The answer: it depends.
Will Alex finish the winter 4Ks this season? As of right now, we've four hikes to go. Two of those hikes, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Monroe/Mt. Washington, require extensive above-treeline travel on steep and icy slopes. Perfect weather will be required. How often does the Presidential Range get perfect weather? Not that often.
For us, perfect weather means wind speeds of no more than 25mph and a wind chill value of no lower than -10. In the summer, we don't mind winds up to 50mph if there are large boulders to cling to and walk between, but a high wind speed during the winter increases the chance of a hiker slipping on ice and snow. In no way am I going to risk my kid sliding off the mountain.
Not only do we need perfect weather for those two hikes, we need those perfect-weather-days to coincide with dates Hugh can take care of Sage. This will be tricky, as Hugh's work demands are constant and it's difficult for him to rearrange things at the last minute.
Looks like tomorrow might have decent weather...but we won't be able to take advantage of it as Hugh will be out of town. I don't see another opportunity for the rest of the week. We're going to end up having only 20-22 days with which to find two good weather windows.
If we don't get those two perfect weather days, then Alex will have to wait until the next winter season to finish this list. She wants to finish this year -- badly -- but, as always, safety comes first. Many folks are comfortable hiking Washington in high winds and frigid temperatures, but I'm not one of them.
The other two hikes, the Twins/Galehead and Mt. Flume, don't require great weather. Both hikes are mostly in the trees and I don't feel there's much risk involved, as long as the temperatures aren't too cold and the trails are easy to follow or break. Though both of those hikes will be tiring and difficult, I'm confident we'll get them done before March 20.
But Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Washington/Monroe?
- UP: REVIEWS and PRESS
- GraniteGals PODCAST
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- Alex in the White Mountains (Alex's hiking blog)
- Sage's White Mountain Treks (Sage's hiking blog)
- California's Lost Coast Trail. June 8-9, 2019
- England's Coast to Coast Trail 2018
- Cohos Trail 2017
- Iceland's Laugavegur Trail 2016
- Great Wall of China Trek 2015
- John Muir Trail 2014
- El Camino de Santiago 2013
- NH Four Thousand Footers (Alex and Sage)
- NH Four Thousand Footers -- WINTER (Alex and Sage)
- Trailwrights 72 (Alex and Sage)
- 52 With a View (Sage)
- The Terrifying Twenty-Five
- The White Mountain Grid