Tuckerman's Ravine Lunch Rocks Party
Hiking/Walk DATE: 04/16/2011 - 04/16/2011
Trip/Event Location: Glen, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
We'll be hiking into Tuckerman's to watch those crazy skiers/riders do suicidal runs down the face of the Ravine!
Come join us and bring your "lunch" for a group hike into the Ravine. We'll...
Tuckerman Ravine Trail starts at the Trading Post at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in Pinkham's Grant, NH. The Visitor Center is located on Rt. 16, about 20 miles north of Conway and 11 miles south of Gorham.
Spring has sprung, and a New England skier's thoughts drift towards Tuckerman Ravine. While most of us were there to view the suicidal ski runs down the mountain, Doug was willing to give it a try. In fact, he told us he has done this every year for the past 19 years!
We were to meet everyone at the Pinham Notch porch at 10AM, but knowing how far away people had to park, Jon and I were dubious that everyone would be there on time. Today was also when the Tuckerman Inferno pentathlon was being held so there would be a lot of spectators. As we approached the notch, the first overflow parking lot was full and as we approached the second overflow lot the guy running it told us it was also full but since we had a four wheel drive truck, we could pull up the hill to park. Sweet! As walked from the truck to the porch we started seeing runners from the pentathlon going up into the bowl. We hung around the porch for a while. Four of our group was missing by our departure time. After waiting 15 minutes we decided to head up and meet them in the ravine.
The trip up Tuckerman Ravine trail was pretty much as we expected. The trail was snow covered from the bottom, but it was hard packed. Due to the unseasonably cold temperatures we had this spring, it was a bit icy so most of us put on Microspikes or YakTracks for better traction. There were hundreds of people we saw along the way, some just hiking up to watch; others with skis, snowboards, tubes and sleds attached to their packs in a variety of odd ways. We just charged on, stripping down clothes as our exertion made us hot. The sun was out but clouds were coming in. We arrived at HoJo's around 11:30 where we got our first view of the ravine. The place was crowded with skiers, and we could see that the Tuckerman Inferno Pentathlon was using Hillman's Highway for the last leg of the race. Here was when the last four members of our group joined us. We then pushed up the final climb to the ravine.
This last stretch took us 20 minutes of fairly steep climbing, opening out to the floor of the ravine. The view was spectacular! We headed to the right at lunch rocks. Most of the skiers were headed up the Left Gully. The sun disappeared, the wind picked up and with temperatures around 30 degrees, it was chilly. We found a spot in the rocks to provide a windshield. We had a bite to eat and put more clothes on now that we were not hiking anymore. We took in the atmosphere of the ravine; Lunch Rocks, dogs running around, and a crop of skiers and boarders coming over the headwall. There was a group of guys near us who had hauled up a small beer keg and enjoying the party atmosphere. As more people kept entering the ravine, Doug put on his boots and began the trip up the headwall.
We did see some skiers coming down losing their skis and sliding down head first. They got up each time; the crowd cheered. We saw some incredible runs from skiers at the top of the headwall coming down at fast speeds making it safely down. Again, more cheers from the crowd.
When Doug made his ski descent, due to the crusty conditions, his pole broke in half and lost a ski. Let me remind everyone that he is a top notch expert skier, so these conditions were tough. Nonetheless, his efforts got a cheer from everyone. As I tried to walk over to get his lost ski, people were yelling that there was a runaway ski. As I looked above me, I saw this ski coming down at me. I quickly ran back to lunch rocks for protection. As the ski came down past me I grabbed it to prevent it from going down any further. I brought it back up to the skier. Someone else grabbed Doug's ski and brought it up to him. Jim remarked that this was the most life threatening trip he has ever been with Jon and I. And he has been on many of our trips. Too funny!
We started to get cold and started down. Doug went down the Sherborne ski trail with his skis. Chuck and Mike went down with the sleds they had strapped to their packs The rest of us walked back down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail however I did take out my 'magic carpet' to slide down some of the steeper sections. At the bottom on the porch of Pinkham Notch we reflected on the day. Life is good!
There are 45 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)
What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- It was fun to hike back into winter. What a unique adventure! Thanks for posting the hike, Mike. - WalkaboutBrian
WalkaboutBrian Apr 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM
Comment: It was fun to hike back into winter. What a unique adventure! Thanks for posting the hike, Mike.