We had talked about hiking (climbing?) New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington for years. Why so long? No good answer. But, in my experience, any trip that requires aligning more than one schedule is at risk for serious postponement. Talking finally turned to walking this past weekend. What is curious was the difficulty in getting info for what is a pretty popular trip in the Northeast that many, many people have tackled.
Here in New York City, neither Paragon Sports or EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) had a map. Basic. Tent and Trails had one. Literally one. But it was of the entire Presidential range. I’d get one when I got there.
Best site for me was this Earthlink page. The other Google top-ranked pages are pretty good. The takeaway is basically that the weather can be seriously dangerous above the tree-line, and you should be in shape.
The where to stay, what to bring, which trail is best is somewhat of a Rubik’s Cube as each ties into the other. If you’re up for a 7 hour-ish drive from NYC, don’t let the weather warnings deter you (at least in August and assuming you’ve got some sense — the days before we got there the temperatures at the summit were in the 30’s — add wind and rain and you get the picture).
Bring: rain gear, warm clothes, some way to keep warm clothes dry while you’re not wearing them, and other requisite hiking materials (food, water, etc). That’s for summer, any other season (especially winter) gear up and maybe get a guide from EMS if you don’t have serious winter camping skills (can you build an igloo?).