Tuckerman Ravine Adventure, 1994
Jonathan and Wesley tackle Tuckerman Ravine
This report on visit, 5-8-94
copyright ©1994, Dr. Jonathan Kamien
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.
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,
tires, could make it anyhow. As stated earlier on this list,
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
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 (
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
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
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.
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.
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 (
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 Wesley.Wright@uvm.edu) or Jonathan Ben Kamien (email firstname.lastname@example.org