Twice a year Mooney Mountain guides offer’s and exceptional trip, ascending Mt Washington with an overnight in the observatory. This trip is great for those who want to summit Washington and aren’t sure if they can do it in a day, or those who have already done it and are looking for something new.

We get a late start from Pinkahm Notch after going over clothing and equipment needs. This puts on on the summit mid afternoon. After the obligatory pictures and high fives we head inside to prepared coffee and snacks! After settling in and getting comfortable the head of the Observatory staff gives us a brief tour and intro to the building and the scientific work going on in the Observatory. We then have dinner with the whole crew, chatting up the volunteers and scientists and getting great stories. After dinner they were nice enough to open up the museum for us to learn more about the science and history behind Mt Washington. The next day we wake up at a reasonable hour, have a grand breakfast and mosey on down the mountain.

Doing the trip this way certainly lessens the technical demands of a usual day hiking up and down Washington. Despite that, its still an awesome accomplishment and an exceptional experience. We book these days far in advance each winter and spots frequently go fast. if you’re interested in joining us next year for one of our two over night Observatory trips ( 1 in Feb, 1 in March) get in touch early!

(click on any image to begin viewing in gallery mode)

The odds are not in your favor in Las Vegas – the house always wins.

Each morning as we departed the LaQuinta Inn, Jerry and I hoped we would be ahead of the game. This idea begins at the start of each climbing day and continues right up to the end. Planning and preparation are certainly key components but there are times when luck is on your side.

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Early start times yield cool temperatures for the long approaches and the views of the Red Rock range can be magnificent.

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 Leading rock climbs is the ultimates experience for the climber.  For those who put in their time and stick with the sport, leading provides the finest moments. Movement comes in first, one must have experience and know how to climb and be solid with the level they are leading. Terrain assessment, this is the art of finding the traveled line. Next is technical systems, the kraft of protection or placing gear, this kraft requires a careful approach as one looks for solid rock, the right piece, and a surface that will secure gear to the wall. The mental focus needed is a huge component – to keep calm and cool only comes with years of practice and training.

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   Straight Shooter – Jerry is not a gambling man – he sends this piece to the chains.

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Physical Graffitti one of the areas finest moderate crack lines – with Jerry on the sharp end.

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The Conundrum Crag has three very nice sport routes. The crag is located behind Kraft Mountain and is a long enough approach from the cars that you may likely have the area all to yourself.

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Geronimo was the icing on the cake. Throughout the week Jerry refined his skills to put together this masterpiece of a lead. Five pitches of quality rock with the entire route void of bolts put Jerry to work. Finding the line, protecting the route, setting anchors, rope management all add up to a big day on the stone.

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 Fun climbing on cracks with steep pocketed rock on the sides.

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The prize Geronimo in full view.

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Red Rocks is one on the best multi pitch areas in the country. These canyon are loaded with climbs in full sun or shade. Climbers come here year round but you will find spring and fall to be the best.

The Green Wave?

That is when you pass through all the traffic lights on the way to the cliff – nice way to start the day.

Thanks Jerry for an amazing week together.

Art Mooney