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Tuckerman's questions

uphillklimber

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Hey folks, I thought I would Tuckerman's a try this year. I've hiked up and watched the skiers before, but never actually skied it myself. I want to try it this year.

What do I need to know to bring? Obviously my skis, boots and poles along with proper clothing and some kind of crampon or snowshoe. Anything else? Food and drink, obviously.

How about conditions? Anyone able to give me a clue here? The other day I found a site that listed avalanche conditions as moderate. But I have no idea if moderate means okay, but don't jump into any cornices and watch out for those uphill of you who might. Or what does it suggest? What about winds? Snow pack, etc....

I know it's pretty much a crap shoot until you actually get up there, but I'd like a pretty decent day with decent conditions for my first time. How do I best determine that?

Just as an FYI, working at the River, I have Wednesdays and Thursdays off, though that will soon change to Saturday and Sunday. I have been doing plenty of skiing there and tackling natural trails with confidence and hitting all the bumps, double blacks included. I may not be so pretty at some of it, but I am fairly comfortable and confident enough that I feel like I am ready to tackle Tuckerman's. I doubt I'll go to the top, certainly not for my first run, but I am really stoked for this.

Looking for good advice, here. Thanx.
 

dmc

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Only use crampons with ice ax!!! without - you risk bad injury..
I'd stick to normal climbing lines with steps unless you have both.

if you don't understand avi conditions - talk to the Rangers..
No time to give you an online avi1 class... :)

The ranger will tell you everything you need to know at Hojos...

Also www.timefortuckerman.com has a ton of info...
 

uphillklimber

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I'm probably going to stick to normal klimbing lines. Not too interested in skiing icy conditions, nor am I interested in ice klimbing right now.
 

dmc

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The fact is during a climb you MAY encounter sections of ice/hard pack..

Crampons aren't used for just ice. They are for hard snow too...
And you can go from mush on sun exposed faces to hardpack in 2 steps if your suddenly in shade...

Climbing with JUST an ice ax is cool.. I've done that a ton. THE best way to self arrest..

Also crampons are great for the hike up if your carrying a heavy load - we camp at Hojos so we are pack mules heading up...
 

dmc

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Bring a change of clothes food and water...

Talk to the ranger - they will let you know whats up.. wheather it's the bowl or hillmans area...

enjoy!
 

Sick Bird Rider

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How about conditions? Anyone able to give me a clue here? The other day I found a site that listed avalanche conditions as moderate. But I have no idea if moderate means okay, but don't jump into any cornices and watch out for those uphill of you who might. Or what does it suggest? What about winds? Snow pack, etc....

Why not go right to the source?
http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/category/avalanche-advisory-for-tuckerman-and-huntington-ravines/

The scenario changes daily. Also, see left-hand sidebar on the page, where "moderate" and other ratings are defined.

I have never been there either. If it was on my list of things to do, I would track down someone with avi skills and solid knowledge of the area then convince them it would be a good idea to let me tag along. If it came down to it, I would pay to guided by a reputable outfit. The place is serious.
 

C-Rex

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Anyone know of reputable guides for hire? I'd be interested in linking up with some people that know what their doing. Or if anyone has a group I could tag along with, I'd happily bring gifts of fermented grains and hops.
 

dmc

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Anyone know of reputable guides for hire? I'd be interested in linking up with some people that know what their doing. Or if anyone has a group I could tag along with, I'd happily bring gifts of fermented grains and hops.

You don't need a guide for the bowl area...
just hike up and ask the rangers whats good... they will gladly help you..

Also - there's almost always someone at the bowl... For sure on weekends now...
 

dmc

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ah yes...the change of clothes, because I'll be sweating getting there. A couple t-shirts are a must. Checking the link.

Change of clothes for that and possible weather.. Or falling in a creek or... . :)

just no cotton...
 

LiquidFeet

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If you go on a weekend day that's predicted to have sun and 40s-50s degree temps, there will be thousands going up. Just follow the crowds. You don't need a guide. When you get to hojos, listen to the ranger and do what's safest. If you can time it so that you can ski back to the parking lot on the Sherburne trail, that is great. That might involve colder temps and a hike sooner rather than later. If you go when the temps are going to stay low, then climb up and ski snow that's been softened by the sun. You won't really know the condition of the snow until you get on it. Avoid skiing no-fall ice at all costs.

Read the Mt. Washington avalanche site daily to time it right. Also read TimeForTuckerman forums to stay aware of conditions. You've been up before. The only difference will be that you'll have 35 or so lbs on your back. Carry water and calories. When I got to the top of Hillman's I realized I should have brought water. My feet cramped up and I had to take my boots off. I was wondering if a helicopter evac was possible, until a nice gentleman shared his precious water with me.

You'll climb up the face in your ski boots, carrying your skis and poles over your shoulder. You'll leave the backpack with your boots and lunch on the floor of the ravine. I don't think theft is an issue. The crampons or whatever you wear on your boots are for the walk up the trail, not the climb up the bowl itself.
 

snowmonster

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What you bring and what you actually ski depends on the conditions you will encounter which will depend on the time of year you actually go. Late March to mid-April may still be mid-winter-like while late-April to May may be more spring-like. We've been in there in mid-May and into June and that's shorts and t-shirt weather -- sometimes. Of course, be prepared for changes in the weather. I've been in there in May when it snowed.

Aside from all the stuff mentioned, bring water. Unless you're ultra-fit and flying through the trail, you will feel you weight and age (I'm not that young too). And, resist the urge to overpack. Have a minimalist mindset. Bring only what you need since every bit of weight will be on your back and on your knees. If you want TRs and conditions reports, you may want to consult Time For Tuckerman. Lots of TRs and info on the forums there.

See you at Tux!
 

dmc

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I was in a small slide on the lower snow fields in mid May..
 

Huck_It_Baby

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The crampons or whatever you wear on your boots are for the walk up the trail, not the climb up the bowl itself.

You can't skin up to the bowl?

I plan on going a couple times since I am within fairly easy driving distance this season. I have wanted to for years but always lived too far away for day trips. If anyone of you guys or girls want to meet up and climb/ski together let me know!
 

dmc

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The crampons or whatever you wear on your boots are for the walk up the trail, not the climb up the bowl itself.

Well I use crampons and ice ax for climbing the bowl if needed.. They come in great for Hillmans or the other side(airplane, etc...)
The earlier you go the more your going to want to be able to purchase and self arrest..

i don't like using crampons on climbing lines..
i don't like crowded climbing lines anyway so I'm in the bowl before the crowds get there.

Ealry in the day when the snow is still hard - cramps are great!
 

dmc

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You can't skin up to the bowl?

I plan on going a couple times since I am within fairly easy driving distance this season. I have wanted to for years but always lived too far away for day trips. If anyone of you guys or girls want to meet up and climb/ski together let me know!

You can skin up the trail to Hojos(rangers station).. But only on the hiking trail not the ski trail...
After Hojos the trail gets really rocky so you have to hike the rest to the bowl.. you can continue skinning up to Hillmans highway...
I saw a guy skin on steep stuff I've never seen anyone skin on... crazy..
 

Huck_It_Baby

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You can skin up the trail to Hojos(rangers station).. But only on the hiking trail not the ski trail...
After Hojos the trail gets really rocky so you have to hike the rest to the bowl.. you can continue skinning up to Hillmans highway...
I saw a guy skin on steep stuff I've never seen anyone skin on... crazy..

This is good to know. Thanks for the tip!

So it's cool to skin the hiking trail and then (after skiing the bowl) you ski down a separate trail back to the car lot if there is enough snow?
 

LiquidFeet

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That is correct. Mt Washington's website tells you if the Sherburne is open and how far before it is roped off. That's the trail down to the parking lot. If they rope it off, it really is unskiable beyond the rope.
 

riverc0il

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You can skin TRT all the way into the bowl if you go early enough. I've done it and prefer skinning all the way. By late April, it is usually hiking only and May and beyond is definitely hiking only to the bowl, though there is sometimes skinable snow on parts of the TRT below HoJos late April into early May. Depends how desperate you are for skinning. I'll skin even for only a few hundred feet. :)
 
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