With all of the snow that we have, the natural thing to do is enjoy it while it's here. For those that like to do this on skis or snowboards, the past two weeks have been perfect. Since my last entry, the weather has been warm and sunny, drawing thousands of spring skiers to Mt. Washington and Tuckerman Ravine to earn their turns and enjoy some of the best terrain in the east.
On one of those warm, blue bird days, a group of us decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a ski. We hiked up the Gulf of Slides Ski Trail to the main gully where Zealand Falls Caretaker, Anthony Brezzo, is pictured contemplating the ski down. The hike up was steep but the ski was fast and rewarding. Looking to get over to Tucks, we hiked up the Boot Spur Gully and then skied down Hillman's Highway where Jesse Billingham is pictured. We got some water and a snack at Hermit Lake and met up with the caretakers Chris Fithian and Luke Ingram (shown hiking into the bowl). We finished the great day off by skiing down Right Gully and the Sherburne Ski trail to Pinkham Notch to show off our sunburns and rest our sore legs.
There have been many people of all abilities enjoying this great spring ski season and making trips like our own. If sliding down steep snow with boards on your feet while avoiding rocks and crevasses is not your idea of fun, there are plenty who simply sit on the rocks, do some people watching and soak in the sun. This past weekend saw over 4,200 visitors at Hermit Lake for the first 70 degree Saturday we've had and for the Tuckerman Inferno which is a run, kayak, bike, hike and ski race. Chris, an accomplished telemark skier finished with a first place time on the ski leg of the Inferno at just over 17 minutes up and down Left Gully while Luke, the USFS Snow Rangers, the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and many other volunteers were busy with crowd control, answering questions and pointing out hazards.
Looking out my office window at the snow covered Tuckerman Ravine Trail, the 4,000 plus crowds are gone but there are still many determined people with skis on their backs to get out and enjoy the snow. Check out tuckerman.org for the latest conditions and warnings and outdoors.org to get info on staying at the Hermit Lake Shelters. Although you may not have seen snow since February and you might now be more interested in playing golf or tennis, we still have plenty of snow and great skiing so come on up and enjoy it while you can.