Virtual Tour of Tuckerman Ravine

- Oops I forgot my skis! Take me back!

Hiking Up To Tuckerman...

7:30 AM: After a good snooze at one of Gorham, NH's fine motels, about 20 minutes north of our destination, and breakfast at McDonalds, we arrive at Pinkham Notch Camp. This is the main trailhead for ascends up to Tuckerman Ravine and Mount Washington. The main building includes helpful AMC staff, historical information, books, guides and some of the best cooking around. Next door the Joe Dodge centre provides cheap accommodations for over 100 hikers and skiers. A small selection of supplies and hiking essentials serves as backup to those who forgot something at home.

I believe Concord Trailways offers daily trips to Pinkham Notch from Boston.

Here our gang, made up of members of Ottawa's RA Ski Club smile brightly before we strap on 30-40lbs of equipment on our backs and begin our ascent via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail.

Dave 'Billy' Holoska loads my pack onto the scales for the big weigh in (168K wav).

It's very mild in the valley so we dress light for the first half of the hike. Half our group is stripped down to shorts and Lifa underwear at this point. The hike is great even with the heavy ski boots, skis, clothing and food on our backs. Let's relive a few steps on the trail (53K wav).

For greatest comfort and stable walking, a good pack is recommended and a pair of decent hiking boots with lots of support. My favorite backpack is one of Lowe's 60L narrow internal frame packs. Skis are strapped on either side of the pack with the tips taped together tee pee style. A good setup is necessary to keep the skiis from swinging about during the ascent. Some Tuckerman veterans often use just the frame of an external frame pack and strap their equipment to it. Then again some sacrifice unnecessary equipment and carry up a beer or two!

The trek up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is 2.4 miles from Pinkham Notch (approx elevation 2,050 feet) to the Hermit Lake shelter (elevation 3,900 feet). Hiking time is typically 1.5 to 2 hours depending on trail conditions. Easy at first, the rocky trail passing a nice cascading fallwall named Crystal Cascade, located on a side path. It is not uncommon to have traffic jams like this one in the photo during a holiday weekend. The trail can also get quite slushy and somewhat muddy, especially near the bottom.

- Are we there yet?

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