer jacket. Examples of insulating mid-layers include a fleece vest, a down sweater, or a synthetic jacket made of Prima Loft®. Jacket only. 200 to 300 weight fleece, heavy weight soft shells or light weight Prima-Loft sweater (and we mean lightweight!). We often wear winter weight soft shell jackets and pants unless we need the additional protection of foul weather pants and jacket. Winter weight being ‘lined’ or windproof. They should have pockets, and long zippers, and a good hood.
Un-insulated Waterproof & Breathable Shell (Top & Bottom): Forget about bulky coats. Wear an outer shell (over your base and insulation layer) to shed water and snow. Layering will give you more versatility, depending on the weather and your activity. Outerwear that is waterproof with increased breath ability will be more adaptable and can help transfer moisture away from your body to keep you dry and protected from the elements. Jackets and pants. Event, Gortex®, or similar waterproof/breathable material. Jacket MUST have an integrated hood. Flimsy “stow-away” nylon hoods are not adequate. Full side zip on pants are very helpful. I generally carry the jacket, but don’t always wear it. And I only wear the pants if the weather is really wet with rain or wet snow. If it’s that bad, we may reconsider our options.
Belay jacket: ‘Over-it-All’ Hooded Down or Prima-Loft Jacket: This crucial layer is often added when you stop for a break. It helps to maintain your body temperature while you are resting and is essential for keeping you warm on those cold descents and during inconvenient breaks above treeline in high winds. This layer is generally worn over your outermost layers. Bring this regardless of the weather- it’s good emergency equipment. Examples include Patagonia’s DAS Parka/Hyperpuff, micro puff, ArcTeryx ATOM SV, Hardwear’s Compressor, Wild Things Belay Parka, and more. Down is OK, but we prefer synthetic. I like to use a Patagonia Nano Air jacket (Brooks Range Cirro Hoody, or a Patagonia Nano Puff, something like this, lightweight) and a medium weight Belay jacket. It equals more versatility.
Gloves or Mittens and Glove Liners: We recommend having 3 pair of gloves/mittens with you. Glove liners are very useful for the more aerobic approach to your climb. Gloves with a windproof/waterproof shell are a must for higher elevations and more technical climbing. Ski gloves are generally too bulky for harder climbing. Mittens with a windproof/waterproof shell are essential for those colder temperatures at higher elevations (tip: I carry 2-3 pair of lighter climbing gloves like the BD Punisher , OR storm tracker, and OR Warrant/Lodestar, and a warmer pair of gloves for the belaying. Mittens are only good for hiking and standing around.)
Fleece/Wool Hat: You’ve probably heard that most of your body heat escapes from your head. When you’re feeling cold the first piece to add to your clothing system is a hat. This hat should cover your ears and can be made of fleece or wool. Remember to fit the hat so you can wear it under a helmet. Pomp-pom hats will not fit under a helmet. A plain hat works best.
Good Wool Socks: How many times have your feet been way too cold? Wool or wool blend socks are great natural insulators, even when wet. For most cold-weather sports, wear wicking liner socks and mid or heavy weight wool or synthetic socks. Make sure you fit footwear with heavier socks for more warmth. No matter how thick your socks are, if your footwear constricts your toes, your blood flow will slow down and cause your feet to be cold–fit your shoes accordingly.
*Backpack: (40 liters/2,000-3,000 cubic inches is recommended, max 30lb load): A properly fitted pack will make your day 100 times better! It is essential to have a pack which has a hip belt to help support the bulk of the weight. Use a pack large enough to stow all of your gear on the inside without having to strap any of your personal gear on the outside where it is exposed to the elements. Also, make sure your pack has ice axe loops you can use to carry your ice axes when you are not using them and side compression straps to cinch the load close to you. Tip: Pack your pack with your gear before you arrive and make sure you still have enough room to stow your puffy jacket, gortex jacket, and extra warm layers for the initial hike in. This will save an enormous amount of time in the morning! I use a Cold Cold World Valdez pack, but anything about 30-40 liters will work.
Winter Mountaineering Boots: Not summer weight. Examples include anything double plastic/synthetic, or leather at a minimum of a La Sportiva Nepal Evo/Cube. Baturas are better. I wear the Nepal on warm days, the Batura 2.0 on cold days or on Mt Washington, and the Spantik on overnight trips. Warm feet make life easier. Double plastics are available from MMG. If you want to purchase your own, give me a call and I can help you sort out some options.
- *Winter Gaiters: Gaiters cover the top of the boot to keep out rain, snow, and ice. They should cover your entire calf and be able to fit over a plastic ice climbing boot. They also cover your Gore-Tex® pants and provide a clean surface around your legs. This way, you are less likely to trip on loose pant legs and damage them while walking and climbing in your crampons. OR Crocs are the best. Note: If you have built in gaiters or bungies on your pants, you may be ok with out them.
Balaclava or/or Buff & Neoprene Ski Face Mask & Ski Goggles: When the temperatures drop and the wind picks up, the skin on your face becomes very vulnerable to frost-nip, and even worse, frostbite. These items add the 100% necessary protection and warmth to your clothing system. Goggles (not sun glasses) are essential for Mt Washington.
Lunch: Fuel your body. In the mountains, lunch starts when breakfast ends and ends when dinner starts. In other words, we eat all day. A typical climber or skier will consume about 3,500 calories during the course of a day. Pack foods that don’t freeze hard, cover all the food groups and are easy to eat. Pre-make peanut butter sandwiches, or bring last night’s pizza, and those oh-so delicious candy bars. Carry your bars inside your jacket to keep them warm and gooey.
Liquids: Wide-mouth water bottles are recommended for winter. 2 liters is a minimum to keep us hydrated during the day. Please, do not use hydration systems, metal water bottles, or thin plastic, Poland Springs, narrow-mouthed bottles. All of these systems freeze easily making the water unavailable to you. A water bottle zippered insulator is a good idea for one of your bottles. I usually put one of my 2 bottles in the sleeve of my belay jacket inside my pack. Lately I’ve been carrying 2 small vacuum flasks with Tea or warm Gatorade.
Light-weight thermos in place of a water bottle, filled before your arrival.
Cancellations made more than 7 (30 for profeconal courses & destinations) days prior to your scheduled trip can be rescheduled or refunded minus a 5% booking fee. Cancellations made within 7 (30 for profecional courses & destinations) days of your scheduled trip can be rescheduled or you may choose to receive a 50% refund of the full days fee. Cancellations within 24 hours (7 days for profecional courses & destinations) of your scheduled trip will not be refunded. Weather related cancellations will be handled on a case by case basis; however, we are more than happy to reschedule if the forecast is looking grim.
Things happen, we recommend trip insurance to protect your investment: www.tripinsurance.com
Our precautions for COVID-19
What you can expect from us:
Please review this in advance of your trip. We realize it's a bit lengthy—but it is very important!
Cancelation: Mooney Mountain Guides, its guides, and employees reserve the right to cancel or postpone any guided day, trip, or course due to concerns over Infectious Communicable Transmissible Diseases or any undue risk perceived to be caused by a lack of participation in this Code of Responsibility. Guests, or anyone participating in a guided day, trip or course has the right to cancel or postpone due to concerns over Infectious Communicable Transmissible Diseases or any undue risk perceived to be caused by a lack of participation in this Code of Responsibility. Education: MMG Guides will abide by all Federal, State, National Forest and Health Authorities guidance, rules and recommendations. MMG will stay up to date on Federal, State and Health Authority recommendations and amend the policies and procedures as appropriate. We ask you to do the same. MMG will train the Guides in understanding symptoms, routes of transmission and appropriate hygiene and sanitation issues regarding infectious diseases such as COVID-19. We ask that you familiarize yourself with all information regarding COVID-19 from the CDC.
Travel: MMG Guides will travel to the venue alone and follow state rules regarding travel. We ask you to travel to venues alone or only with members of the same household. We also ask you to abide by state rules regarding travel.
Health Screening: MMG Guides will complete a Health Screening questionnaire and take their temperature regularly including on the morning of your trip. If a guide is symptomatic or has a known exposure to infectious disease, that guide will cancel the trip and attempt to reschedule. We ask you to complete a Health Screening questionnaire several times leading up to and including on the day of the trip. We also expect you to take your temperature on the morning of the trip. If you have any symptoms or suspected exposure to COVID-19 or other infectious disease, we will reschedule your trip. If that is not possible, we will issue a refund.
Personal Hygiene: MMG Guides will bring and utilize hand washing/hand sanitizer to use regularly throughout the day and especially around handling equipment. We ask you to bring hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly throughout the day.
Social Distancing: MMG Guides will practice, promote and require 6’ of physical distancing between all people and with other groups. If this is not possible due to crowds, the Guide will attempt to find another location nearby where physical distancing can be maintained. We expect you to practice physical distancing of 6’ with all other people present, unless from the same household.
Face Covering/Masks: MMG Guides will use a face covering when in circumstances where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as at anchor stances on multi-pitch climbs. We ask you to provide and use a face covering whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Nutrition & Hydration: MMG Guides will bring their own food and water and will not share with guests, except in the case of emergency. We ask that you bring all your own food and water for the day and not share with others.
First Aid: We will provide first aid to the level of training that we are certified (Wilderness First Responder or higher) and in adherence to the evolving recommendations from health authorities regarding patient interactions in our current COVID-19 environment. If a Guide becomes ill during the day, the guide will terminate the trip and send all guests home. We ask you to notify us immediately if you become ill during the day. We will ask you to leave or evacuate as necessary.
Equipment/gear: MMG Guides will use gear that has either been disinfected or quarantined per manufacturer guidelines. We ask that you provide your own climbing harness, helmet and shoes if possible. If not, MMG will provide disinfected/quarantined gear for you to use.
Post Trip Communication: If your guide becomes ill during the 14 days after your trip MMG will notify you of a potential exposure. MMG will also notify health authorities as needed for contact tracing. We ask you to notify MMG if you become ill within 14 days of your trip so that we may notify other guests of a possible exposure. We will not give your name to other guests.