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Posts Tagged ‘Tuckerman Ravine’


Riverc0il going one turn beyond in the patchskiing madness

Music….

Madness – One Step Beyond

Last year I made some turns under the influence prescription drugs. Well, guess what? I’m still sick. If you thought the Stowe June 1 patches were crazy, you haven’t seen nothing yet. As mention on the another blog “Patchskiing is usually post-season skiing, sort of like the “playoffs” of skiing.” Well, this July and it was the World Cup that played out on a (snow)field!!!

Before getting to our main match-up, we’ll see how the countries are doing for July skiing:

Argentina went into extra time against Switzerland
France easily beat Germany
Chile humiliated Brazil
Austria over Italy
– New Zealand edged over Australia
– South Africa and Lesotho in a draw
– Norway dominated The Netherlands


My last Eastern US July skiing experience in 2011

I was interested on the East Can-Am National Holiday match-up : Canada versus United States; Avila versus Tuckerman. Tuckerman was eliminated before July last season.

1 juillet 2013
The 2013 Eastern Canada July skiing experience

This time I went for a back-to-back ski extreme experiences (i.e. extreme in madness):
– Temperature in the 90F range one day to 90mph wind gust the next;
– From shorts and topless to “I need an extra jacket” weather;
– Driving with heavy storm warnings, torrential rain, T-storm and fireworks;
– Highway construction and orange cones everywhere;
– Avoiding wildlife at 75mph like the giant moose standing in middle of the interstate. Plus a fox and maybe even a grey wolf running across the car.
– Safety was an issue even before I started skiing, especially that I wasn’t even carrying a gun. This is New Hampshire, with the odd grey wolf and firearm carrying citizen.


July 1 : Storm watch


Like the previous outing on July 1 and the previous evening, July 5 also had some weird weather happening: Sun and torrential rain at once.


Canada Day Fireworks in Ottawa

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“What?
There isn’t any snow?
Are you mad?” I answered “Yes!”

That was the main reaction by the US Gun-carrying Custom Officer when he questioned me about my plans for US soil. Other reactions of disbelief from fellow hikers on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail where they saw us with our skis? “Are you training for Alaska? Where are you going to find the snow?”


View of Tuckerman Ravine on July 5, 2014!!! Where is the snow???

I didn’t get a reaction in Canada: it was just child play. People were climbing the hill in bathing suits to go tubing and didn’t notice us with our skis. I was even told before my July 1 trek if 40+ celsius with humidex wasn’t too hot to go skiing? No, it was one more reason to find some snow. Definitely cooler than playing World Cup football in the Brazilian tropical heat.


July 1 : Climbing the hill to go tubing


Full parking lot at the hill

Both adventures were greeted with some disappointment at the speed in which the snow had melted since the last pictures were taken of both places.

C.S.V.S : Continuous Safe Vertical Snow? 6-meters in hot humid conditions versus 16-meters in cold (for Summer) with very strong winds. Three skiers versus a crazy nuts with US flag, skis, beer, a BBQ and a unicycle next to Chute???


Found a parking spot

CANADA DAY : July 1 at Avila

At the last of the AKAMP at Avila last July 1, the snow covered a 28-meter stretch. The camp finished two days ago and the remains were down to a few detached snowpatches disconnected by mud. A 6-meter vertical slope on a surviving roll. The week’s heavy hot humid weather took a heavy toll, today the humidex was close to 106F for Month #106, but it felt just cooler over the snow, but not enough to keep the bugs away. The honour of first July turns were given to Bri7’s 4-yr old daughter. We joined each made a few turn(s) afterward. For the last run, I stretch the vertical to 19-meters by skiing through the mud and connecting to the next patch. I hiked the final 4-meter descent to the car and ended the evening watching fireworks … in some heavy rain at one point.


Looking down


“Bri7’s young daughter”


A sweating topless Bri7


MadPat skiing the steep line


“Friends at the daycare won’t believe me”


Dad


and daughter


Taken from the next snowpatch : Bri7 and the fast reducing continuous snowpatch

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Day’s log


July 5 snow in Tuckerman

THE DAY-AFTER JULY 4 : July 5 in Tuckerman Ravine

Tuckerman was down to baby Sluice and baby Chute. The Canadian snow was less than 5-minutes from the highway exit and required less than 40-minutes adventure from the car, ski and back versus the slow 3-hour plus hike and over 7-hour day in the US. Driving to the patch versus hiking. The hardest thing came down to the heat versus the hike. At least the wind and cool air kept the bugs away during the long hike day.


View of slide damage next to Hillman’s Highway


Little Headwall waterfall


Patriotic skiers observing what is left of Sluice with Riverc0il accessing the situation at the top


Riverc0il next to the severely undermined Sluice

The previous days heat and evening heavy rain wasn’t kind to the snow: Water was flowing over the rocks and into numerous streams. Although baby Sluice undermined our safe July attempts, the yellow arrow pointed to our safer salvation over to Baby Chute. The hike side-hill along the ravine over rocks, plants and running water was fairly sketchy. The only other danger was crashing and rolling over the boulders at the bottom like my skiing partner from July 2008. It would seem that someone wanted to cartwheel over the boulders again this year to say that he skied extra vertical.


Yellow Arrow pointing to our salvation


Baby Chute with someone earlier tracks


Migration towards Chute


Riverc0il hiking across the Bowl in ski boots


The Gathering


View of Sluice and the steep Tuckerman Ravine trail from skier’s vantage point

The patriotic group from our last July visit in 2011 joined The Snowway’s Riverc0il and MadPat to ski the 50feet vertical heart-shaped steep snow patch. Flag, Beer and BBQ were back, but no bikinis this July. It was more, I need to add a layer or two. We were offered beer and food, but we had to rush back down to be at Pinkham Notch at 4pm. We managed to make it on time and I got 4-5 runs in.


Still steep : no bikinis on this day


Riverc0il going for it


National Holiday in the US : someone got to ride with a flag


MadPat hoping mad


Patriotic ride


Riverc0il with BBQ in the background

Who won the match-up? The one that had the most fun. I know Riverc0il’s got the most turns in at 15. Most people did between 5-10 turns

The World Cup is over… in the East. It is time to hop on a plane if you want to continue this game into August!!! Or go find a patch of snow at the local arena. I’ll try to ski you in August!!!


Getting corny : One last run for the season or simply July?


The end


Food at the BBQ. An offer that we had to turn down


Farewell Patch with gathering on the left


Stopped to eat at a NEK institution : Miss Lyndonville Diner


One moment torrential rain…


followed by beautiful skies

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Day’s log

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Detailed skiing log

Riverc0il’s The Snowway post : Tuckerman Ravine: Because I Need To

MadPat’s Galleries:Mont Avila QC – 1er juillet 2014
Tuckerman Ravine NH – July 5, 2014

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Saturday May 1 : Sunday River

Ski Mania!
May Mania!!
Ski Maynia!!!

Not exactly sure if it has always been called that Ski Mania? Sunday River has been offering free skiing to all on this day for years. In the last few years, Sunday River has had Ski Mania on their last day of operations towards the end of April. In 2013, the Ski Mania was on April 21. Ski Mania wasn’t always on the last day of operations, it would just coincided with May 1 or/and the Sunday next to it. Les Otten bought Sunday River in 1980 and started to build the resort to compete with his old employer, Killington. He would start applying the same formula that made Killington’s reputation: extension on various peaks, snowmaking, grooming and long ski seasons.

Towards the end of my university years, MadPat was always on lookout for bargain skiing. I was definitely present if there was a free ticket within a 3-hour drive from Montreal. Free tickets for all had become a rare sight in 1999. For example, Killington no longer offered free skiing on June 1, let alone make it to June, they hadn’t the previous season in 1998 and weren’t going to make it this year either. Actually two ski areas were offering free skiing on May 1st: Sugarbush and Sunday River. The Maine area won out for its combo skiing potential – more later.

After having attended the 1995 and 1996 Ski Maynia, I had missed the two following years due to work and illness. I was back on track in Maine and would return to event annually until 2002 making it 6 years out of 8 in Maine for a free lift ticket.

Being only two weeks since our return from a ski trip to Banff, Mrs. MadPat didn’t make the trip this time; she stayed back in Canada with our 1 1/2 year old daughter. This was my second weekend in Maine, having skied Sugarloaf the previous weekend. I was joined for the drive this week by SuperNat who had been with us on the last Sunday River May 1st in 1996 and we had planned for a weekend of skiing. My good friend Lucky Luke and his friend Eric were meeting us in Maine. It was a real warm day with temperature in the mid 70s: a real Spring skiing day with little clothing, sun glasses and sun screen. Great snow left. The bonus was that the lift ticket was free.

The Barker Quad was running and passing over the snowmaking pond. I vaguely remember odd folks diving in it. A stretch of snow had been pushed to reach the bottom of the chair. Main trails on Barker were open or at least skiable which could stretch out to the lower slope of Locke and Spruce Mountain. We had our old skis for the occasion, so the odd skiing over dirt to access untouched corn didn’t bother us.I’m known to have a good memory, but I can’t recall if we made out to White Heat that year or they were other lifts open like the Spruce Triple like on a previous Maynia day.

At the end of the day, we soaked in the sun. Like during my first visit at Sunday River on May 27, 1994, I decided to combine the drive to this part of Maine with a visit to Tuckerman Ravine. It had been almost 5 years since that last visit, plus the last time, I didn’t take my skis to the Ravine. My last skiing visit was back with Lucky Luke back in early May 1992: Luke had returned since. Eric and myself had talked about going, but I can’t remember why they bailed? So we parted ways, SuperNat and I only had a short drive ahead of us to make it to Gorham NH and Hikers’ Paradise.


Picture by SuperNat : MadPat pointing at the duct tape on Lucky’s skis.


Picture by SuperNat : MadPat, Lucky and Eric


Picture by SuperNat : Group pic


Picture by SuperNat : SuperNat next to the snowmaking pond with Barker Mountain in the background

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Sunday May 2 : Tuckerman Ravine

Another warm morning, but we only had a short drive. Nevertheless we didn’t manage to get an early start. We were in the first parking lot at Pinkham Notch, but it took us a long time to get going. Eat breakfast and took time to get organized. What to bring; what to leave at the car? How warm is it going to be? Once we finally got going, I was feeling the previous day skiing in my legs and back as we began the hike. Similar to the previous hike up on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, I opted to carry on skis on my shoulder instead of having the long Rossignol 4S 207cm skis hitting the back of my legs or tripping me up. We arrived at Hojo in late morning to find many people gathered. Hikers and skiers alike – it was probably going to be a zoo up in the Bowl. We took a break, eat and looked around. We noticed someone skiing Duchess which is right above the HoJo deck it would seem. The line is serious terrain, on May 2, the line was even sketchyer.


Picture by SuperNat : Hiking on Snow on Tuckerman Ravice trail


Picture by SuperNat : Hojo and Hillman’s Highway. Also great view of Dodge and Duchess (just above Hojo)


Picture by SuperNat : MadPat and his beloved 4Ss


Picture by SuperNat : Hiking towards Hillman’s

Having never skied Hillman’s Highway, we opted to ski it as the fact that it was already late and the closest slope plus it looked real sweet. HH is the longest run in the Tuckerman area; a nice 1500’ vertical with a constant pitch at 30-35 degrees which gets progressively steeper at the top to reach a maximum 40 degrees.

It’s a long hike to the top and it took us a long time. Not everyone hiked the entire slope. We hiked a bit at the top to looked at the view of Tuckerman Ravine and Mount Washington summit beyond. We also meet fellow Quebecers that had just skied Tremblant. They would take the right entrance, we took the left. Not sure which one was steepest.

I remember we only did one run from the top, but I think we did a half-run also. Snow was real soft and in deep corn snow mode with the warm temperature. At the end of our day which was dictated by our fatigue and the drive ahead, we skied onto Shelburne Trail. The trail was open only 1/3 of the way down before we had to move back to a busy Tuckerman Ravine Trail. At that time, a skier we had seen earlier had rebooted on the trail slaloming through the crowd which we shouting at him “No skiing on the hiking trail”. He didn’t understand; he was visiting from Colorado and didn’t know it was forbidden to ski on TRT.

I was beat once at the bottom and a very long drive ahead. It’s going to be hard getting into work on Monday morning, but I’ll be smiling about a great weekend of skiing. It was a great day. Real warm and sunny. As we driving through Lancaster NH, I noticed an ice cream stand. I suddenly stopped to a screeching halt. A hot day of skiing wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream. That is what Spring Skiing in all about. Next ski destination: Killington.


Picture by SuperNat


Picture by SuperNat


Picture by SuperNat : Random skier hiking the steeps


Picture by SuperNat : MadPat reaching the top. View of Sherburne on the top corner


Picture by SuperNat : SuperNat, Tuckerman and the summit of Mt. Washington


Picture by SuperNat : Ants in Tuckerman Ravine


Picture by SuperNat : Quebec skiers dropping in the left


Picture by SuperNat : Random skier in short – view of left entrance to HH in the background


Picture by SuperNat : Random skier spraying corn


Picture by SuperNat


Picture by SuperNat


Picture by SuperNat


Picture by SuperNat : One last look up before we leave


Picture by SuperNat : Hiking out


Picture by SuperNat : Buds on the trees, Spring is definitely here

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It has already been twenty years since that memorable May trip at Tuckerman Ravine. A trip significantly edged in my brain due to the new friendship, love and commandery.

It was my 7th season of racing with Les Carabins de l’Université de Montréal, after another season of skiing small hills and race courses, training two-nights a week and racing and training on alternating weekends, it was time to ski bigger hills and verticals. Between time on the ski team, my thesis and dealing with students and papers, I had little time or money to escape from the Laurentians and ski on my own time and dime during the Winter. I didn’t mind the routine, but my university days as a student and racer were coming to an end.

A number of fellow racers generally had enough once the gates were gone, however I always looked for some May turns after a busy April on campus. This year’s team included a group of younger racers which, like myself, didn’t spend their youth ski racing and were motivated on getting any type of turns. Skiing at Whiteface and Tremblant late April turns was great.

One of those skiers was someone who would eventually be known as Lucky Luke. We had skied together at Whiteface and Tremblant. I believe it might have been at the Ski Circuit party at Chez Swan (I believe it’s now the location of Café Campus on Prince Arthur which used to be at the corner Queen Mary where the Second Cup is and next to the university back then), a few of us got talking making it to Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington. In the end, only three of us would make the trip. After looking at the weather and avalanche forecast, we circled on Thursday on the calendar with a departure from Montreal that Wednesday night.

Party Music heard in parties during my university years. Ski team parties were sometimes out of control – RIP MCA

The group consisted of JF, Luc and myself. I was the only one that had skied Tuckerman before, back in late May 1990 on the Victoria Day weekend. At that time I had stayed in the shelters at Hermit Lake. This time we drove overnight to Gorham to sleep at the Hikers’ Paradise. Driving in the dark, we talked about stuff, skiing, plus I had a girl on my mind.

Once in Gorham, we went to a now lost local bar. A fun evening mixed with brews and stoked about the following day. Forecast was warm and bluebird skies. At one point Lucky went to the washroom and didn’t come back, JF and I hadn’t really noticed as people were talking, playing pool and listening to music. All of sudden we heard Lucky yelling and banging on the washroom door. The washroom door was jammed – as someone let him out, we were all laughing.

Cool and bright the next morning. It was still fairly cold when we started the hike. I had my old yellow ski team jacket on and was carrying my skis on my shoulders. I had found the hike up the TRT with 205cm skis on my backpack to be a pain in the calves calfs hiking steeper part of trail or over boulders. Lucky was also carrying his skis on his shoulders. I believe he had created shoulders pads with foam that he ducktaped directly on his shoulders. JF was the only that used the conventional way with ski mounted on his backpack.

The Skis:
Madpat: 207cm long Rossignol 4S.
Lucky Luke: K2’s KVC 200cm strait as a 2X4.
JF: probably some 205 or 210cm Kneissl White Star.


Picture by Lucky Luke – JF and Pat


Picture by Lucky Luke – Pat looking at the Bowl


Picture by Lucky Luke – Hillman May 1992


Picture by Lucky Luke – Snow advisory

The stoke level increase as we started getting a glimpse of Boot Spur and Lion’s Head and a cool breeze. The excitement raised a notch once we arrived at Hermit Lake, I was having a stomach cramps and wasn’t feeling too good. It might have been the excitement, but probably more to do with the breakfast. After a short break at Hojo’s and continued on to the Bowl. Once we reached the amphitheatre, we had the places almost to ourselves. I was feeling a bit woozy. I told JF and Lucky to take one run without me. They climbed straight up the Lip until I lost sight of them. After a long wait, they weren’t coming down, I started up as I wanted to ski. Stomach was still unset, but not enough to stop me from skiing. I climbed the lip. Although this wasn’t my first visit, this was my definitely the steepest climb. The slope was steep enough to have the tips of my skis hit the slope. At one point I had to take them off my shoulder and dig them horizontally as I climb every step of the steep bootpack, especially when a few steps didn’t have much snow and was more on less on ice near the crux of the slope.


Picture by Lucky Luke – Luke and the Bowl


Picture by Lucky Luke – Tuckerman ahead, Wildcat behind

This was my second climb out of Tuckerman Ravine, however the previous visit was during on a snowy white out day on Canadian Thanksgiving in mid-October 1991. Looking toward the summit, I could see two small dots, I wasn’t sure that if it was JF and Lucky. I waited until I managed to recognized them. We traversed above Tuckerman Ravine to drop into Left Gully. Lucky and I were somewhat impressed by the intimidating entry, although I had been out to West and skied Saudan Couloir (now named Couloir Extreme) at Blackcomb in June 1988. JF who had spent a Summer in New Zealand charged in if he was entry an intermediate slope.

One thing about JF, not much got him stressed even when his backwindshield shattered on the Autoroute at -25c, he continued on after asking the backpassenger with was myself, to clear the window at 70 mph. I had known him a few years on the ski team. He wasn’t part of the ‘A’ team and also they didn’t take himself too seriously. He left the team for a few years with the plan to drive down to South America with no itinerary or timeline in a beaten up Toyota Corrosion. This seemed to be an issue at one US border crossing and he was refused entry. On that trip, after an odd job in California, he bordered a plane for NZ where he thought skiing down under. When he came back a few months later, he found his car where he left it. Got in and continued his way south until he had everything in his car stolen in front of a police station somewhere in Mexico or Central America. He also mentioned that odd jobs weren’t enough to continue on his drive. Eventually started driving back and we back to the University and the ski team after being done for maybe one year or two?


Picture by Lucky Luke – JF and Pat


Picture by Lucky Luke – Summit

So after JF dropped in, Lucky and I looked at ourselves and said ”Hell, we’re better skiers, we can do this”. After dropping in the 45-50 degree steep entrance, the rest seemed pretty mellow even if it was steeper than anything I had skied at a ski area. We stopped at the exit of LG in order to climb back up The Chute. I clicked off my skis on the steep slope and started going up the bootpack. Luke wasn’t so Lucky. I could hear a huge “Tabarn@k” echoing in the Bowl. As he clicked out of one ski to get set to climb, he lost control of his ski at it slide down the entire Bowl, so instead of climbing he had to ski down on one ski to fetch his other ski.


Picture by Lucky Luke – Our turns


Picture by Lucky Luke – Bootlatter

I just climbed the bottom half of Chute and skied towards Lunch Rocks as we decided to eat lunch. At this time, there were maybe two dozen skiers and hikers in Tuckerman Ravine. We were relaxing, eating, enjoying the scenery, the skiing, ours and the others making turns. I remember being in “ahhh” with our day and this place. A perfect bluebird and warm weather, the White Bowl and Sun increased the sun warmth. We heard ice falls crashing echoing the Bowl. All of sudden, someone yell “ICE” as rocks came crashing down towards Lunch Rocks. I remember leaping down onto the snow, piece of sandwich in my hand or the side and almost cartwheeling down. Lucky and JF had taken cover in the boulders. As I looked at my peanut butter sandwich, half of it had torn off when I ran away. A 12-18” rock landed we were having lunch. Note to self, Lunch rocks!!! 😕


Picture by Lucky Luke – JF about to disappear in Chute

After lunch, we climbed back the Lip and we decided to traverse towards Left Gully again. I wasn’t the easier way of going it, but we didn’t know any better back then as we didn’t see anyone climbing LG. Most of the skiers were skiing the bottom of the lower Bowl and climbing the bootpack all the way to the tiny crevasse. As we traversing, JF wanted to turn down before LG, in what is called “Chute”. We couldn’t see the bottom. We could see him skiing away as it was getting steeper and steeper. After that run, JF mentioned that it was really really steep. “Like skiing on the edge on a pool cue”. Lucky and I charged Left Gully, taking pictures at the same time with Luc’s camera. He was the only that hadn’t forgotten it.


Picture by Lucky Luke – MadPat in LG


Picture by Lucky Luke – MadPat in LG


Picture by Lucky Luke – Lucky Kickass jumpturn in LG


Picture by Lucky Luke

We climbed up our backpacked at Lunch Rock for one last run out. We decided only to climb the bottom of the Bowl. As JF was coming down fast, he was slightly out of balance with his centre of gravity near one of the tips of his 205cm long skis. All of sudden, he just went over his skis and cartwheeled with his backpack. We could see this coming so much. After he got back up, we managed to ski down out of the Bowl via the Little Headwall. Skiing down the Sherburne Trail was a faster way down than hiking back down the TRT, however it didn’t make it easy as it was bumped out and my legs would have been toasted like my face and top of my head. A Sunscreen didn’t have the PSF level they do know…if I used some. There was snow 3/4 down. We rejoined the TRT hiking trail near the bottom switch backs.


Picture by Lucky Luke

You could stick a fork in us, we were done. A long drive to Montreal, once I got back home and left on a date with that girl. That was twenty years ago and JF is the only one I haven’t seem in years.

MadPat’s Gallery:
Tuckerman – 7 mai 1992

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Don’t Panic…Breath deeply and everything is going to be all right.

Crazy about skiing? Don’t Panic!!! TGT (Tuckerman Group Therapy) is here to help.

This long weekend wasn’t for the people that we’re afraid of crowds.

Canada Day in Ottawa with Will and Kate show joining the celebrations. It’s generally crazy on this day without the young Royalty. I left Ottawa as I was hearing talk of 500,000 people near Parliament Hill.

Let’s go skiing!!!

I found an amazing picture of the crowd on the hill, but I didn’t get the permission to use it. So you’ll have to imagine a bunch of people elbow to elbow in red and white clothes.
From CBC News

An estimated 300,000 people, many of whom began gathering on the Hill in Ottawa hours before the ceremonies’ post-noon start, were in the downtown core of the city as well as on Parliament Hill as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued the second day of their nine-day tour of Canada.

So off I went driving toward the border with two pairs of skis. Before leaving I was examining my ski edges. Found the skis I had last month a bit long, especially if I need to make tight turns. The old B1s were the right length, but there were all beaten up. I settled for my old slalom Atomic SL11 race skis as a second pair. I was somewhat concern as I still have good edges on them and didn’t want to risk hurting them on this day. Arrived at the Snowway’s Home Office at 10pm without any hasssle by US Customs. A couple of fireworks popping in the night keep me from having a great sleep.

Riverc0il wanted to get at trailhead earlier than last month, but also didn’t to set an alarm. It resulted in only a 15 minutes head start over last month, however this time we ended in the auxiliary parking lot. Snowcrazy from T4T showed up about one minute later. Never meet him, but who else would ski in July right? We know that ChickWhoRips and her friend Ron were also probably heading of us for July turns. As we started up the trail, there was a large group of skiers/boarders geared up for 4th of July celebration turns. Oh my, it’s going that snowpatch is going crowded like Parliament Hill. Don’t Panic!!!

MadPat walking toward the main lot and trailhead. Did I forget something? I forgot my gloves, windbreaker and camera in Ottawa. I want to thank The Snowway of the used of the pictures.

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As the crowd of hikers and skiers headed up the Tuckerman Ravne Trail. At one point, there was a traffic jam on the trail. A Moose was right next to us. Eventually it moved away and we continued up. This was my 4th time up for July turns, it was by far the busiest…and not only the hottest. Water supplies was starting to be a concern. Forecast was calling for 80F in the Valley. The good news was that there was no bugs.

Trail jam.
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The gang of skiers/boarders cold off and took a dive at the 2nd bridge. We continued on. Many people were at Hojo, we took a small break and continued on. Some of the group arrived at the same time as us. ChickwhoRips and Ron decided to leave before the circus rolled onto Lunch Rocks. They managed 3 runs before the crowds showed up. Snowcrazy was attacking small patches like a snow crazy guy would do. Going after the small leftover under Chute then the Headwall. Three turns max on Headwall.

Getting closer to the answer.
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MadPat and July Snow leftovers
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Skiable snow with snowcrazy

Main attraction
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Ron was making turns before people started arriving en masse, but it didn’t stop the unlookers from taking pictures or video (found this Youtube by Conniedoe):

Decided to hike the Tuckerman’s Ravine trail to the top of Mt Washington on July 2, 2011. While hiking up I passed a woman with skis on her back and asked her which event she was training for – she laughed at me, saying how she was just a crazy ski-person, wanting to ski in July. I told her I was jealous and continued on my hike, surprised there was anything left to afford a ski-run. Later, while hiking up along the bowl I saw both her and her man-friend (Husband? Boyfriend? Buddy?) climbing to the top of the short run. A couple minutes later they came down in front of a crowd of cheering hikers. Every year, the things I find while hiking this mountain continue to surprise me. I can’t wait for more!

Yep, that reflect the thoughts that people were having.

The Tuckerman Ravine Trail towards the summit was open and many hikers were amazed to find snow, let alone people willing to ski it. Skiing the longest and steepest snow left in US east of Colorado.

Riverc0il and I booted up on top of the snow. It was tricking crossing over the stream and rocks in ski boots. Riverc0il forgot his helmet and hasn’t skied without a helmet in numerous years…Don’t Panic!!! I, on the hand, had a helmet today. We had to hike up onto the snow. Few skiers were there at one time. The snow got whiter with every runs. Although there were only 2-3 skiers/boarders making, waiting or hiking for turns – there were enough of us to keep the tourists happy. I feel like I was in a zoo or in a circus with all these people taking pictures of us. Many of the group took turns just enjoying this beautiful day and cooking some food. A real 4th of July BBQ with flags and red, white and blue.

Hiking up onto the snow:
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Madpat setting to crank
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Party atmosphere
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River and I continued are turns. Runs were approximately 138 vertical feet or about 40 at 40 degree in metric with less place for error. I had finally chosen my slalom skis for this day. They were heavy and I couldn’t tie them to across my backpack due to their width and thickness, so I had to carry them in an A frame. At 157cm length, it wasn’t a problem, however they were heavier than most of my longer skis.

One traverse and turn at the top of the patch and you could already crank them. YEAH!!!!! We repeated this a few times. As the hours passed, we didn’t want to give up. Some shirt started coming off and girls were going down in bikini tops. A snowboarder chick noticed that small moguls were forming with all the runs and awesome carving we were going. Some from that party crossed under the snowpatch and traversed next to the waterfall (I would have Panic…you don’t know when this is going to crash down), throwing snow balls. I tried climbing the trail in ski boots like most people, but it was way easier to bootpack on the snow even if it was frozen solid at some places. It funny, at one point someone asked if it was okay to take a picture of me. After my run, I realized that the person looked familiar. Back at the top I asked him where he was from? He responded Ottawa. Turns out this person raced Masters with us a few years ago. Everything is somewhat connected and it’s coming together. But I still looking for an answer.

Solid turns being made today:

Cranking…

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Riverc0il Stepping up

Traversing the top and ready to drop
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Sun came out.
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Where is snowmonster?
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Riverc0il had a good day
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After my 4th run, I was about to stop. The hell with it, this is too much fun. One last run until…next times in August? 😉 Another great run, what a wonderful day. An extra last turn on the edge of the snow 10 feet above a drop to the rocks which made THAT run exactly “42” vertical meters.

42 meters…that was ‘it’ all the time. It was right there. 42 meters of snow. RELAX, there was no need to Panic. That was the answer after all…


The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is … 42!!!

Last run baby!!! FORTY-TWO METERS
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FOURTH of July weekend
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Calling a day, calling it a month
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Thanks for reading…until next time
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Thanks again to Riverc0il from The Snowway for his hospitality and pictures.

Read his TR: Tuckerman Ravine: Because It’s Still There

Snowcrazy’s TR on Time for Tuckerman: Tux wrapup! 7/2/11

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It’s not over… \:D/

After a postponed trip last weekend due to the high probability of heavy rain, I was hoping this week would be better. Forecast for this weekend was rain on Saturday, 40% chance of rain on Sunday. Showers in the morning + in the late afternoon. Yikes!!! 😕 We were going to roll the dice.

A few weeks ago I was hoping to hit the snowfields and/or Great Gulf once the autoroad opened, I had never done this, unfortunately snow was rare on top in June 07. After last week canceled trip and based on some valued info, reports and comments that was given to me, I decided that the only way to get some meaningful turns to be had was in Tucks.

I left Ottawa on late Saturday afternoon. Two hours later, I picked up my friend SuperNat in Montreal which had finally decided to join me on this trip after a few flip flops. “When do you get a chance to ski in June?” she asked herself. Another 90 minutes and we were at US Customs, to our surprise, the border guard didn’t seem surprised when we mentioned that we planned to hike AND ski at Mount Washington. His answer was “Going to ski the Headwall, are you?” I guess that this man knew the attraction of this place called Tuckerman Ravine. 😯

It was getting dark and as we were driving on I-91 toward St.Johnsbury, we saw a U.R.A. (Unidentified Running Animal). It was definitely not a deer, probably not a Moose either. It seemed big and dark and ran across the Interstate, it ran like a cat? Was it a bear, we were even speculating that it might have been a Mountain Lion? We’ll never know for sure. It was foggy and once we got off the Interstate, it started to rain. This time we really saw a Moose up close on Highway 2. We arrived at the Motel in Gorham just before 11pm.

THE NEXT DAY – SUN(?)DAY

Forecast still called for showers after 2pm, regardless, we didn’t start hiking up until 9:25am. It was hard to determine what to put in the backpack clothes wise, I ended up bringing too much. No fleece, jacket or extra shirt needed, but you never know. As we started hiking up, the temps might have been around 60F at Pinkham Notch. It was muggy, it was the latest I’ve ever hike the Tuckerman Ravine Trail with skis and boots on my back. Let’s say that he weren’t setting record pace as we got passed by 2 groups of skiers (total 4-5, I believe). We arrived at Hermit Lake, we took 30-40 minutes break to eat. The temps here was 61F. At this point, we could clearly see that this was late in the season. A tiny patch in Hillman Highway (a few feet at the most), all the surrounding was very green where trees were. The Bowl, a collection of discontinued patches except a right diagonal toward Sluice.


HoJo’s and Hillman


A greener scenery of the shelter where I stayed in late May 1990


There is a little snow left in the Bowl


SuperNat


One of the few pictures taken of the steep steps

It took us an extra 50 minutes to get to the Bowl, I had time to take a few pictures of the steep steps up the trail as I was faster than SuperNat. The playground was getting clearer as we got closer. Nothing really left in Left Gully, a tiny crevasse patch at the bottom of Chute with no runout. The snow in the Bowl was fairly low and the only place to ski (safe and smart place) was up along Lunch Rocks. The only skiers and boarders were the ones that passed us during the hike. All of them had finished their day as we hiking up the slope at 1:20pm. I measured my first run from the top of the snow and not the Bowl all the way to the trailhead, as being 130 meters in vertical (427 feet). The slope was up to 37 degrees. The hike up took me approx. 20 minutes. As we hiked up, we could clearly hear the water rushing under the snow at the level of the waterfall. You could get a real good view of the Bowl and the crevasses and waterfall from this point of view. I took a few pics as I was waiting for Natalie to make it to the top.


Little snow left in Left


Destination June turns

Slightly below the top part, the snow was narrower and you didn’t want to get close to skier right as a huge hole was running across the cliff. After that it was the area was fairly wide open. As I got at the bottom, I started heading up again, as for Natalie, she was calling it a day. She had fun, but we had a rough week behind and ahead for her, so she didn’t want to over do it. Oh yeah, the run took about one minute, but it was fun!!! 😛 After my second run, I decide to take a breather and eat part of my lunch. Instead of leaving right away, especially that dark clouds were moving in, I decided that I had to return to the top for one last run. The snow was soft, but not too soft. The top of the snow was undermined on the edge with a tiny hole (10″ across) in the narrowness part maybe 30 feet from the top.


Supernat


Looking down


View from the top looking down


MadPat’s last run somewhere on the snow

Picture courtesy of Martin S.
Picture courtesy of Martin S : Last run for MadPat with Supernat looking on

I had never seen Tuckerman Ravine with so few people, maybe 5-10 hikers made up this way during the 2 hours we were up there. I saw one person climbing up Lunch Rocks to eventually cut across the top of the snow to make to the rest of the Tuckerman Ravine hiking trail. We left the Bowl at 3:30pm and eventually left Hermit Lake at 5pm. The hike down was hard and definitely notice that I need a better system with my skis. The tail of my skis kept hitting my legs, which was extremely annoying to say the lest. I don’t think that this old backpack was conceived to carry skis, even if there are some side straps. The ski are too low and I had to readjust my skis on my pack 3 times in the 2 hour hike down. Oh yeah, the rain never happened and the sky was blue bird. We got at the bottom slightly before 7pm, I spent the best $1 I even did, I took a shower at Pinkham Notch. Then we headed back for the looong drive to Montreal with a stop for some delicious Pizza at House of Pizza in Lancaster. Finally made it to Natalie house at 1am, Natalie wished me happy birthday and I was then off to Ottawa. I eventually got to bed at 3am, happy of a beautiful day of skiing.


Data log


Zoom of the Data Log.
Vertical lines every hour starting at 13:00 to 16:00
Horizontal lines every 50 meters from 1300m to 1500m

Suunto data info:
Hiking and skiing: 9h26
Ascent/Descent: 1077m (3533ft)
Skiing: 3 runs from 360m (1181ft)
Hiking up to ski: 70 minutes
Skiing: maybe up to 3 minutes

My mom would say that we are CRAZY!!! :mrgreen: But it was way better than staying home and cleaning the house.

No regrets, this trip was definitely worth it. 8)


Lancaster NH

PS. Sorry Natalie and I took many pictures, but none of us have digital cameras. 😮 Maybe I’ll scan and post the best pics in a few weeks***.

***edit: pictures took 5 years to be posted online, they were posted on June 10, 2012.

MadPat’s Gallery:
Tuckerman Ravine – June 10, 2007

Text originally published on Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:16 am on firsttracksonline

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Back close to where my season started 191 days ago, back on October 28th at Wildcat.

Back to Tuckerman Ravine after a few years of missed opportunities. Four weekends of rain in May 2005, car accident in late April 2004. It had been already 5 years since my last visit.

The April 29th 2001 visit when the snow never soften up with the exception of Right Gully.

This trip was initially planned for the Saturday, however the forecast of rain made us want to take a chance for the Sunday, even if the temps were suppose to cool down.

Sunday morning at Pinkham Notch. We were freezing, did we have enough clothes for the hike up? Temps at the summit was 16F that morning.

We started hiking up at 8am sharp, the hike to Hermit took us 1:45. It was a quiet hike for a Spring weekend, I guess we weren’t the only ones concerned about the snow not softening up. It was a quiet walk with the exception of my old time buddy (aka Lucky Luke on Zoneski) singing roughly translated Red Hot Chili Peppers songs in French (you don’t want to know). 🙄

So we got to Hojo at 9:45am and we literally chilled for a while, because temps was 31F and stuff wasn’t going to soften up with this wind. The last part of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail was snow covered, hard and slippery. Not a good sign. Up at Hojo we talked to Porter Fox and Scott Markewitz who were doing a story for next year’s Powder mag. There was also another person doing a story for Associated Press.

After 45 minutes of talking and adding another layer, we headed toward the Bowl. Who was there to meet us? I heard “Hi Patrick” from Mark Renson which I meet at MRG and is also part of the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. The Bowl looked is terrible shape for early May, crevasses were numerous on the Lip side, the runout under the shorten Right Gully was very short. There was a crevasse also in the middle of Chute and the top of Left Gully. The last week weather really didn’t help.

Lower Chute:

After putting our boots and eating a quick lunch we choose Chute for our first run. It was 12:10pm. The climb lasted 25 minutes and we stopped just under the crevasses. I think that I was able to measure the slope at between 47-52 degrees. The snow was sweet, however the skier-right was still frozen as expected. The Vertical of our descent was 340ft.

Left Gully:

Right after, we started climbing the longer Left Gully. This time it took us 45 minutes which included some chatting. The snow was undermined at some places halfway near the rocks. We stopped maybe 50ft from the top Left side which seemed very hard for a climb. There was also a minor crevasse just under the top right corniche. This was probably the best and longest descent possible (without taking to many risks) in Tuckerman Ravine area, even Hillman looked in bad shape. The vertical descent was 660ft.

Lower Headwall:

After a small break, we went for another run. Lower Headwall as high still possible without running into crevasses. 15 minutes and 280′ vert. Lucky Luke decided on a repeat while I skied all the way to the bottom of the Bowl (429 ft vert)

3 runs and 1465 ft vertical for the day. A great day which looked more like my May 7th 1992 visit (except for the snow) – 14 years to the day earlier with the same Lucky Luke. I always said it was always Quality over Quantity. This being said, Sunday was Day 51 in my season – beating last year’s record of 50 set on my last day at Mammoth. 8)

I felt like doing another run, but we had long hike out of the Bowl all the way to Pinkham. Yes, Sherburne is all gone. Followed by a loooong drive back home in Ottawa.

We started our Bowl-Pinkham hike at 3:15pm with pit-stop at Hojo. The hike down lasted 2:15

Drive from Gorham-Lucky Luke’s home in Bromont, QC: 2:45
Then my solo drive from Bromont-Ottawa: 3h.
Arrival at home: 1am

Lines indicate what we skied.

May 5th Picture from http://www.tuckerman.org.
May 7th ski routes. (Left Gully, lower Chute, Lower Headwall)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
HappyPat (picture by Lucky Luke)


Lucky, Scott and Porter (picture by MadPat)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Tuckerman (picture by Lucky Luke)


(picture by MadPat)


(picture by MadPat)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Dashen [censored] Steepen in the Chute (picture by Lucky Luke)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Myself climbing Left Gully (picture by Lucky Luke)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Near Top of Left Gully (picture by Lucky Luke)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Skier in Left Gully (picture by Lucky Luke)

Picture by : Lucky Luke
Lucky Luke ready for the showdown (picture by Lucky Luke)


(picture by MadPat)


The bowl (picture by MadPat)


One last picture of our playground: Left Gully and Chute (picture by MadPat).


Back at the car. Lucky Luke and myself totally Stoke from our day (picture by MadPat).


Hike up


Skiing Chute and Left Gully


Hike down

MadPat’s Gallery:
Tuckerman – 7 mai 2006

Originally posted on Tue May 09, 2006 11:52 pm on firsttracksonline

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