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Skiing Tuckerman Ravine

It was a perfect day to get out, climb high, and make new friends.

As many know, we offer backcountry skiing adventures and instruction. This includes Nordic (cross country) and Alpine Touring (AT). What many may not realize is just how long our Alpine season can be once we include Mt Washington and the higher elevation gullies, snowfields, and cirques in the Presidentials. Some of these areas may host skiing well into the spring depending on their aspect and the season. Tuckerman Ravine, which is the epicenter for late spring skiing in New Hampshire, can even extend into summer some years. Due to the topography and that infamous Mt Washington weather, the snow in the ravine can easily exceed 100-feet deep. It takes a while for all that to melt. As such, seeing someone skiing the last of the last in July is not unheard of some years, at least to the hardest of the hardcore. Right now is prime time in Tuckerman Ravine and that’s where Redline Guide Erik Samia was leading Thursday, taking a couple seeking a backcountry experience and a taste of Ravine life. Erik provided this synopsis of the day along with several excellent photos.

What a beautiful day it was. May 10th and the bowl still has great coverage. We started our day at 8am, geared up and started the hike up to Hermit Lake (HoJos). With the recent warming of spring, skinning up in the morning and skiing down the Sherbie to end the day weren’t options. So carrying all our gear on our backs made for a slower and more taxing hike, but boy was it worth it. After chatting with the caretaker, we hiked into the bowl to game plan. We decided as a group to go up the less crowded right gully. Throwing on spikes, we climbed to as far as the snow was good and dropped into our line. Even with some debris from sluff and ice falls, the conditions were amazing. Great corn snow took us all the way down to the base of the bowl. Throughout the day we discussed, ski routes, terms, hop turns, avalanches, and the unique beauty of the Ravine. It was a perfect day to get out, climb high, and make new friends. — Erik Samia

The photos confirm the story.

Our guests, Andrea and Ron, carry their skis up to get the goods. So worth it, Erik reported.

Objective in sight: From here at HoJo’s it’s still a good walk, but the mental heavy lifting may be done.

Nearing the snowpack. It’s hot, the workout significant, soon it’s time to play.

Finally, the trip is on snow. They still have a LOT of elevation to gain, but they’re there, you know?

Now the bootpack begins as they climb what they’ll ski. Wow, it’s so steep!

Haha, okay this can stop at any time now. We want to ski!

Looking good shredding above Lunch Rocks in Right Gully. Way to get after it, Andrea.

Ron deftly pushing corn down the mountain in the Bowl.

Yes! That was awesome. Let’s do it again.

Making lazy turns in the lower Bowl on a beautiful day.

Until next time, Tuckerman Ravine. Ahh, life is good!

Well done Andrea and Ron. What a great day to earn your turns Tuckerman Ravine. And, Erik, a very fine lead! Kudos!

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