New Hampshire Climbing Guide -- Mountaineering Instructor -- Member of The North Face Climbing Team

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Mark Synnot - AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified
Rock Guide


A winter traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range, aka a "Presi Traverse", is the quintessential multi-day mountaineering objective in the East. It is an ideal objective for anyone preparing to climb bigger mountains like Mt. Rainier or Denali.
This Traverse is also the most serious and committing program we offer, and is not to be taken lightly. It is long and arduous, and therefore incredibly rewarding. We describe the Presi Traverse as a perfect arena in which to apply skills you've already learned - but not a good place to learn them. If you don't have much mountaineering experience above treeline, or if you haven't done much winter camping, we recommend you consider one of our other programs to prepare. Or, contact us directly to discuss whether the Traverse is a good option for you.

The definition of a true traverse varies, but most would agree that the trip should include a trip up and over each of the mountains in New Hampshire's Presidential Range. The most popular trek is approximately 21 miles and includes the following summits:

Madison
Adams
Jefferson
Clay
Washington
Monroe
Eisenhower
Pierce


The trek is normally done from north to south, starting at the Appalachia trailhead on Route 2 in Jefferson and following Valley Way to the Madison Hut. Most parties want to bag all the summits along the way, but it is possible to do the traverse without hitting all the summits, making it slightly easier and quicker. At the end, after summiting Pierce, you follow the Crawford Path down to Crawford Notch, emerging just across the street from the AMC Highland Center. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, you can extend your trek after Pierce to include Mt. Jackson and or Mt. Webster (including the latter brings the total distance up near 28 miles).

In winter the trip is usually done in three days, with two nights spent out in tents along the way. You can expect your pack to weigh upwards of 40 lbs, so training with some weight on your back should be considered essential preparation. Winds can sometimes gust up to 70 or 80 mph, so proper face protection including mask and googles is essential.

You'll learn how to select a safe and protected camping spot, how to dig in, build snow walls, windbreaks, etc. In certain conditions we sometimes leave the tents behind to save weight, and instead dig snow caves or quincies.

If time is short, you should know that the Presi Traverse can be done in a day by a VERY strong team. A Swedish friend and I completed a 25 mile version including Mt. Jackson in 2006 in about 12 hours. Particularly strong teams can also consider a two day version, with one bivouac.

Dates can be arranged on a custom basis. Contact us to find out if there are any groups you can join. But keep in mind that if you join a group, the team is only as strong as the weakest member, and if one person has to turn back, typically everyone does.

Cost for the three day traverse (including equipment and food):
1 person: $1150
2 person: $830
3 person: $690
4 person: $590
5 person: $540

Cost includes equipment, such as: boots, crampons, ice axe, snowshoes, stove/fuel, tent. Course participants are responsible for personal gear/clothing, food, sleeping bag and pad. Sleeping bags and selected clothing items such as shell jackets and puffy jackets may be available for rent. If you are interested, please fill out our contact form and we'll send you our winter gear list.

Synnott Mountain Guides Climbing Courses
Custom Private Mountaineering Program
Mt. Washington Guided Hike
Mt. Washington One Day Winter Ascent
Intro to Mountaineering
Intermediate Mountaineering
Mt. Rainier Prep
Mt. Washington Observatory Overnight
Presidential Traverse
Lion's Head Winter Route Overview
Tuckerman Ravine Winter Climbing Overview
Intro to Rock Climbing
Family Rock Climbing
Cathedral Ledge Overview
Whitehorse Ledge Overview
Custom Private Rock Climbing Course
Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques
Toprope Set-ups
Learn to Lead course
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Courses and Exams
Youth Rock Climbing Overnight Camp June 27-30,2014
Maine - Acadia Rock Climbing
Mt. Katahdin Alpine Rock Climbing
Custom Backpacking Overnight
Custom Private Ice Climbing Course
Intro to Ice Climbing
Intermediate Ice Climbing
Advanced Ice Climbing
Grafton Notch Ice Climbing
Mixed Climbing 101
Aid Climbing Instruction
Introduction to Self-Rescue
Intro to Backcountry Ski
Advanced Backcountry Skiing
Huntington Ravine Gully Skiing
Mt. Washington Avalanche Awareness Course
AIARE Level 1
Cotopaxi Expedition
Mexican Volcanoes Expedition
Aconcagua Expedition