Tuckerman Ravine Adventure, 1994 Twenty Days In France Vermont Photo Archive Vermont Skiers Travel the World Back to Stories and Photos

Tuckerman Ravine Adventure, 1994
footnote 00: about these footnotes
footnote 01: early mornings
footnote 03: snowtires
footnote 04: credo
footnote 05: altitudes
footnote 06: hojo's
footnote 07: falling Down Chute
footnote 08: back up Chute
footnote 09: climbing left gully
footnote 10: hillman's highway
footnote 11: gracias
footnote 12: jay jansen trip
Tuckerman Ravine Adventure, 1994 Cool Photo of Tuckerman Ravine

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Jonathan and Wesley tackle Tuckerman Ravine

This report on visit, 5-8-94
copyright ©1994, Dr. Jonathan Kamien

Additional notes on visit, 5-8-94

copyright ©1994, Wesley Alan Wright

All links in this report lead to comments in Wesley's report.

Wes and I departed Williston at the obscene hour of 5 AM Saturday morning. I think this must have established some sort of early morning departure record for Wes. The plan was to meet our friends, George, Ned and Matt, at the pack scale outside the Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center at 8AM. Our early departure put us right on schedule for the rendezvous.

Unfortunately, as we passed Littleton, NH, I looked at the map and had the idiotic idea of saving some time by following a road depicted in grey (similar to several other secondary roads) which appeared to form a shortcut around Mt. Washington to the north. This road heads due north near the terminus of the Cog Railway. Although clearly marked "Not Maintained for Winter Use", your intrepid travelers stupidly decided that, "Hell, it's May 7" and Wes' Peugeot, with summer tires, could make it anyhow. As stated earlier on this list, we're not known for psychologically stable decisions.

The road became more and more primitive, climbing all the while with snow depths increasing as well. We finally lost forward momentum and admitted defeat about 2 miles into the 9 mile road. After backing down several hundred yards, we found a place wide enough to turn and headed back down the mountain. I remarked that a moose sighting was likely.

Back on pavement again, we tried to make up for lost time while beating a hasty retreat back to route 302. Around a corner, with Wes doing a Mario Andretti impersonation, we came face to face with the previously contemplated moose!

stopped in the middle of the road, stared at us, and then continued into the woods. The ride down to 302 continued at a slower pace from there. We were treated to another moose sighting on route 16 just shy of Pinkham Notch, where we finally arrived at 8:30.

Not finding our friends at the scale, we decided that they were already heading up. We shrugged on our gear at the secondary parking lot and headed up the trail at 9:05. The lower trail was rather muddy, but gave way to solid slush cover between the first and second bridges. Lots of people hiking up the trail. I pushed the pace and arrived at HoJo's at 10:10 hoping to make the planned 10AM rendezvous, followed by Wes about 10 min later. Finally, at about 10:30, Ned George and Matt walk out of the woods. Happily united, we headed up toward the Ravine.

light wind, blue sunny sky, about 55 degrees. Parking our gear at some rocks below the Left Gully ( altitude 4500), we ate lunch and, at about 11:45, joined the line climbing up the right side of the Headwall. Gaining the Lip, after some close calls with descending skiers who nearly crashed into the line of hikers, we decided to go to the top of the Snowfields.

break where the snowline gave out (5800 feet), we enjoyed great turns through the Snowfields followed by a traverse to the top of the Chute.

skiing of the day for us and the turns were very excellent. The snow conditions were ideal corn all over the place. On arrival at the bottom of the Chute near our parked gear, we decided to hike back up to the base of the "fan" that forms the Chute. Ned and George continued up into the little chute to the left, but I found myself pretty exhausted at this point. More great turns followed.

Finally, after another break, we climbed the left side of the Left Gully and hiked across to the top of Hillman's Highway, avoiding the nasty hike out from the bottom of the Ravine. Hillman's was nicely bumped up and we enjoyed some of our nicest turns. The Sherburne (sp?) Trail had no cover, so we had to hoof it down the whole way. Lacking any tread on my worn out hiking boots, I slipped and slid my way down very slowly, left in the dust by all my friends.

Our trip home included a detour to retrieve Wes' sunglasses which had been lost during a pitstop on the spur where we had seen the first moose. Bullwinkle appeared in the road again, and we think he had a friend with him this time, too, but the shapes in the dusk were hard to make out. After successfully finding Wes' glasses after a flashlight search (amazing!), we returned home around 11PM. I'm not sure about the trip home, since I passed out in the passenger seat ( Thanks Wes!!!).

All in all, the Tucks was in great shape and should hold very good skiing for a couple of weeks yet. For myself, though, the '93-'94 season has now been put to rest. No, Wes, you don't have to go skiing anymore this year!!

Send comments to Wesley Alan Wright (email or Jonathan Ben Kamien (email

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Last modified March 19 2008 09:15 PM

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