The Campbell/Jones Memorial climb of Mt. Washington took place on June 3, 2011. Cool conditions met the advance party who had every intention of making it to the top. Easy climbing brought them to the halfway point. After that the trail became considerably steeper and involved scrambling over slippery rocks, and just before the top of the tree line several decided to turn back. 11 souls pushed on but started to split up. The young group ahead,
the Old Boys at the rear.
Above the tree line, conditions started to deteriorate rapidly and when the Old Boys group topped the Lions Head ridge about 600ft from the summit they were met with 65mph winds (that’s over 100 kliks), freezing temperatures and ice and they turned back. Meanwhile, 5 youngsters and 1 Old Boy had pushed on. The Old Boy, Eckhart Ferdinandi, got to within 200ft of the summit but deemed the ice conditions too dangerous to continue. Congratulations are due to Eckhart who came all the way from Vancouver for the climb.
Youth, however, was not going to be deterred by the conditions and they made it to the summit (6,288 ft) despite -2 degree temperatures, ice and hurricane force winds (the weather station at the top recorded a gust of 103mph or 167 kliks!). Congratulations go to Tristan & Sascha Jones, Jean Philip Roy, Genevieve Nault and Edith Gruslin.
Meanwhile, a second group who started late had made it to the halfway point and were meeting climbers from the first group as they came down in twos and threes. A third group was driving to the summit from the other side but never made it due to the ice conditions! So we had a bit of a party at the halfway point (alcohol free!) and proceeded with the plaque laying ceremony for Billy Campbell and John Jones which was the whole purpose of the trip. Then we all descended to hot tubs and showers (never did they feel so good!) and beer, beer and more beer. We took over a restaurant in the evening with much bragging and singing. An activity of which John Jones and Billy Campbell would, no doubt, have heartily approved.
Plans are already underway for a trip next year to check on the plaque.