2006-04-15 11:51:31.000 – Brian Clark, Summit Intern
Yesterday (Friday) turned out to be a gorgeous day on the summit. We ended up with mostly clear skies, temperatures in the mid 30’s, and winds down to 15 to 20 miles per hour. So, by the suggestion of our snow tractor operator Wayne Peterson who had just skied down as well, I decided to go take a run down the east snowfields and then cut over to Tuckerman Ravine. After conferencing with Wayne about the hazards he had found, I was off. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to attempt such a run. It was just warm and sunny enough to turn the snow into good corn snow, but not so warm that it was sloppy and wet. The warm temperatures and sunshine also made for a rather pleasant hike back up.
I had skied in Tuckerman Ravine before, but still, looking over the lip I was a little nervous to say the least. I drop off at the top of The Lip, surveyed the run (the best I could) and it looked good. With the obvious exception of the waterfall hole that had opened up to skiers right of The Lip there were very few crevasses to worry about. The snow was bumped up quite a bit from the numerous runs people had taken on it in the past few days but it wasn’t bad by any means. There also were a surprising number of people in the ravine for a Friday.
Of course, when skiing in Tuckerman Ravine, or any of the above tree line ski runs in the White Mountains, always be sure to check the USFS avalanche bulletin and use your best judgment. If you are not sure if it is safe to ski, it probably isn’t. This time of year is especially dangerous due to undermined snow and falling ice. In fact, right now there is a lot of ice that looks just about ready to break off and come tumbling down to the floor of the ravine, taking out anyone and anything in its path.
All in all, it was a great day to get some turns, and considering the forecast, perhaps the best conditions we’ll get for a few days (at least)!
Brian Clark, Summit Intern