Peak(s):  Mt. Lady Washington  -  13,281 feet
Date Posted:  02/18/2014
Date Climbed:   02/15/2014
Author:  Auggie
 A little wind never killed too many people   

This trip was more of a spur of the moment type trip. I apologize about the lack of photography.

Trip took about 9 hours round trip (due to various complications and attempted technical routes) We started up the mountain about 6:30am. There were no tracks on the trail due to fresh snow and blow. If you are looking to head up there and trail-blaze expect a good 2-3 feet of soft pack. It was a comfortable 30+ degrees up until tree-line. This is honestly one of my favorite approach trail to just wander on, it's so relaxing and easy to orient yourself on!

Conditions got a little harsher around tree line. The winds picked up considerably, consistent 80+MPH with gusts up to 120MPH. Just an FYI, make sure to check the wind conditions before heading up this trail... I honestly don't think I have experienced winds this strong in close to 5 plus years. Face masks were a must as well as predetermined hand signals (wind made everything inaudible). One of the nice things about the wind was the lack of snow above tree line. What little snow was there, was easy enough to cross without the use of snowshoes. As we neared the final approach we chose to leave our shoes tied to a large bolder in the field just below the final approach.

Due to the winds (due NE) we decided that the normal trail (northern ridge) would not be the best approach. We started up the inner side of the eastern ridge in an attempt to avoid the main force of the wind. This actually did not prove too successful. There were many times when we were plastered to the rocks waiting for a massive gust to die down. (I can confidently say that this added up to the majority of time waste on the mountain)

Again, due to high winds we ended up crossing the north east face of the mountain and met the north ridge at about 400 feet below summit. At this point the winds were so bad that we seriously considered abandoning summit and just taking shelter on the eastern face and slowly descending... That didn't pan out as planned because 15 minutes later we high-fived at summit and started our descent.

When we reached the bottom of the final approach the windscape was 100% changed. We ended up spending close to an hour or more attempting to find our "super obvious" boulder/tree combination that we had tied our snow shoes to. It didn't help that during that time it was almost white-out conditions. We did find them! (Oh, also we found that we managed to lose a pair of microspikes, in bag, during descent. So... if anyone is going down the north east face and finds a pair of red spikes, please let us know)

All in all it was an awesome trip! I highly recommend this ascent if you get the chance!
Notable wildlife included a flock of pure white Ptarmigan above tree line.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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