Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Monday, February 17, 2014

Skiing and Riding on the Sherburne Ski Trail


It was a bright and clear blue-sky day but the biggest factor today would be the wind. My son Ryan and I made plans to hike up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail so we could ski and ride down the Sherburne Ski Trail. As we made our way up into Pinkham Notch the wind continued to increase.

View from Pinkham Notch

Ready to go!

Snowboard on the pack

Skis on the pack

Arriving at the parking lot we soon found that it was necessary to hold onto our gear or have it blown over or worse, blown away by the wind. We layered up and lifted our packs with skis and snowboard onto each others backs. I decided to put my microspikes on and we both agreed to leave the snowshoes behind. The trail was easily barebooted but I still like that little extra grip that the microspikes provide.

Wind howling on Lion Head

Checking the off-trail snow depth

Raymond Path Trailhead

Unrelenting wind

The wind was relentless with the woods providing a bit of relief from the full force of the strong gusts. The layers were just about right but the mittens were coming off and on. I found my inserts to be all I needed until arriving at Hermit Lake and the gloves went back on...with the hand warmers. They stayed on the rest of the day. The hand warmers were working overtime and barely noticeable.

Tuckerman Ravine filling up nicely


Lion Head from HoJo's

There was a small group at the caretaker cabin. It was not a day for basking on the sundeck enjoying a snack, there was no snack today. We ducked into the cabin entrance and made our boot change. It took the two of us to pry open my frozen plastic ski boots so I could put them on getting a nice calf cramp in the process. There was a wind speed meter in the entrance of the cabin. Wind speeds seemed sustained at 30mph gusting to 40mph with one reading at 55mph.

Sun drops behind Boott Spur


Considerable avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine

We were anxious to hit the Sherburne Ski Trail and snapped into our bindings. It felt good to have the skis off my back and on my feet. The pack felt light as a feather without the skis and boots. I skied off the sundeck and we were on our way.

Ready to ride!

Wildcat from Sherburne Ski Trail

A look back at Lion Head

As we rounded the first bend and got onto the main trail I decided to get some video on our way down. This required taking my glove off and bare-handing the camera. So it was ski poles and glove in one hand and camera in the other while trying to keep up with my son. As seen below the video was short and it took some time to get the fingers warm again.

Resting beside the trail

Frozen bottle of water

The trail was in pretty good shape from recent snowstorms. There were the occasional icy spots, bare rocks and exposed vegetation, all to be expected on an ungroomed backcountry ski trail but there was plenty of skier-packed powder to enjoy.

Back at the trailhead

We had a great run down and finished right at the parking lot where my vehicle was strategically parked at the end of the trail. Despite the wind and cold temps it was a very enjoyable day to be up in the mountains having fun in the snow!


video
Starting our run down the Sherburne Ski Trail


Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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