Tucks
8 posts
7 users
2k+ views
langleyskier
April 28, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
I have never skied tucks nor have i really ever skied backcountry. But i do consider myself a competent skier who is able to ski any inbounds terrain i have yet to encounter (except maybe glades which i have yet to try). I have heard the horror stories about the possible endless tumble one would take if they fall while skiing there so i am hesitant to even consider attempting the trip (probably next year). But I was wondering, as an advanced mid-atlantic skier, if tuckermans would be feasible for me to ski?
Ullr
April 29, 2007
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
This is something I too would like to try, but I would ne even think of going unless I was with someone who was very knowledgeable and had dome it before. I feel I would need real guidance in picking the appropriate line.
skier219
April 29, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I did it in college about 16-17 years ago, and it definitely helped to go with someone experienced, just to know the routine. There are easier lines especially if the snow coverage is good. The total vert in the ravine is about 600-700ft if I remember right, and it's quite steep (40-50deg) in spots. The easier lines are not that steep.

I am a much better skier nowadays, but there are many lines/chutes/jumps at Tucks I would not attempt. I'd stick to the easier gullys myself. Any good skier in good health can do Tuckerman in my opinion, just be ready to hike steep snow and be prepared to ski variable snow conditions on the way back down.

I would really like to ski on the snowfields at Mt. Washington if I ever get up there again.
kwillg6
May 1, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,040 posts
Sounds like a "road trip" opportunity to me. Maybe next year some of us may take a weekend to tuckerman's and make the leap of faith!
Denis - DCSki Supporter
May 1, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,233 posts
Like many things in life, you have to just do it. I went for the first time in 1991 at age 49. A buddy from this area and my then 15 yr. old son went with me. Even though I grew up in Boston and skied Wildcat many times in college years, I had never been to Mt. Washington and never seen Tuck's. None of us knew what we were getting into, The first sight of the Headwall was truly intimidating. My friend was not deterred. A marathon runner and a very type A personality, he climbed up and over the Headwall, followed some people and came down "The Chute". When my son and I next saw him he was badly shaken and said only that it was extremely steep and he had sideslipped much of it. He did that one run and quit. I don't think he has ever returned; been there - done that. We have lost touch. He was at the time a much better skier than I. Meanwhile my son and I had done 4 runs from about halfway up "The Lip", each time putting our skis on where our guts told us "that's enough". From where we atarted it is ~ 40 deg. The Chute is 50 with a narrow rock choke just below the steepest point. I guess I am advising a careful approach. The bowl steepens gradually; go, see it, do what your gut says is OK for you and come back another day. It's one of the great experiences in skiing. Probably 5 times as many people go up there to see it as to ski it. I used to see an 85 yr. old couple with their knickers and using ices axes as walking canes, every year; they go to watch. I have skied something on Mt. Wash. virtually every year since. Sadly I may miss this year. Last weekend it promised and delivered cold steady rain both days. I stayed in Burlington with my daughter and family and my son-in-law and I took 9 yr. old grandson Conor to Mt. Mansfield (Stowe) where he climbed and skied his first backcountry summit, the Chin of Mansfield. I'll have to report that as a separate story.

Other notes,
Gorham, NH has lots of excess motel capacity at this time of year. It is between seasons so no need for reservations. To really get the Tucks flavor stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club lodge in Pinkham Notch (Joe Dodge Lodge) and eat breakfaast & dinner there family style at long picnic benches. I guarantee that the people and conversations will be worth it. You must reserve well in advance because it fills up. This takes away last minute flexibility. I fly BWI to Manchester, NH on Southwest, and rent a car. The route is I-93 N thru Franconia Notch, then go to Twin Mtn. on 302? Then 115N ? and 2E to Gorham. From Gorham it is 10 mi. S on 16 to to Pinkham Notch.

After you have seen and done Tucks go elsewhere in the Presidential Range. There are many other great ski places without the crowds, the nut cases and the icefall of Tuckerman Ravine. When you are ready for this knowledge someone will enlighten you.
crunchy
May 2, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: Denis
When you are ready for this knowledge someone will enlighten you.


Denis, this is a fantastic quote! can I use it for my signature? \:\)
Denis - DCSki Supporter
May 2, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,233 posts
 Originally Posted By: crunchy
 Originally Posted By: Denis
When you are ready for this knowledge someone will enlighten you.


Denis, this is a fantastic quote! can I use it for my signature? \:\)


Sure.

I hope this didn't come across wrong. It is hard work to hike to Tucks and harder to get to most of the other places on the mountain. The others will have half a dozen people in them on a day when Tucks has 1000, and all will have learned of these places from conversations with other enthusiasts met on previous trips to "The Rockpile". It is hard earned knowledge and while folks will share it generously face to face, it isn't the sort of thing you post on the internet. It must be earned.

I have so much fun skiing there that I always forget how tough it was to climb the mountain last time, but the memories all come back in the first half mile of the trail.
David
May 2, 2007
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: crunchy
 Originally Posted By: Denis
When you are ready for this knowledge someone will enlighten you.


Denis, this is a fantastic quote! can I use it for my signature? \:\)


I heard a good quote today that would apply to skiing, especially skiing Tucks:

"A fool learns from experience. A wise man learns from the fool".
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