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2009-05-29 07:10:59.000 – Cindy L. Terry,  Summit Volunteer

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As I close my 7th season on the mountain as a volunteer, I am reflecting upon skier safety and how this mountain demands that extra care be taken by all that have the pleasure of using it recreationally.

Yesterday I was out and about making my way from the summit cone down Lion’s Head Trail. Scanning Tuckerman’s Ravine I was shocked to see two skiers making their way up the headwall of the Ravine. They picked a path about two hundred feet to the right of the waterfall that always forms in the spring near the rim. Earlier that week, I had made my way up Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail from Pinkham AMC. The bottom of the trail clearly stated the Headwall was closed to sking and the hut at Hermit Lake before proceding up the Little Headwall was also clearly marked about avalanche danger.

Skier #1 started his run with a nine foot side slip before making a very tenuous turn to wait for his buddy. Skier #2 lost his downhill ski and had to awkwardly scramble to retain it. After three turns, they made it to the bottom of the bowl.

What makes a skier take a 2.5 mile steady up hill rock slog with full equipment to make three turns down an avalanche marked area? Surely these two gentlemen have family and friends that would miss them if a catastrophe occurred. They also put the men and women that extricate those that have gotten in over their heads in peril with their concious decisions. As a avid skier and one who is involved with ski safety and rescue, I’d rather enjoy these mountains with respect to the warnings given.

 

Cindy L. Terry,  Summit Volunteer

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