High Winds Hiking – Winter Camping in the White Mountains

Join us for some Winter Camping and high winds Backpacking in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be hiking the Pemigewasset Wilderness, within New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest. Our primary summits of choice will be the Twin Mountains – specifically, North Twin Mountain, and South Twin Mountain.

For an overview of my winter gear setup and full gear list see this video: Winter Backpacking Gear List for 15 Degrees

I’ll be posting a separate video listing slight gear differences between trips, but for the most part, everything is similar except the following Gear Changes:

  • $8 Canister stove was swapped out for an MSR Rapidfire Stove, run in inverted mode for increased cold weather efficiency.
  • Suisse Sport Adventurer Synthetic 30* Mummy Bag swapped out for Kelty Cosmic Down Zero degree bag.
  • Nighttime pajama pants swapped for backup pair of EMS fleece lined hiking pants.
  • Brought a pair of Bolle goggles.
  • Brought a Seirus Innovation Men’s Neofleece Combo Scarf
  • Brought an Everest ’14 inch Multiple Pocket Fanny Pack’ for camera gear and batteries.
  • Kelty Salida 2 Tent swapped out for Nemo 3p tent

Some of Mike’s GearĀ 

  • MSR Superfly Stove
  • EMS Icarus Down Jacket
  • Big Agnes Sleeping Bag
  • Gregory Palisades 80 Backpack
  • DeLorme PN-60 GPS Unit
  • Atlas 930 Snowshoes

List of Trails Used in Order

Trailhead Parking: Park at end of Little River Road (by the Seven Dwarves Motel 528 Little River Rd, Twin Mountain, NH 03595) If it’s summer, you can skip this and head right to the trailhead on Haystack Rd (FR 304).

  • Begin on Herd Path from parking area on opposite side of footbridge to North Twin Trailhead on Haystack Rd (lot and road maintained in winter). If herd path isn’t visible, there is a snowmobile path near the foot bridge. Go left on it, and left again on Haystack Rd until you see Forest Service Trailhead.
  • North Twin Trail
  • Pass abandoned Firewarden’s Trail on your left at N44 13.550, W71 32.285 (this takes you to summit of Mt Hale)
  • Continue Straight on North Twin Trail to summit North Twin Mountain (Elevation 4,761′)
  • North Twin Spur Trail towards summit of South Twin Mountain (Elevation 4,902′)
  • Twinway Trail Towards Mt Guyot and Guyot Shelter / Campsite

Day 1 Mileage – Approximately 9.5 miles
Day 2 Mileage – Approximately 6 miles
Day 3 Mileage – Approximately 4 miles

Note: Unfortunately, full GPS Track Data not recorded for this trip, due to battery rationing issues.

A note about Wind Speeds: Humans have a tendency to overestimate wind speed and we don’t truly know the wind speeds on North and South Twin that day since the closest weather station is on Mt Washington 12 miles to the West. What we do know is that the Mount Washington Observatory recorded 60 mph sustained winds and 100mph+ gusts that day. Does that mean that all the Alpine Zone 4,000 footers experienced the exact same conditions that day? No. But it’s the best point of reference we have. Hell, it could have been 20 mph for all I care. All I know is that it lifted two grown men with 40 lb packs right off there feet, so it was plenty of excitement for me!

A note about Leave No Trace: We take REAL Leave No Trace Principals very seriously. We also believe in having a sense of humor. Just sayin… šŸ˜‰

Cameras Used: Samsung H300 and GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition


6 thoughts on “High Winds Hiking – Winter Camping in the White Mountains

  1. Great looking trip… love winter camping. Those winds were crazy for you, but the pay off the next day was great. Love to watch the East Coast hiking being from the Left coast we have totally different vistas.
    Cool video.

    • Thanks, man. It was a good time. I’ll have to get out to the West Coast some time, I hear you have a little bit of elevation out there šŸ˜‰

  2. Syntax77. I gotta tell you, thus far, of all your videos I’ve seen, this one was the most brutal, most dramatic! I appreciate yours and Mike’s tenacity!
    Also, I’d been up on Mt Washington, after doing the Knife Edge of Mt Katahdin. I need to get more into the hikes of the Whites and adirondacks.
    If you’ve not done so yet, come on over to Shawnee State Forest, in Southern Ohio, some time. It’s our “Little Smoky Mountains”.

    • Thanks, Joe. I’ll have to check out the Shawnee forest some time. I’ve still got Katahdin on my list as well. I bet that was awesome.

  3. Pingback: When Sub-Zero Camping Goes Wrong – Winter Backpacking in the White Mountains | Sintax77

  4. Just found your web site and Youtube channel. What winter bags do you have or recommend? I’m getting gear ready for summer trips, but want to do some winter camping this winter 2015/16. Any recommendations would be great.

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