Avalanche in Tuckerman Ravine

April 27th, 2009 by

Nestled above Pinkham Notch in the Mount Washington Valley lies Tuckerman Ravine. A glacial cirque resting on Mount Washington’s southeast side. Every year, thousands of New Englanders make the pilgrimage to Tuck’s to enjoy some of the gnarliest (and only) above treeline skiing that the East offers. Yes, I know that Sugarloaf, [http://www.saddlebackmaine.com Saddleback] and Stowe offer “above treeline” skiing, but Tuck’s is as close as it gets to true western style bowl skiing.

With up to 55 feet of snow being deposited into Tuckerman Ravine, it is THE primetime spot for spring skiing. After a short (1.5 to 2 hr) hike from Pinkham Notch on Route 16 you’re to the “Lunch Rocks”, a popular spot at the base of the bowl littered with glacial debris. From there, it’s just a 1000+ vertical climb to the top of the best skiing east of the Mississippi… Not that there is any decent skiing along or near the Mississippi. You know what I mean, c’mon.

Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that just because you’re in New England doesn’t mean you escape the possibility of avalanches. That 55 feet of snow can move pretty dang quick when it’s resting on slopes in upward of 50 degrees. With the recent warm weather and late season snowfall, you’ve got a recipe for avalanches.

This past Saturday, one lucky son of a bitch found out the hard way that skiing in New England can be just as dangerous as it is out west…

Thankfully he wasn’t buried or injured.

For more information about Tuckerman Ravine, dance on over to [http://www.tuckerman.org tuckerman.org] and [http://www.timefortuckerman.com timefortuckerman.com].

A picture from the slide, courtesy of [http://www.tuckerman.org tuckerman.org].

Also, as a note to everyone reading. When someone sets off an avalanche, you don’t cheer. Avalanches are serious business and can kill you… Even in New England.

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