Steve Sawyer, Steve Smith, Fred Knight
2013 Mar 10
We got an early start (4:40 am from Forbes Road) and were guided to a non-optimal route (10 min further thanks to Fred), but we got going up the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail at 8am sharp, made the total ascent, and had gorgeously clear blue skies, mild temperatures, and little wind.
The trail was nice: packed throughout; we used microspikes up to the steep section and crampons after that to the summit, which we reached 15 minutes ahead of book time in 4 hours. We started with a measured pace, which paid dividends for me through the rest of the hike. The steep section was “awesome,” according to Steve. It required the usual set of crampons and ice ax. Above treeline, we made continuous progress, but with some helpful stops, and added a wind layer above Lion’s Head. The day brought no significant cold or wind. The skies were bright. Lots of hikers. We did lunch in the lee of one of the buildings and met a guy doing the Presidential Traverse (6:30 into his hike). On the way down, conditions were pleasant and included some butt sliding under optimal butt-slidng conditions. The descent below treeline in the steep section was slow due to a group in front of us. The adventurous (Steve and Steve) chose a parallel bushwhack. We wore microspikes down to the steep part (again optimal for butt-sliding), but used crampons the rest of the way down. Did I mention the butt sliding in the snow fields above treeline?
Steve brought his new Fuji X-E1 for its battle with Fred’s Sony NEX-6. The Sony pictures are below. Bright light meant good depth of field and shots should be nice. They are only 1200 pixels in the report.
Tina Fey reading her Bossypants provided entertainment on the way home. Steve’s new Jetta TDL was roomy and comfortable.
Summary: 8.2 miles to Mt Washington via Tuckerman’s Ravine and Lion’s Head, 4288′ elevation gain, 4 hrs up (15 min under book time!), Microspikes and crampons on well-packed trail with minimal wind above treeline.
–Fred (aka tarpman)