Solo up the Ammo

    After a long season of chopping down trees, splitting wood, and running an excavator at the new Bethlehem land in preparation for our Spring build of the off grid, passive solar, straw bale cabin, it was time to bang out the ol' climbing cobwebs.
A frosty topped Washington
  I started up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail at a casual 11am, with beautiful weather and a fresh coating of snow on the upper mountain. The trail was a combination of thin ice and bare ground, with sections of actual ice climbing n the WI2 area, I was glad I brought my mountain axe and climbing crampons.  However, my microspikes were left at home and I missed them like a ship captains wife while he is out at sea. Difficult early season conditions to say the least.
   I arrived at the Lake of the Clouds hut at about 12:15pm, without seeing another soul in site.  The weather was beautiful with few clouds and almost no wind, a rare feat on the home of the world's worst weather.
Keep your phone camera facing away from your body when hauling up the big hill, lesson learned

     It was an inviting site to see some actual snow, so I quickly removed my crampons and continued my way up the mountain.  As I zigzagged my way up the summit cone, I finally saw another soul below me just past the hut.  I trotted my way up the rest of the mountain and managed to tap the old summit sign in 2:31, which was a bit slower then I had hoped for.  None the less, not bad for fresh off the couch.
"Winter" climb #89
   The way down was a slow slog, feet beaten badly from the sweat of the uphill.  At one point I slipped and turned my leg in a direction it was not suppose to go.  I thought to myself, that this could have turned into a touching the void type situation.  As I got up to see if my leg could bare weight, I realized that the time off last season had made me a bit soft, the leg was just fine and I continued down the mountain.
    The first climb of the season was a great one, it reminds me of my connection and love for the mountains.  The first time I climbed Mt. Washington I knew what my purpose was, to share the mountains with others.  If you haven't done a winter Mt. Washington ascent yet, I highly suggest it.  Just be sure to get some proper instruction before heading up the Rock Pile.