On Saturday a coworker, Keith, and I climbed up the Tuckerman Ravine trail at Mount Washington. Earlier in the week, the actual bowl received 8″ of new snow causing wind slabs and avalanche danger. We watched the forecasts and knew there would be questionable weather and potentially dangerous conditions in the bowl, but wanted to expend some energy and knew we would at a minimum be able to ski down the Sherburne Trail on our way out.
From the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at the base of Mt. Washington to Hermit Lake Shelter and the Caretaker’s Cabin is a moderate 2.4 mile, 1800 vertical foot hike.
Logan and I hiked Aspen, the 2.5 mile 3200 vertical foot mountain in December, so this was much more manageable. Keith and I were hiking at a good pace. About halfway up, he stopped to put on his skis and skins so he didn’t have to carry as much equipment and I kept hiking. I thought he’d catch up to me, but that didn’t happen until we got to the Caretaker’s Cabin! I felt strong, and even half-joked about wanting to do it again.
We hung out with hundreds of strangers, most who hadn’t read the forecast and were disappointed the ski bowl was full of danger and zero visibility. I was happy just being able to hike up and come back down!