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Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 10:52 pm
by Patrick
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. 4 weekend of rain in May 05, car accident in late April 04. It had been already 5 years since my last visit.

April 29th 2001 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 cold down.

Sunday morning at Pinkham Notch. We were freezing, did we have enough close 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 roughtly translated Red Hot Chili Peppers songs in French (you don't want to know). :roll:

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 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 lasted 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 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

May 5th Picture from http://www.tuckerman.org.

Lines indicate what we skied.

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 11:03 am
by Lftgly
Nice, Patrick! I'm glad you found, as we did in Great Gulf, that the snow softened up where there was enough sun, and not too much wind!

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:35 pm
by Judz
cool pix :D

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 4:45 pm
by Tony Crocker
Given Patrick's enumeration of past aborted trips, I should feel lucky to have skied Tucks (3 runs very similar to Patrick's) on April 28, 1990.

Weather was very different. ~80 degrees in Pinkham Notch, probably 55 at the top of Left Gully. There were probably 2,000 people there that day, including (I found out only this year) our esteemed administrator and an ABC news crew (I still have the clip aired the following Wednesday).

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:31 pm
by Patrick
Tony Crocker wrote:Given Patrick's enumeration of past aborted trips, I should feel lucky to have skied Tucks.


The problem is that we generally aimed for one weekend or two and the weather would be great all week except on weekends. Living closer would definitely make things easier (I'm sure that Jim could relate to this). My main Tux partner made a few trips without me, however he also lives less than 3 hours away. Mind you Lucky Luke and I had two kids each during the last 10 years.

Here are my trips:

May 20-21, 1990
May 7, 1992 - Lucky Luke and other
***move to Ottawa in 1995 and Luc had his first child
***Morgane born in 1997 and Luc's second child in 1998
May 2, 1999
April 29, 2001 - Lucky Luke and my wife part of that trip
***Tara born in 2002
May 7, 2006 - Lucky Luke


Lftgly wrote:Nice, Patrick! I'm glad you found, as we did in Great Gulf, that the snow softened up where there was enough sun, and not too much wind!


Thanks...I was happy that the conditions turned out to be perfect. :D

Hopefully we can make it happen again next year.
[-o<

BTW (for those wondering):

No, I don't have a digital camera, these are Lucky Luke pics
Yes, I do have a helmet, but this was a first for wearing it when I'm not doing gates.

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 11:46 pm
by salida
I wear the brain bucket in the ravine too, just seems like the right thing to do.

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:16 am
by JimG.
salida wrote:I wear the brain bucket in the ravine too, just seems like the right thing to do.


Mine goes on as soon as I start bootpacking.

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:19 am
by JimG.
Patrick wrote:I'm sure that Jim could relate to this.


Sadly, I do indeed relate. Nice job Patrick.

Next season I'm going to plan 2 separate weeks to go and stay in the area. There's so much there I want to check out, and my family loves the area too.

It would be great if we could hook up for a day in the ravine.

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 2:29 pm
by Patrick
JimG. wrote:
Patrick wrote:I'm sure that Jim could relate to this.


Sadly, I do indeed relate. Nice job Patrick.

Next season I'm going to plan 2 separate weeks to go and stay in the area. There's so much there I want to check out, and my family loves the area too.

It would be great if we could hook up for a day in the ravine.


I think that setting a side to 2 seperate weeks is probably the way I should go. Only having specific days greatly limits flexibility if the weather doesn't cooperates.

Over the last few years I only had two potential Tux partners and had to rely on them for making a trip like this happen. I guess with FTO, I can team up with someone more easily. Yes, it would be great to team up with you and others. This year I was able to ski with Tony, Hamdog, Admin in the West and ski or meet River and Mark Renson in the East.

Tux is too awesome to wait another 5 years, I'm not getting any younger. :lol:

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:19 pm
by JimG.
Patrick wrote:I think that setting a side to 2 seperate weeks is probably the way I should go. Only having specific days greatly limits flexibility if the weather doesn't cooperates.

Over the last few years I only had two potential Tux partners and had to rely on them for making a trip like this happen. I guess with FTO, I can team up with someone more easily. Yes, it would be great to team up with you and others. This year I was able to ski with Tony, Hamdog, Admin in the West and ski or meet River and Mark Renson in the East.

Tux is too awesome to wait another 5 years, I'm not getting any younger. :lol:


I had an awesome day in the Gulf of Slides with River and Sledhaulingmedic; we shall make such a trip with you included a reality next season.

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:22 pm
by hamdog
nice work Patrick and other FTOers! 8) some sweet pics. i'd like to check out the area early June some time. hopefully there's some patches left. :?: airplane should have some left i'm thinking. yes, i'm heading back east. :oops: we'll see what happens next fall though.

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:08 pm
by riverc0il
Sorry I couldn't make this trip Patrick, we will definitely hit it up another time. I guess being so close has given me an idealistic perspective on days at Tuckerman... I just don't want to go if things look questionable because there is always next week and the week after that and the week after that. I never have to wait for an ideal weekend. Any ways, next year we'll need to do an FTO trip!

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:59 pm
by Patrick
hamdog wrote:nice work Patrick and other FTOers! some sweet pics. i'd like to check out the area early June some time. hopefully there's some patches left. airplane should have some left i'm thinking. yes, i'm heading back east. we'll see what happens next fall though


Thanks Hamdog. Regarding my pics, you have to thank my friend for those and introducing me to FTO any years ago (a couple years prior to me posting in the Liftlines). My own pics are still in a few different rolls including the ones from Sugarbush.

Regarding patches in June, I'm sure something might be left. Although the snow coverage is lower than normal (by a few weeks) check out the old archives for reports from June, July and August. :shock:

If you're back East next year, I would enjoy getting a few turns with you again.

riverc0il wrote:Sorry I couldn't make this trip Patrick, we will definitely hit it up another time. I guess being so close has given me an idealistic perspective on days at Tuckerman... I just don't want to go if things look questionable because there is always next week and the week after that and the week after that. I never have to wait for an ideal weekend.


It's okay, I wasn't expecting you to. I had my own plan. It was good to be able to meet up at MRG.


JimG. wrote:I had an awesome day in the Gulf of Slides with River and Sledhaulingmedic; we shall make such a trip with you included a reality next season.


riverc0il wrote:Any ways, next year we'll need to do an FTO trip!


That would definitely be awesome.

Re: re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:29 am
by Lucky Luke
salida wrote:I wear the brain bucket in the ravine too, just seems like the right thing to do.


According to Patrick, (Lucky Luke singing roughtly translated Red Hot Chili Peppers songs in French),
you may need a good pair of ear plugs too, but that's a part of travellin' with me. :wink:

I'm in the trip for next year with you guys. :D

re: Tuckerman Ravine - May 7, 2006

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:52 am
by salida
Sounds like you guys had quite the trip! Count me in on the next FTO excursion!