Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Up Tuckerman Ravine Trail Sled Down Sherburne

With a storm on the way and less than optimal weather in the forecast I decided to try something new today. I was going to hike up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and sled down the Sherburne Ski Trail with my son's Zipfy. I've skied this trail before and knew this would be a good trail to practice my sledding skills on with plenty of room to make mistakes with its wide slope. It also has some good steep sections for a nice challenge.

The drive to Pinkham Notch

Mount Adams

Mount Jefferson


I took my time and got a late start heading to the trailhead. It was a nice ride up through Pinkham Notch with great views of the white peaks against a gray sky. When I reached the parking lot it was filling up fast but I managed to find a spot at the far end. The snowshoes would be staying behind today. I strapped the sled to my backpack and was on my way. Just before heading up I put on the microspikes.

Tuckerman Ravine Trailhead

It was a beautiful morning in the woods with mild temps, partial sun through the overcast and a firm, smooth trail. The majority of the people I saw today were skiers skinning up, some carrying skis and snowboards and there were a few hikers.

Crystal Cascade

Up at the Hermit Lake caretaker cabin there was a crowd gathering. I saw two young ladies with Zipfy sleds just like mine that were also going to ride down the Sherburne Trail. I took some time and prepared my gear before setting out on the sled. The microspikes came off, the poles were collapsed and both put on the backpack. I put on my outer shell and made sure everything was secured so as not to lose it.

Just before heading down I walked over to get the obligatory picture of Tuckerman Ravine as well as a few more pics of the surrounding peaks. It was then time for the fun. I walked down onto the Sherburne Trail and had to keep walking before there was enough of a downslope to get some forward momentum. I turned on my video cam and was on my way.

Skier coming down from the floor of Tuckerman Ravine

It was a slow start but the further down the trail I went the steeper it got. There were some good stretches that allowed me to get the feel and the hang of steering the sled. I found that it took feet, arms and hands to steer. Then there were the steep, icy sections that really got the heart pumping! I had the trail pretty much to myself with only the occasional skier passing me and some skinning up. It was a quick ride down and I reached the bottom unscathed. That was a whole lot of fun!

Lion Head

Hermit Lake 

At the bottom of the Sherburne Trail

I picked up the sled and started my walk to the parking lot. As I stepped down over a small hump in the trail it turned out to be sheer ice, I slipped and fell down very hard injuring my left arm. My immediate thought was that I broke something. I checked myself out but didn't feel or see any apparent problems but there was some definite pain going on. The ironic part was that I was fifty yards from the parking lot.

End of the trail

The storm held off and there were only occasional snow flurries. It was a great day to be outdoors and give the sled a try, I'll have to do that again sometme! I did end up going to the emergency room where a fracture to my arm was ruled out but ended up with a splint and sling. I'll need to follow up with orthopedics this week. Hopefully they don't find any further problems and I can possibly get back out on the trail next weekend.

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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