Mt. Washington's western side in winter
Mt. Washington's west side with a full winter set of clothes

As for Washington...WHEW!!!

Mt. Washington Winter Attempt

It was quite a slog in; luckily it was pretty frozen so we didn't need snowshoes till we were on the north ridge in tree line. When we got out of the tree line we switched to crampons and ice axe. We did a very steep side slope traverse (I think I would've been more comfortable doing a running belay) and we popped up on the ridge right below the summit pinnacle. My guess is that we were 150 to 200 feet below the actual summit. Unfortunately the wind was HOWLING!! and it was 2 pm (we started at 8 am). Another couple of climbers showed up then (a little more experienced, also, they had spent the night near the base) and we all decided it was way too windy to summit. I'd like to attempt it again but as an overnight. I think Tom and I put in at least 13 miles.

We even used our compass skills and did quite well! We ended up back at the truck about 6 pm and were pretty beat! Unfortunately the Thai restaurant in Sisters had too long of a wait list so we went home, made a quick dinner and were in bed by 8:30. We slept 10 hours Saturday night!!

Liz Coleman
[reporting on Mt. Washington attempt with her husband, Tom Herron on Saturday, March 2, 2002]