The Ski Guru Blog

Tuckerman anyone?


Icefall SchussIn the world of East Coast ski writing, putting together a piece on Tuckerman Ravine is pretty unoriginal. It's been done before, and it's hard to find a fresh angle, so I'm not even going to try. Tuckerman is timeless and will always be the best place to spend a warm weekend in April. There will always be first timers, grizzled mountain men, and everyone in between. We can enjoy the ravine differently, but there area few things that everyone should know about the place.


I'll spare you the history lesson, but suffice it to say that Tuckerman has pretty much been the spiritual center of East Coast skiing for the last century (Good history lesson: Here). If you haven't yet made the pilgrimage to Mount Washington to soak in the sun, scenery, and lore of the place, make this season your season. In the immortal words of Warren Miller “If you don't go this year, you'll be one year older when you do.”


To the uninitiated, the first trip to Tuckerman can seem quite daunting; it's a big change from resort skiing and consequently presents many unusual challenges. As an accident this past weekend proved, even in the spring, Tuckerman's is still a dangerous place worthy of respect. So, to help with planning (and so as not to re-invent the wheel), I've assembled a list of web resources that should be helpful to anyone heading up to the ravine for a warm spring day. Whether they're going up to huck the icefall or simply hang out at lunch rocks with a cold beverage, you can probably learn something from the websites below:


The Mount Washington Avalanche Center -


These guys are the professionals. Make sure to check their avalanche advisory before heading out. When you get to Hojo's or the ravine floor, make sure to check in with the snow rangers; they're friendly, knowledgeable, and there to help keep you safe.  Also of interest on the Tuckerman's website are the Recent Photos galleries and Trip Planning links, both of which will help you get an idea of what your experience will be like.


Time for Tuckerman's -


Time for Tuckerman is pretty much the repository for all knowledge about Tuckerman and the greater White Mountains.  The front page is a bit antiquated, but still very useful, while the answers to more specific questions can be easily found in the forums. If you somehow manage to find an unanswered question, the people posting on the forums are quite friendly, so don't hesitate to ask, but please, for their sake, search first. To ease your querying, try using this link .


The Mount Washington Observatory -


There are very few mountains in the world with more weather instruments than Mount Washington. Check out the observatory's website to get free access to mountain weather forecasts, webcam images, and current weather conditions. If you want to get the best information on what the weather will be like when you head to Mt. Washington, this is the site you need to check out. For added entertainment, it's also worth checking out the real time weather data on storm days, the numbers can be pretty shocking, and they'll make you thankful to be anywhere but the summit of Mt. Washington.


Famous Internet Skiers -


Full disclosure: This is my own site. Check out the weather section on Famous Internet Skiers to get the latest mountain weather updates from our man Lionel as well as the latest webcam and radar information from around NE. The weather site isn't Mt. Washington specific, but it does provide a wealth of info on the whites, while the trip reports tab should help get you motivated to go out and explore your mountains.


Those four websites have all the info you should need to get into the backcountry this spring, and prolong your season into May (maybe even June if we're lucky!). Whether you're going up for a simple hike, or looking to ski the Headwall; be smart, be safe, and have a great time! Also, while you're up there, don't forget to check out the scenery; Tuckerman isn't the only backcountry skiing spot in New Hampshire, you know……

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