Skiing in July!

2008-07-05 14:23:54.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

Making Turns on Center Headwall

Last night after dinner, the crew celebrated the 4th of July in the same way that millions of others around the country did; we watched fireworks. However, unlike the majority of those millions, we were looking down on them as we were watching. Most were very small and could be seen dotting the southern horizon. The fireworks set off in the town of Conway, NH and Gorham, NH however were much easier to see. Regardless, we were just thankful to see anything at all considering how often we have fog on the mountain, especially recently.

Personally, I also celebrated the 4th in a much less typical way; I went skiing in Tuckerman Ravine. If you are familiar with Mount Washington, you probably already know that snow sticks around in some places well into the summer months. If you are not very familiar with the mountain, this may come as a surprise to you.

By the end of the winter season, prevailing winds pile snow in the bottom of Tuckerman Ravine up to 50 or more feet deep. This past winter was a good one in the Ravine, so the depth of snow in the bottom of the bowl probably exceeded 50 feet by quite a bit. As I am sure you can imagine, it takes a long time for this much snow to melt, hence the reason I was able to go skiing there yesterday.

The vertical rise of the snow that is left only allowed for about 7 or 8 turns on each run. That didn’t matter to me though as any skiing I can get in July is good skiing in my humble opinion. I can’t help but think that if we had not had such a warm April and June here on the mountain, there may have been a lot more snow to ski on yesterday.

How much longer will this snow stick around? Well, that will mostly depend on the weather through the rest of this month. After making a trip down there, I personally think that at least some snow will be around into the very beginning of August. You can watch for when the snow disappears yourself by taking a look at our Ravine webcam. If you become a member, you can even get a nice zoomed in view of Tuckerman Ravine, among many other webcam views available only to members through our premium content. Also check out my Mount Washington blog on, where I posted an entry yesterday talking about the places where snow is still hanging out around Mount Washington and will post more today about my trip to Tuckerman Ravine yesterday.

I will leave you with some more pictures taken yesterday by either myself, or intern Ted as he accompanied me on the hike down and back up.

View of the Bowl from Tuckerman Ravine Trail

The Snow Arch Starting to Form

More Undermined Snow

Hiking Up Center Headwall

The Lip


Brian Clark,  Observer

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