201903-Mt Adams






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201903-Mt Adams

March 2019 Mt Adams

Beginner-accessible trip winter mountaineering in the White Mountains. Target is Mt Adams, in the northern end of New Hampshire's Presidential Range, via Lowe's Path, which requires crampons but no vertical climbing. Very similar to Joe+Caitlin's New Year's trip, which in part scouted this out but had stays in car+shelter rather than hotel+cabin as planned here.

Plan is four days, with one night in a hotel or hostel and two nights in a heated cabin near treeline. Projected cost per person is ~$225+food if renting boots+crampons+axe.

Contact Joe with questions.

View looking northeast to Mt Madison from summit of Mt Adams



  • Feb 28--Mar 3
  • Mar 1--Mar 4
  • Mar 7--10
  • Mar 8--11

Ideal is to plan on a Thursday start (Feb 28 or Mar 7), with flexibility to slip a day for better weather.

Doodle poll for best dates


~$75 in lodging per person total for three nights

  • Assuming one hotel room split ~four ways, or hostel for similar price

~$125 for rental gear if necessary (boots, crampons, axe)

Shared gas + tolls

Personal food


Need to be able to hike for ~4 hours at casual pace with a light-ish pack (clothes, sleeping bag, snacks, water). The trails are steep, but there's nothing approaching vertical climbing (like, say, the early bottleneck on the Lion's Head winter route to Mt Washington). Being able/building up to a couple hours hiking in the Wissahickon is a good indicator.


It'll be cold... Average temperature range for March on the higher summits in the Whites is 5--21F. But we'll be in a temperature-controlled cabin for the two nights out, and warmth shouldn't be a problem hiking.


Four day, three night trip---

Day 1: Travel

  • Depart Philly ~9am to drive to N Conway, NH (~8.5 hours + stops)
  • Pick up rental gear, last minute needs, get dinner
  • Drive to north end of range
  • Stay at hotel or hostel

Day 2: Approach

  • Pancakes (or whatever) at Waterwheel Breakfast & Gift House
  • Hike up Lowe's Path to stay at RMC Gray Knob Cabin
    • ~3 miles, 3000 feet of gain
    • Steep hike in places, may require crampons, but no vertical climbing
    • Budget 4+ hours on the move

Day 3: Summit

  • Up to Mt Adams via Lowe's Path
    • ~1.5 miles, 1500 feet of gain
  • Depending on time, continue on to Mt Madison
    • ~1.25 miles, 1000 feet of loss, 600 feet of gain
  • Either back via Lowe's Path, or loop via Gulfside and Gray Knob trails
  • Steep hike in places, crampons required, but no vertical climbing
  • Budget 4+ hours on the move for basic plan, more for optionals

Day 4: Return

  • Down Lowe's Path to trailhead
    • Budget 3+ hours on the move
  • Lunch somewhere
  • Drive to N Conway to return rental gear
  • Drive home for late night arrival in Philly

CalTopo map of routes


Default gear list

  • To be tuned for specifics
  • Good amount of gear available to borrow
    • Joe+Caitlin have couple down jackets, gaiters, headlamps, backpacks, etc
  • Joe has group gear---stove(s), first aid, etc

Mountaineering boots, crampons, axe required

  • Rent from EMS, IME, or other in N Conway
    • Will run ~$125 total for 3 days


One night in hotel or hostel

Two nights in RMC Gray Knob Cabin

  • $25/night per person
  • Minimally heated, kept at about 40F
    • So 3 season mummy sleeping bags should be ok
      • Joe+Caitlin have several to lend
Recent Changes (All) | Edit SideBar Page last modified on January 17, 2019, at 11:10 AM Edit Page | Page History
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