Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Taste of Winter in Tuckerman Ravine

There was a very ominous sky as I departed for the trailhead this morning. The weather was less than ideal but I knew there was snow in the higher elevations and I wanted to go make some tracks. One of the best places for experiencing some snow is Tuckerman Ravine. So my hike today would take me up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the bottom of the Tuckerman headwall and return on the same trail.

 Snowy summits

 Peabody River

Parking at Pinkham Notch was no problem as there were very few people hiking today, weather must have kept them away. Temps were in the 30's, snow was in the air and Tuckerman Ravine was in the clouds. Snowy scenes would take the place of spectacular panoramic views today.

 First snow

 Snow covered rocks on the trail

 Snow covered trail

Wasn't long before I saw the first accumulating snow in the woods. As the trail climbed higher there was snow on the rocks along the trail. Snow eventually covered the entire trail for the rest of the way. There was no more than two inches but with no melting this snow was going to be sticking around for awhile.

 Caretaker cabin

The snow made for some slick rocks and there was some occassional slipping so I had to watch my step. The concern that I had was making my descent, that's when I take the big falls on a slippery trails. The microspikes were in the backpack but I didn't want to put them on until I really needed them.

As I approached the caretaker cabin the weather change was dramatic. What I considered up to now as being cool was now cold with a good breeze blowing down from the ravine. I added another layer and traded my ball cap for a knit hat. After a short break for a snack and a few photos I continued my ascent to the floor of the ravine.

I used some caution and slowed down just a bit as I made my way up over the snowy rocks. The cloud cover hid distant views and there were only limited views within the ravine. The headwall was barely visible, maybe a hundred yards even standing directly underneath it. This was my turnaround point.

Before starting my descent I put on my microspikes. This definitely removed the slip factor and allowed me to increase my pace. I reached the caretaker cabin and kept going. There were no more breaks until further down the trail when I removed the microspikes, my top layer, and swapped the knit hat for the ball cap.

  Cloudy Tuckerman Ravine

I stopped at Crystal Cascade for a photo. There was a group of people walking up to this viewpoint and one asked me if there was anything worth seeing up further. I said, "Yes...Winter!"

 Crystal Cascade

Arriving back at the parking lot the snow that had been falling all day was now turning to rain. While not a day for views I did enjoy walking in the snow and getting my first taste of Winter!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment