Who skis in June in the East?
Weather forecast was looked at and emails were sent. The destination was clear, but the date, location and partners wasn’t. The weather window seemed to initially say that Friday was the day with a higher chance of rain on the weekend. A famous internet skier had a green light for Otto on Friday.
As it happens often, weather changes and snow was now the forecast on Thursday for the summit of Mount Washington with cool temps and high winds for Friday. Saturday forecast was sunny and 44F. The source mentioned that Sluice would be perfect with that forecast. A ripping chick was still thinking of hitting skinny Airplane as she did on that Tuesday while the snowway was saying Tuckerman. Two options with willing partners. Weighting the options, although Airplane is fun to ski and I finally opted for Tuckerman as the snowpack via the Otto was pretty thin this June and was concern about it being frozen.
Riverc0il had offered a place to crash on Friday night, so even if Riverland was as long of a drive for myself as Corham. I decided to head toward his place instead of sleeping in the car or in a motel. Left Ottawa at 7pm and after a smooth border crossing in June with skis, made it at River’s home at 12:25am.
Although Riverland was the same distance as Corham, we were 90 minutes further southwest than Great George’s mountain. The parking lot was far from full lot even if we were early. The last time I’ve been to Tuckerman Ravine with Riverc0il was on a rainy July 1, 2007. We weren’t going to be the only skiing on this day. Snowmonster (TGR/T4T/AZ) arrived in the lot as we were almost ready to hike toward the snow.
We had a late start and was at trail head at 9:30. About two hours up the Tuckerbug Ravine Trail until we reached Hojo. We stopped for a while, but Riverc0il and a few hikers we being eaten alive as they snacked. I didn’t need to eat much, I swallowed a few bugs on the way up.
Chatted with snowmonster about June snow in Great White North, my season and Boston then I continued for the last 30 minutes through bugs en route to the snow. You could see the previous tracks on the dirty snow all over the Bowl. Sluice on the right side of the Ravine was the prime spot, but there were a few tracks under the Headwall and Chute. There were even some tracks on the isolated Left Gully. This would have required some potential hard core bugwacking to get at.
There was a dozen hard core nuts skiing the Bowl today. Some looked hard core good, some looked hard core scary. Some were fearless and some were scared. Most of us tracked Sluice. Nice creamy turns. A few went over to try out the Headwall. A few hikers hiked across the steep 40 degree slope (which was hard core stupid) and some studied snow science on the other side of the Ravine. The snow conditions were perfect (nice), weather was perfect (not to hot with a nice breeze), the people situation was perfect for the bugs (bites to prove it).
Sluice offered the greatest vertical with a 115 meters. It was definitely enough to have fun. The top was a bit tricky as you couldn’t see a crevasse until you were right above it. As I was climbing at around 1:30 pm I noticed TuaGuy arrive in the Bowl. Skied my first run and stop to chat with him on my way down. I hike and skied together back in July 2 2008. Tua was planning to ski the Beach today, but got a late start and headed for Tuckerman instead. Informed me that he had a broken toe, but wanted to make turns. Hard core indeed. We traded stories and he gave me some bugspray.
Everyone had fun, the skier skiing switch with his ass-sticking out, the snowblader scaring the yeck out of the people on the bootpack, the hard core boarder girl that broke her neck in December, even the snowboarder nicknamed “Tigger”.
Noticed Tigger climbing and hugging the side of the trail to get to the snow. I was wondering “what the Hell he was going?”. Once at the top, he mentioned that he was a bit scared as it didn’t look as steep from the bottom. He kept asking people if they had done this before. Everyone got to ski, but he was still there after 20-30 minutes. He was like a kitten stuck up in a tree or Tigger from Winney the Pooh fame (I didn’t come up with the name). There was a small discussion at the bottom wondering if we should help him come down. At that point, he started coming down. Snowmonster told him to sideslip and forgot about his pride. Better than making it down and crashing into the rocks and having to carry him down, especially that he would have been a heavy load.
Tuaguy called it quits after maybe his first run, you could see by the expression on his face and tele with a broken toe didn’t necessarily mix well together.
Snowmonster’s last run
Then there was this hard core solo boarder chick with only 2 1/2 years on snow. Another first timer at Tuck and she choose to do it in June. She was totally the opposite of “Tigger”, she was fearless… as she asked us to lookout for her IPhone in case it popped out. She boarded with it stuffed in front of her leotard.😮 Going down on the edge.
There was fun and laughter…all of it hard core, of course. I only managed three runs, skiing Tuckerman on this day was more about the camaraderie than maxing out turns. I wanted to take a few more runs, but it was already 4pm and there was the walk down and the sun was getting low.
Riverc0il was about to face bugs again.
As we were hiking down from Hojo I asked the boarder chick how she knew about this place and why June? She started this incredible story, the girl had broken her neck boarding early in December in which she continued boarding after she declined medical treatment due to her lack of medical treatment. Went to a huge party that night and it wasn’t until the next day in which she passed out and brought to the hospital that they discovered her broken neck. She spent good part of the winter in an neck brace, but managed to get 40 days in and was still seeking turns in June and is planning to board in Patagonia this Summer. Now that is what I call Core.
We got back to Pinkham Notch at 7:15pm or 9:45 hours after we left this morning. Although I managed 286 meters vertical and a few bug bites, it was well worth it. We got back to River’s house at 9pm, so decided to spend an extra night in New Hampshire. The next morning I stopped by the New England Ski Museum on my way back to Ottawa.
Bode has his own Attic Collection and it includes some Olympic medals
Here is a rundown of the other TRs for the day:
Fujitive/Tbatt (NYSB/TGR): Tuckerman Ravine 6/4/11
Smuggs (TGR/?):TR: Mt. Washington Mini – Skied, Clothed, By Skiers
Snowmonster (TGR/T4T/AZ): Tux – 6/4/2011
Riverc0il (Snowway/FTO/T4T/SJ/AZ/NYSB): Tuckerman Ravine: Because It’s There
Thanks for the company and the couple of pictures Riverc0il and Snowmonster.