Mount Washington Winter Climb

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 2-12
Activity level
Starting from
$999 for REI Members
$1,099 for non-members
Departures Jan 2022-Dec 2022

Hone your winter climbing skills with like-minded explorers on this extraordinary 3-day adventure.

Towering above us at 6,288', Mount Washington’s peaks are the highest in the White Mountains, and home to incredibly unforgiving weather at higher elevations. With this formidable weather comes great beauty and the thrill of adventure. Our journey takes us through a sparkling winter wonderland, blanketed in crisp, undisturbed snowfall.

On this climb we will spend a day brushing up on basic mountaineering skills on a practice attempt on neighboring Mount Willey. Our world-class mountaineering guides teach us crampon techniques, tips for snow and ice travel, ice axe use, self-arrest and navigation. On our final day we push up 3,500' to ascend Mt. Washington itself. As we reach the top, the realization of our accomplishment washes over us. On sunny days, we enjoy crisp views of the surrounding mountains, an unforgettable experience.

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Trip Highlights

  • Climb the highest peak in the White Mountains, Mount Washington
  • Hone your mountaineering skills with expert, professional guides
  • See the harsh but beautiful winter of New Hampshire


This trip is rated Vigorous (4) as climbing the peak involves carrying a backpack (10-20 lbs.) over very steep, snowy/icy/rocky terrain in potentially very challenging weather conditions for many hours continuously. The climbing portions of the trip involve travel on very steep terrain and at altitude, which is physically demanding.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest that you engage in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least three months prior to your departure. Most important to your overall enjoyment is your overall fitness level.

  • Winter Mountaineering

What's Included

Professional instruction and guiding; two hotel nights based on double occupancy, group climbing equipment, breakfast, permits.


Hotel, 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive and enjoy your home nestled in the White Mountains.

Arrive at your leisure to the Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Our hotel is conveniently located in a beautiful setting to begin your weekend summit attempt of Mount Washington. Relax and rest well in preparation for tomorrow's climbing instruction. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Day 2

Ascend Mount Willey, perfect for learning winter climbing skills.

Meet your guides and fellow mountaineers this morning for introductions, trip orientation and gear check. Special consideration is given to clothing, equipment and food selection. We then caravan to Mount Willey for a day of winter climbing skills, including snow and ice travel, crampon techniques, ice axe use, self-arrest, and navigation. Our climb on Mount Willey is a 4.5 mile mountain climb on rugged terrain that is perfect for your introduction to winter climbing techniques. After a day of learning we return to our accommodations for a good night’s sleep in anticipation for tomorrow’s summit attempt. Breakfast included. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Note: Days 2 & 3, bring your own snacks and lunches to be carried in your backpack. Granola bars, drink mixes, trail mix, bagels, hard cheeses, salami, jerky, apples, etc. are good choices.

Winter Mountaineering: 4.5 miles over varied terrain

Day 3

We make our summit attempt of Mount Washington!

After breakfast at the hotel, we will caravan to Mount Washington. Our ascent is broken down into three sections. Our first objective is hiking through the forest along the Ammonoosuc Stream to beautiful Gem Pool. The trail quickly steepens for 1,500' to the exposed Lake of the Clouds Hut at 5,100', which is our second rewarding objective. At this point we are likely to begin experiencing extreme and challenging weather conditions. We assess current weather, climbing conditions, how the group is feeling, and if conditions are favorable, make a decision for a continued ascent. From the Lake of the Clouds it is another 1.5 miles and 1,100' of elevation gain along the Crawford Path to the summit. Once we reach the summit cone, expect to be greatly rewarded. However, be prepared to experience the notorious cold and extreme weather Mount Washington is known for! We descend and plan to return to Lincoln around 5:30pm. If you wish to extend your stay at the Holiday Inn Express, please book a room for this evening. If you are flying out tonight, please leave plenty of time to reach the airport and note there could be winter driving conditions. Breakfast Included.

Note: The climb from Lake of the Clouds to the summit typically takes 3-4 hours. Above tree line, travel in winter is extreme. Expect high winds, arctic temperatures and ample opportunity to test your newfound skills and willpower. As we ascend your guides will continue to offer coaching and instruction on climbing efficiently and safely.

Winter Mountaineering: 8 miles; elevation gain 4,000'

Gear List

Having the proper gear is vital to your comfort and overall enjoyment of the seminar. Attached is a gear list that has been specifically designed for this trip.  We often get asked if all items appearing on the list on the following page are really required. Our guides assert that climbers must arrive prepared as indicated, but please keep in mind that not all gear will be required for all departures. The weather and terrain conditions on Mt. Washington at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to carry with you during the day and what (if anything) can be left behind.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 800-426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.