PRICE

Mount Washington Winter Intro (2-Day)
$495

Intro to Glacier Mountaineering (3-Day)
$995

Presidential Traverse (3-Day)
$995

Intro to Ice Climbing (2-Day)
$495

SCHEDULE

Winter 2020/2021
Download list of available dates

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
2 or 3 Day Course

 
 
 
 
 

Talk to an ADVENTURE expert
425.749.7421

BOOK THIS TRIP »

OVERVIEW

Mount Washington is the premier mountaineering destination in the Northeastern United States. Although its summit stands at a relatively modest 6,288 feet, Mount Washington bears the brunt of some of the most severe weather in the world. Fierce winds, freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation can occur year-round. The mountain’s erratic weather and steep slopes loaded with ice and snow make it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to discover mountaineering, and for aspiring climbers training for larger, glaciated objectives such as Mount Baker and Mount Rainier.

Northwest Alpines Guides offers a variety of mountaineering courses and climbs in the Mount Washington area. We offer 2 Day and 3 Day Intro to Mountaineering Courses on Mount Washington. These courses include a summit climb and will prepare you for larger, glaciated peaks. We offer a 1 Day Mount Washington Summit Climb for guests with prior crampon and ice axe experience. We also offer a 2 Day Intro to Ice Climbing Course and a 3 Day Traverse over seven of the most prominent peaks of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains, including Mount Washington. We hike north to south from Mount Madison to Crawford Notch.

Every summer, thousands of visitors ride up Mount Washington via the Auto Road and the historic cog railway. Far fewer people make the climb under their own power, and fewer still climb to the summit in the cold-weather months when the road and railway are closed and the landscape sleeps under rime ice and snow. Why not count yourself among them?

Mount Washington Intro to Mountaineering • 2 to 3 Days

To maximize your chances of success and access some of Mount Washington’s best mountaineering terrain, Northwest Alpine Guides ascends the Lion Head Winter Route on the mountain’s eastern flank. With a mixture of snowy forest trails, windswept ridges and steep, icy ledges, this route offers excellent opportunities to practice crampon and ice axe technique, rope work, and other essential skills. Our professional guides will teach you the skills you need for a safe and successful climb.

On the first morning of the course, we meet at Pinkham Notch for an equipment check and orientation. We hike into the backcountry where we practice skills for our summit attempt before returning to the trailhead. On Day Two, we climb to the summit and descend to the trailhead. The Mount Washington Intro to Mountaineering Course may be extended by 1 day to include instruction in glacier travel, crevasse rescue and snow camping. On the 3-day itinerary, we spend one night in tents on the mountain.

On our three-day mountaineering courses, we include breakfast, dinner and hot drinks on the mountain. To minimize pack weight, we use the lightest available high-quality mountaineering tents, stoves and group equipment. Our mountain guides are highly skilled professionals who take pride in caring for each client’s safety and success.

Winter Presidential Traverse • 3 Days

The Winter Presidential Traverse is one of the most coveted and challenging mountaineering objectives on the East Coast. The trip begins with an orientation and gear check on Day 1. Early the following morning we ascend Mount Madison (5,367 ft), and then traverse through an austere wintry landscape over Mount Adams (5,774 ft) before overnighting at a backcountry hut. On Day 3 we complete the traverse, crossing mounts Jefferson (5,712 ft), Washington (6,288 ft), Monroe (5,372 ft), Eisenhower (4,780 ft) and Pierce ((4,310 ft). Featuring 9,000 feet of elevation gain over 20 miles, this is a demanding hike in some of New England’s most beautiful alpine terrain.

Winter Mount Washington Climb • 1 Day

Are you ready to climb the highest mountain in the Northeast in winter? Climbers with strong physical fitness and some basic crampon and ice axe experience may join us for a 1-day ascent of Mount Washington via the Lion Head Winter Route. Inquire for private climb dates

Intro to Ice Climbing • 2 Days

This course introduces you to the exciting world of vertical water ice climbing. Our expert instructors focus on the fundamental technical and movement skills you need to safely enjoy this sport. Instruction topics include: ice tool and crampon technique; movement skills; climbing knots and hitches; belaying and more. You will visit some the White Mountains’ many excellent ice climbs in the Crawford Notch and Cathedral Ledge areas.

Why Climb Mount Washington?

Known as Agiocochook to some local Native American tribes, Mount Washington attracts climbers from up and down the East Coast and around the world. As the highest point in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Mount Washington feels the full effect of the region’s storms. The famous weather observatory on its summit has recorded wind temperatures as fast as 231 miles per hour (for many years a world record) and temperatures as low as –50 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of its severe weather, Mount Washington is a more formidable climbing objective than its modest height, 6,288 feet, would otherwise suggest. Northwest Alpine Guides leads climbs on Mount Washington during the cold-weather months, when ice and snow turn the peak into an excellent training ground for larger mountains such as Mount Baker and Mount Rainier, and a worthy summit in its own right.

Which Mount Washington itinerary is right for me?

On our 2 Day Intro to Mountaineering course we introduce you to the essential skills and equipment you need to safely climb Mount Washington in the winter with a guide. This course is an excellent choice for anyone taking their first steps into the vast world of mountaineering, whether you are longtime backpacker, an experienced rock climber looking for experience on snow and ice, or simply an avid outdoorsperson.

For those preparing for ascents of glaciated peaks in the Pacific Northwest or elsewhere, the Intro to Mountaineering course may be extended by 1 day to include instruction in rope team travel, crevasse rescue, and snow camping.

We also offer a 1-day ascent option, allowing climbers to reach the summit more quickly. It is designed for climbers with good physical fitness and some prior ice axe and crampon experience.

2 Day Intro to Mountaineering School Curriculum

  • Rest step, step kick, pressure breathing
  • Ice axe technique and self-arrest
  • Crampon technique
  • Basic climbing knots
  • Belaying
  • Leave No Trace
  • Mount Washington Summit Climb
  • Discussion topics will include: Clothing and equipment, packing a backpack, mountain weather, mountain navigation and other topics.

3 Day Glacier Mountaineering School Curriculum

3-Day curriculum includes the complete 2-day curriculum, plus:

  • Snow camp skills
  • Glacier travel, climbing as a rope team
  • Introduction to snow anchors
  • Crevasse rescue

2 Day Intro to Ice Climbing Curriculum

  • Ice tool and crampon technique
  • Ice climbing movement skills (T-Technique, Spring and Sag)
  • Climbing knots & hitches
  • Belaying, lowering
  • Climbing communication
  • Ice climbing clothing and equipment
  • Introduction to ice climbing anchors and protection

Need help choosing a trip?
Read our Four-Legged Stool blog post for tips on finding the right adventure for you.

Course Highlights

  • A spectacular winter climb to the summit of Mount Washington
  • One full day Introductory Mountaineering School to prepare you for your climb.
  • Small teams for a personalized experience. Many of our climbs are guided with a maximum of four climbers and one guide.
  • Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain.
  • Intro to Ice Climbing trip option
  • Presidential Traverse trip option
  • An exciting, enjoyable Northwest Alpine Guides adventure on the most famous mountain in the Eastern U.S.

2 Day Mountaineering Intro

Day 1 • Mountaineering School
Day 2 • Summit Day

3 Day Glacier Mountaineering

Day 1 • Mountaineering School
Day 2 • Hike to High Camp
Day 3 • Summit Day

3 Day Presidential Traverse

Day 1 • Orientation
Day 2 • Begin Traverse
Day 3 • Finish Traverse

2 Day Intro to Ice Climbing

Day 1 • Instruction & Climbing
Day 2 • Climbing

Qualifications

This ascent is an entry level summit climb and is suitable for climbers in excellent physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. A full day of introductory skills training is included in the program. No extra acclimatization is necessary for this program. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

4 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead our Mount Washington courses and climbs at a 4 to 1 climber to guide ratio to ensure that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides holds a Special Use Permit within White Mountain National Forest

ITINERARY

2 Day Mount Washington Winter Intro

Trip begins at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Plan to arrive the day before the itinerary begins.

Day 1 • Intro to Mountaineering School

Meet at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The team hikes a half mile to Willey’s Slide, where we learn mountaineering fundamentals. Instruction includes snow climbing, ice axe and crampon technique, basic climbing knots and hitches and basic ropework, including belaying. Throughout the program your guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics.

Each team member will be assessed throughout the mountaineering school. You will need to demonstrate adequate fitness and proficiency in climbing skills as your safety is our priority.

After mountaineering training, we return to the trailhead. We part ways, with plans to go to bed early to prepare for our summit bid.

Vertical gain climbing: 300 feet
Climbing time: 6-hour mountaineering school

Accommodations: Hotel (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 2 • Summit Day • Mount Washington • 6,288 feet

Early in the morning, we meet at Pinkham Notch on the other side of the mountain for a pre-dawn alpine start. From the parking lot, we hike up the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail through peaceful, snowy woods to the Lion Head Winter Route. We rope up and ascend a system of steep rocky ledges, covered in snow and ice, until we emerge above tree line at a dramatic ridge high above Tuckerman’s Ravine.

We hike up the ridge to Mount Washington’s summit cone with its famous observatory, covered in wind-blown rime ice. We celebrate our success and descend to the trailhead. We usually arrive back to at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure at Pinkham Notch.

Vertical gain climbing: 4,000 feet
Climbing time: 8-12 hours

Accommodations: (none)
Meals Included: (none)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

3 Day Mount Washington Glacier Mountaineering

Trip begins at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Plan to arrive the day before the itinerary begins.

Day 1 • Intro to Mountaineering School

Meet at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The team hikes a half mile to Willey’s Slide, where we learn mountaineering fundamentals. Instruction includes snow climbing, ice axe and crampon technique, basic climbing knots and hitches and basic ropework, including belaying. Throughout the program your guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics.

Each team member will be assessed throughout the mountaineering school. You will need to demonstrate adequate fitness and proficiency in climbing skills as your safety is our priority.

After mountaineering training, we return to the trailhead. We part ways, with plans to go to bed early to prepare for our summit bid.

Vertical gain climbing: 300 feet
Climbing time: 6-hour mountaineering school

Accommodations: Hotel (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 2 • Glacier Climbing School • Snow Camp

Early in the morning, we meet at Pinkham Notch on the other side of the mountain and hike with overnight backpacks to Hermit Lake, where we set camp. We devote the rest of the day to learning skills we will use on larger, glaciated peaks such as Mount Baker and Mount Rainier. If conditions permit, we will use the steep slopes of Tuckerman’s Ravine as our classroom. Instruction topics will include: traveling as a rope team, glacier navigation, introduction to snow anchors and crevasse rescue.

After mountaineering training, we return to camp and prepare for our summit bid. The team enjoys dinner and goes to bed early for the next day’s climb.

Vertical gain climbing: 1,800 feet
Climbing time: 3 hours hiking, 4-5 hours mountaineering school

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Dinner (D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Mount Washington • 6,288 feet

We awake early for a pre-dawn alpine start. After a hot breakfast, we walk to the Lion Head Winter Route, where we rope up and ascend a system of steep rocky ledges, covered in snow and ice until we emerge above tree line at a dramatic ridge high above Tuckerman’s Ravine. The ridge leads us to Mount Washington’s summit cone with its famous observatory, covered in rime ice formed by the fierce wind. We celebrate our success and descend to the trailhead. We usually arrive back to at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure at Pinkham Notch.

Vertical gain climbing: 2,200 feet
Climbing time: 6-10 hours

Accommodations: (none)
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

Mount Washington Presidential Traverse

Trip begins and ends at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Plan to arrive the day before the itinerary begins.

Day 1 • Orientation & Gear Check

Meet at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

At mid-day, our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. Guides will organize team members’ transportation to the trailhead the following morning. We part ways in the afternoon, with plans to finish any last-minute shopping or other preparation and go to bed early to prepare for our summit bid.

Accommodations: Hotel (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 2 • Mount Madison & Mount Adams • Gray Knob Hut

Early in the morning, we drive together to our trailhead at the north end of the Presidential Range. Today we gain more than 3,000 feet up the Valley Way Trail to the summit of Mount Madison at 5,366 feet. With exhilarating views into the Great Gulf far below us, we traverse across a short col and ascend the windswept summit cone of Mount Adams (5,266 ft). With the day’s peaks behind us, we duck back below tree line to the Gray Knob Hut, where we strike up a fire in the woodstove and spend the night.

Vertical gain climbing: 3,500 feet
Climbing time: 6-8 hours

Accommodations: Backcountry Hut
Meals Included: Dinner (D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Mount Washington • 6,288 feet

We awake early, enjoy a hot breakfast and then hike back above tree line into the austere beauty of one of the largest alpine zones in the eastern U.S. We spend almost all of today hiking through snow-covered alpine meadows, icy scree fields and hardy krummholz vegetation stunted by the fierce winter weather of the White Mountains. Our first objective is Mount Jefferson (5,712 ft), followed by the legendary Mount Washington (6,288 ft), and then Mount Monroe (5,372 ft) and Mount Eisenhower (4,780 ft). On the summit of Mount Pierce (4,310 ft) the final climb of our trip, we celebrate our success and then descend to the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch. We usually conclude our hike by late afternoon.

Vertical gain climbing: 5,000 feet
Climbing time: 10-12 hours

Accommodations: (none)
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

Intro to Ice Climbing

Trip begins and ends at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Plan to arrive the day before the itinerary begins.

Day 1 • Orientation • Climbing Skills • Climbing

Meet at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

We meet in the morning for an orientation and gear check before taking a short walk to one of several low-angle ice climbing areas nearby, such as the Frankenstein Cliffs, Arethusa Falls or Willey’s Slide. We go over important skills and start swinging our tools. Today’s instruction will include: ice tool and crampon technique; movement skills; harnesses, knots and belaying; and basic climbing communication. After lunch, we are free to continue practicing on low-angle terrain, or test ourselves on steeper ice.

Accommodations: Hotel (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 2 • Climbing • Skills Refresher

Early in the morning we meet near Cathedral Ledge to climb the North End Slabs or one of numerous other local climbing areas depending on route conditions and team preference. We refresh skills learned on Day 1, and then introduce new topics, including basic ice protection and anchors. After lunch, we may continue practicing our technique on moderate terrain, or explore more of the varied and exhilarating world of ice climbing by venturing onto steeper ice and mixed terrain. A short walk takes us back to our cars and we conclude or adventure in the late afternoon.

Accommodations: (none)
Meals Included: (none)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

1 Day Winter Mount Washington Climb

Trip begins and ends at Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. Plan to arrive the day before the itinerary begins.

Day 1 • Summit Day • Mount Washington • 6,288 feet

Meet at Pinkham Notch, NH.

Early in the morning, we meet at Pinkham Notch on the east side of the mountain for a pre-dawn alpine start. From the parking lot, we hike up the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail through peaceful, snowy woods to the Lion Head Winter Route. We rope up and ascend a system of steep rocky ledges, covered in snow and ice, until we emerge above tree line at a dramatic ridge high above Tuckerman’s Ravine.

We hike up the ridge to Mount Washington’s summit cone with its famous observatory, covered in wind-blown rime ice. We celebrate our success and descend to the trailhead. We usually arrive back to at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure at Pinkham Notch.

Vertical gain climbing: 4,000 feet
Climbing time: 8-12 hours

Accommodations: (none)
Meals Included: (none)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

At 8 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the main parking lot at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH, for an equipment check and orientation before beginning mountaineering school. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

Price Includes

  • Guided climbing and instruction
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
  • Group equipment (including ropes, protection, tents, etc.)
  • Backcountry use permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal climbing gear
  • Hotels or other lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Tips normally average 10 – 20% of the cost of the program. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Climber to Guide Ratio

We aspire to lead summit attempts on Mount Washington at a 4 to 1 climber to guide ratio. On Occasion we lead climbs at higher ratios if feasible and required by operational factors.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance after making a deposit. Travel insurance offers the best protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness, an injury prior to or while traveling, or a possible family emergency.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. We ask that you consult your travel insurance carrier directly with questions.

For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

Travel, evacuation and rescue coverage designed for adventure travelers.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™

  • Waiv­er for pre-exist­ing con­di­tions (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)
  • Option­al ​“Can­cel for Any Rea­son” cov­er­age (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Global Rescue

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $150.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During the Mount Washington Intro Mountaineering Course, Northwest Alpine Guides does not provide group meals on 2-day itineraries. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food on the mountain. On the 3-day itinerary, we provide group meals consisting of one (1) dinner and one (1) breakfast. Northwest Alpine Guides does not provide group meals during 1 Day Winter Mount Washington Climb itinerary.

Mountain Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Group Meals

Here is an example of meal items NWAG provides and our guides will prepare during group breakfasts and dinners.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Bagels, Pop Tarts, and Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Pasta, Noodles, Tortellini, Rice, Beans, Vegetables, Tasty Bites, Cheese

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

For those with special meal concerns we recommend bringing food to supplement the pre-planned group meals we provide. We can accommodate most common food allergies. We do not serve fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or egg. For vegetarian diets, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving group meals.

Northwest Alpine Guides is unable to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other special meal concerns. Freeze-Dried foods are available for purchase.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8 a.m., the morning of the climb, we meet at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods, NH, on the west side of Mount Washington for an equipment check and orientation before hiking into the backcountry to begin the mountaineering school. Upon receiving your registration, Northwest Alpine Guides will email you complete PreClimb information, including a gear list specific to your itinerary and other departure details.

The town of Bretton Woods is approximately 120 miles and a 3-hour drive from Boston or a 6-hour drive from New York City. Limited services are available at Crawford Notch and Bretton Woods. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the towns of North Conway, Jackson and Gorham.

Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center
Route 302
Bretton Woods, NH 03575

Please arrive at the trailhead with all required personal mountaineering gear and snack lunch food for the day. We rent and sell a selection of climbing equipment, including harnesses, climbing boots, helmets, belay devices, cord and carabiners, but reservations and purchases must be made at least one week prior to the first day of the trip.

Flight Travel

Most climbers arriving from outside of New England will fly into Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) the evening before the program and rent a car to drive to the Mount Washington area. Most climbers will choose to stay in North Conway, NH, the night before the climb. The drive from BOS to Crawford Notch through North Conway is approximately 3 hours. The drive from New York City to Crawford Notch is roughly 6 hours.

Our New England programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program details. Climbers flying to Boston must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. We will return to the trailhead by early evening on the final day of the program, but exact return times are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers flying out of Boston book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day.

Transportation

Transportation to the meeting location at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our New England programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling.

Trailhead Parking

There are no fees for parking at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch and our trailhead in Pinkham Notch.

Driving Directions

From Boston:

Follow I-95 North for roughly 40 miles to US-4 / New Hampshire State Highway 16.
Take Exit 4 for US-4 / NH-16 north toward the White Mountains.
Follow NH-16 for roughly 80 miles to North Conway, NH.
Turn left to stay on NH-16. After a few miles, NH-16 merges in US-302 W.
Drive northwest on US-302 W for roughly 25 miles to Crawford Notch.
The meeting location is in the parking lot for the AMC Highland Center on your left (west side of Highway 302).

From New York City:

Follow interstate highways roughly 260 miles northeast to Kittery, ME.
From I-95 North take Exit 4 for US-4 / NH-16 north toward the White Mountains.
Follow NH-16 for roughly 80 miles to North Conway, NH.
Turn left to stay on NH-16. After a few miles, NH-16 merges in US-302 W.
Drive northwest on US-302 W for roughly 25 miles to Crawford Notch.
The meeting location is in the parking lot for the AMC Highland Center on your left (west side of Highway 302).

Hotels

Most guests prefer to stay in the North Conway and Jackson areas, centrally located between our Crawford Notch and Pinkham Notch trailheads. Lodging may also be found at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, but Crawford Notch is relatively far from restaurants and grocery stores, and from our Pinkham Notch trailhead.

Recommended lodging in the North Conway area:

North Conway Grand Hotel
75 Commons Court
North Conway, NH 03860

Swiss Chalets Village Inn
475 NH-16A
Intervale, NH 03845

Residence Inn by Marriott
1801 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH 03860

Recommended lodging in the Jackson area:

The Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa
40 Thorn Hill Road
Jackson, NH 03846

Nordic Village Resort
1 Nordic Village Lane
Bartlett, NH 03812

AMC Highland Center Crawford Notch:

Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center
Route 302
Bretton Woods, NH 03575

Mountain Weather

For updated Mount Washington weather forecastsclick here. 

For current Mount Washington conditions, click here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a Mount Washington climbing trip?

All of our itineraries include an ascent to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. On our 2- and 3-Day Intro to Mountaineering courses, we will introduce you to the essential skills and equipment you need to stay safe, and have fun, while climbing snow and ice in cold winter conditions. Our 3-day courses also include instruction in glacier travel and crevasse rescue, and one night camping in tents on the mountain. While camping, we provide breakfast, dinner and hot drinks. For every program, the registration fee includes a professional mountain guide and all group mountain gear (including ropes, protection, tents, stove and fuel). The fee does not cover travel to Mount Washington, lodging, other meals or personal equipment.

How much will my pack weigh?

During the mountaineering school and during the summit push, you will carry your personal climbing gear, extra layers of warm clothing and your personal food and water. Your pack weight will range from 20-25 lbs. Participants in the 3-day mountaineering school will carry an overnight pack weighing 35-45 pounds to our high camp.

How much physical fitness and outdoors experience do I need?

All of our Mount Washington programs are open to anyone with moderate physical fitness and some previous backpacking experience. We recommend that participants in our 1 Day Mount Washington Climb have some prior crampon and ice axe experience. Guests on our 3 Day Presidential Traverse will benefit from previous winter hiking and camping experience.

Is winter mountaineering for me?

If you have never mountaineered in snow and ice before and are curious to sample the beauty and thrill of ascending big mountains, our Mount Washington trips offer an excellent introduction to the sport. Mountaineering is a physical and psychological adventure sport that blends aerobic exercise with technical skills. It can be challenging, but your efforts are rewarded by the exhilaration and camaraderie of moving as a team through beautiful mountain terrain.

I don’t have ice climbing gear. Can I rent it?

A selection of climbing gear, including harnesses, helmets, ice tools, ice axes, crampons, snowshoes and other items may be rented in the North Conway area. Rentals must be reserved at least one week prior to your trip start date. Please contact us for more information.

What about safety?

Whether you’ve already done some climbing and you are eager to expand your mountain skillset, or you’ve never tied into a rope, our professional instructors are prepared to meet you at your skill level and teach you the techniques you’ll need to stay safe in the big mountain environment. In mountaineering, safety is paramount. Our instruction in designed to help you build your skills from the ground up.

All of our professional guides are dedicated climbers with wilderness medical certifications. We follow a well-rounded curriculum to help you become self-reliant in the mountains. Climbing can be unpredictable: weather conditions can change in a moment and bad decisions can lead to injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will teach you how to climb safely and successfully.

Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides

Mountain climbing blends physical and mental challenge with teamwork and unparalleled opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural world. Our group sizes are often smaller than those of other guide services, allowing us to provide our customers with rewarding, personalized adventures that make the most of all the mountains have to offer.

Our mountain guides have decades of experience, gained on hundreds of expeditions in mountain ranges across the United States and abroad. They have completed many expeditions to the world’s most challenging summits, including Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. Our guides are knowledgeable and personable. Northwest Alpine Guides will ensure you enjoy your climbing experience as you develop your skills. To learn more about our services, history and philosophy please visit: Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides.

MOUNTAINEERING COURSES

3 Day Mount Baker Intro to Mountaineering Climb

4 Day North Cascades Alpine Skills Course

6 Day Mount Rainier Expedition Training Course

All Northwest Courses