We are unable to run this program during the 2021-2022 winter season due to Covid restrictions.  If you would like to book a private overnight trip on Mt Washington, please call us at (845)668-2030 or email us at schools@ems.com for more information.


2 days
meet 7:30am on day 1
return ~4:00pm on day 2

Meeting Location

EMS Climbing School
2686 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH 03860


$645 per person


Overnight accommodations are provided on day 1.  You will be responsible for all other lodging arrangements.  If any member of the group is to turn back early on day 1, they will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations that night.  Click here for area lodging.

Gear List

All technical climbing equipment will be provided.  Click here for items you will be responsible for bringing.

Mount Washington Observatory


This unique experience combines the challenge of a winter ascent of the northeast’s highest peak with the rare opportunity to spend the night on the summit inside the Mount Washington Observatory’s legendary mountaintop weather station.  We’ll climb Mt Washington’s eastern flank, aiming to be above tree line around noon.  From there, we’ll cross the desolate landscape of the Alpine Garden, where the winds are often at their fiercest, and head up the summit cone.

Once on top, we’re given access to the Observatory’s weather station, where we can find our comfortable bunk beds, change clothes, and relax in the station’s comfortable living quarters.  After a family-style dinner with the Observatory crew, we may have time to tour the weather station and learn about the important research conducted there before we head for the bunks.  A fortifying breakfast gets us up and going before we head back out into the weather and begin our descent.  If you’re fascinated by the extremes of weather, or even if you just want to watch the sunset from 6,288 feet, this trip is unlike any other you’ll ever experience.
dinner with summit staff
bunk room for guests
Our guides have logged thousands of Mt Washington winter ascents over the years.  Each one of them knows this notoriously unpredictable mountain well and has the training and experience to lead you to the summit successfully and with an unforgettable story to tell.

The Climb

The tallest peak in the northeast is an even greater challenge in winter.  Over half of the 8.2 mile round trip is above tree line where conditions can be famously harsh.  Mt Washington still holds the world record for the highest land wind speed at 231 mph and winter wind chill factor reaching a staggering -50 degrees F!

If facts like these get your competitive juices flowing, our experienced guides will provide all the technical gear you need (mountaineering axe, crampons, and boots) to take on Mt Washington at its toughest.  While no prior mountaineering experience is required, we do recommend taking our Introduction to Winter Hiking course first so you can make your ascent with total confidence.

Our personal gear and clothing list details everything you are required to bring with you.  The morning of the ascent, you will need to arrive on time at 7:30am, be dressed appropriately, and be outfitted with the required gear in your pack when you meet your guide.  Before starting out, your guide will briefly cover how to dress for extreme winter conditions, as well as how to pack and how to climb efficiently.  Along the way we will also introduce methods for identifying hazards such as frostbite, hypothermia, avalanches, and whiteouts.


Groups meet promptly at 7:30am at Eastern Mountain Sports Schools in North Conway.  If you do not arrive on time, we reserve the right to start without you and you will not be rescheduled or refunded.  Click here for directions.  In the morning you will meet your guide and get outfitted with climbing gear for the day.  Once everyone is outfitted, groups will leave straight for the trailhead at Pinkham Notch on the east side of Mt Washington.  The standard route to the summit is the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Lion Head Trail.  Please refer to our gear list for items you will be required to have for the climb.  Approximate hiking time is 5 hours up and 3 hours down.  Hiking time may vary depending on weather, trail conditions, and the overall pace of the group.  Day 2 will end around 4:00pm back at EMS.

Included/Not Included

Climbers will be outfitted with all technical equipment for the day.  You are welcome to bring your own gear but it will be subject to a safety inspection by your guide.  Equipment provided includes mountaineering boots, crampons, and a mountaineering axe.  Climbers will be expected to arrive dressed appropriately for the weather and provide their own lunches and snacks for the day.  See our gear list for complete list of items you will be responsible for bringing.  Transportation to and from the trailhead is not included.  The Observatory provides us with dinner on day 1 and breakfast on day 2.  Please call or e-mail us with any allergies or dietary restrictions you may have once you reserve a spot on this trip.

Cancellation Policy

Due to commitments with the Mt Washington Observatory, we must impose a strict cancellation policy for this trip.

Cancellations or schedule changes more than 30 days prior to the program start date will be fully refunded or credited to a future program with no penalty.  Cancellations or reservation changes within 30 days will not be refunded and you will not be allowed to reschedule or carry over deposits to future events (NO MATTER THE REASON FOR THE CANCELLATION).  Please mark the last day to cancel on your calendar after making your reservation.

The weather on the mountain plays a strong role in our summit attempt and in our descent.  As a result, we have had one or two trips over the last several years that were unable to return to the valley on schedule.  In the unlikely event that we need to spend an extra night on the summit, there will be an additional charge of $195 per person.  Because of this remote possibility, you should allow a greater cushion of time in your travel plans, or consider purchasing travel insurance.  If we are unable to reach the summit due to severe weather, you will be refunded half the total cost of the trip.

Refunds will not be granted if you are unable to reach the summit due to inadequate physical conditioning.

Eastern Mountain Sports Schools