Skiing Summit to Car on Mount Washington

My 2015-2015 ski season was extremely short. The move to Pennsylvania and my new job kept me from skiing anywhere near home all winter and the snow didn't really hit New England until after Christmas. I didn't actually get out on the snow until the weekend of April 18th and 19th. The weekend definitely was the longest I've ever driven for the smallest amount skiing. It was also the single most accomplished weekend of skiing I've ever had.

I left Philadelphia around 9am on Friday morning and drove up I95 to Mansfield, MA to meet my friends Ben and Dave. I dropped my car in Mansfield and we drove another 4 hours up I93 to Franconia, NH. We woke up before dawn (sunrise over our objective for the day) on Saturday morning and drove over to Pinkham Notch with the plan of hiking and skiing Tuckerman Ravine.

I've hiked and skied Mount Washington in all kinds of weather and I've seen the weather famously change in an instant all over New England, so I kept my expectations low as we climbed higher and higher up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. We reached the turnoff for the Lions Head Winter Route under bright blue skies and warm temperatures and decided to head for the summit. The weather held and after a slog through the entire gamut of late spring trail conditions, we topped out on Mount Washington after 5 hours of climbing.

Ben and I split up for the ski down. The Upper Snowfields were in perfect condition - beautiful peel-away corn snow that wiped out the nerves I always get from big mountain backcountry skiing. Ben traversed across the top of the ravine to ski Chute and I sidestepped my way down to Right Gully so I could shoot across the Ravine at Ben. We met at the bottom of the ravine, billygoated our way through the Lower Snowfields (not the most fun but at this point we had to ski top to bottom) and skied out through the very patchy Sherburne trail. We skied right to Ben's car and I scratched one huge item off my bucket list: ski from the summit of Mount Washington to the parking lot. The fact that this was Day 1 of my ski season made it even better. Quality over quantity.

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