* Current Weather on the Summit
It's a three mile, three hour hike, and about 2500 vertical feet, carrying skis, boots, and full winter gear, just to get there! It seems like a 90 degree drop! Why the heck would anyone want to ski there!
We've been up in Tuck's a couple dozen times during the spring skiing season (April to July-ish?), and we seem to go back every year. I'm not crazy enough to ski the damn thing, but I love to watch the maniacs (mostly expert skiers) go wild! I'll suit up with crampons, ice ax, etc., and climb up the headwall or one of the snow gullies. If conditions are right, my favorite run is to just take a dive and let her rip, sliding out of control in full (slippery!) windgear, practicing self arrest and semi-controlled glissading on the way down. Too many times I've picked up too much speed, and sometimes gone into a rip-roaring tumbling free-for-all! The 'ol body always comes home battered, bruised, and hurtin'.
Homayoon Akhiani's Quicktime Movies of Tuck's
The current craze is the insanity of the sno-tubers! Numerous daredevils with all sorts of sliding tubes climb up as high as they dare, and then prepare to launch into space. All the spectators hanging out at the "lunch-rocks" near the bottom, (~2500 plus crazies last time I was there on 5/1/99) are yelling "higher, higher" no matter how high the tuber prepares to launch from! Some of them guys are so good that they can reach terminal velocity, then launch into the air for several meters, do a triple somersault, and somehow regain control and finish the run, gaining speed all the way down. Often they are going so fast at the bottom of the bowl that they have to bail to avoid hitting the rocks, trees, or stream. I used to do the plastic sled runs all the time, but on Mondays I was always so bruised and walking funny at work that the 'ol body said "let the young guys get the standing ovations".
The beauty of climbing the headwall and topping out above the lip is indescribable! Some of my best memories of late winter/early spring are days spent wandering around up top on the plateau, just below the summit cone, after scaling a 55 degree gully,,,,, followed by a standing glissade down the other gully,,,, then doing it again. If you have ever been in the ravine, at the end of a spring day, when everyone has gone for the evening,,,,, and watched the full moon rise in the east over the Carter Range, you will never ever forget it! Tuckerman's Ravine is truly a magical place!
If the weatherman ever forecasts three sunny days in a row in May (or June/April some years) for the White Mountains of New Hampshire, head up to Tuckerman's Ravine on Mount Washington. One good weekend and you'll return year after year!
Page created and updated by Tim D; January, 1999