Virtual Tour of Tuckerman Ravine

- There's no toilets up here! I.. er.. better go... sorry

Up To The Bowl!

Arriving at the base of the bowl everyone is pumped with excitement as we approach the luming wall of Tuckerman. Lunch Rock is the place to rest, unpack, put on ski boots and park your pack before heading up the ravine to ski. This is also the box office seat for one of the best (and cheapest) shows around. For the ones who came to enjoy the spectacle, pick your rock and enjoy.

Tuckerman ravine is shaped like one side of a bowl. The sides or wall of the bowl increase in steepness as you ascend. Timid skiers need only climb as high as they want, mind you the ski down will be pretty short. The lip of the bowl is just above the rocks at the top of the photo. Up here there is often overhanging ice which can be dangerous.

As the spring progresses a water fall appears which underminds the snow in this area. Crevases can be a real danger by mid May. Chutes also begin to appear between the rock outcroppings as the season progresses, which adds another degree of danger. Skiers, on the right of this photo, hike up step by step behind each other. Be sure to look back once in a while, the pitch can exceed 45 degrees up here, and remember your going to be skiing it!

The floor of the ravine lies at an elevation of about 4,500 feet, with the lip or top of the bowl at 5,100 feet (a 600 foot vertical). Ascending to the summit of Mount Washington beyond the top of the ravine adds another 1,200 vertical.

This shot was taken just below one of the chutes up in the left of the bowl. Above this point, the slope exceeds 45 degrees before opening up to the somewhat easier snowfields above. Climbing up in your ski boots can be unnerving. Once you manage to put your skis back on however, you feel a bit more at ease.

This was my vantage point for some excellent video, including several scary wipeouts past the rocks on either side. A mistake up in this area can be dangerous as rock outcroppings line either side of the chutes. You could tell someone was on their way down as the snow slides would begin to trickle down from above. A continuous stream of snow slithered like a snake down from the slopes above throughout the day (also known as sluffs). With milder temperatures, this is a common phenomenon.

Let's listen to the sounds of a body sliding by from above.

Down below on Lunch Rock, the crowd can be heard cheering madly as the next dare devil puts on a show.

This photo also gives a good view of the snowfields above Tuckerman up to the summit of Mount Washington at 6,288 ft. Considering this trip was in mid May, there wasn't enough snow to ski the snow fields. In fact the summit area of Mount Washington is like a vast pile of big rocks and bolders. Quite rugged in the summer, this area requires a lot of snow to provide adequate skiing conditions.

If your ascending above the ravine, be well prepared. It's a good idea to bring your pack with extra clothing and food as this area is completely exposed to the elements. There is no shelter of any kind, and with the unpredictable weather of Mount Washington to consider, you never know when the temperature may drop unexpectedly or a whiteout occur.

- Show me more life in the bowl please!

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