Tuckerman Ravine and my last Bretton Woods run of the season (April 18-19, 2009)

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Tuckerman Bowl.

On Saturday April 18 four of us from Mt. Washington Place in Bretton Woods hiked up to Tuckerman Bowl. Here we are up in the Bowl: with me are Ellen Sawyer, son Michael, and Peter Wyatt. The Tuckerman Inferno Race was on that day so it was a wild crowd. When we got to the Bowl it was foggy, and icy above Lunch Rocks, but we made the best of it with a few runs and it even cleared before we had to go down. The way down was really nice with the Shelburne Ski Trail open almost down to Pinkham with soft snow and lots of moguls. A wonderful day!

Zephyr lift.

On Sunday April 19 the sun was shining gloriously and I wasn't ready to hang up my snowboard yet, so after a morning of tennis I hiked up Bretton Woods for my last run of the season. BW had closed on April 12 but there was still lots of snow, about two feet in places where it had been made and packed. As I was hiking up the road to the top of the Zephyr lift, all of a sudden the Bethlehem lift starts - what is this? turns out it was the canopy tour folks, who cruised by me with their helmets on, the wittiest of them yelling at me "You should have taken the lift!"to which I should have replied something equally witty like, "Watch out for the bear at the top of the lift!" but I'm not so quick. Anyway, here's the view from the top of Zephyr lift. As you see, lots of snow down Rangeview - why did they close the place down anyway?

Black Fly and Stinger glades.    Lost pass in the snow.

From the top of Zephyr I hiked up Black Fly and Stinger glades (at left). Tons of snow! Can't wait to put my snowboard on! I am walking happily up Stinger when - you're not going to believe it - what is this on the snow? It's my long-lost, smashed-up season pass - one of the two that I lost this season before following the advice from the lift folks to keep my pass in my pocket rather than on the outside of my coat. Now, how likely is that to find my lost pass in the snow? That put me on cloud nine. (Janice, when I told her this story, commented that she would have been more impressed if I had found a wallet full of cash, but that wouldn't have been as symbolic, right?). Anyway, there's still a second season pass of mine laying out somewhere on the mountain, so if you find it let me know particularly if you find it on Devil's Den - if you find it on Avalon I'd rather not hear about it.

Rosebrook lift.    Bretton Woods.

OK, so here I am at the top of the Rosebrook lift (left). Hamming it up for the cameras (well at least mine). Janice says - Why do you stick out your tongue? Are you ever going to grow up? Anyway, it doesn't get any better than swaying on the quiet lift and musing over a great season...Didn't get hurt, snowboarded almost every weekend from Oct 31 (had to hike up too for that one) to today, November will be here soon enough but in the meantime there's so much hiking and biking and tennis to do!... At right is the classic view from the top of the Rosebrook lift. I never tire of it. No wonder Bretton Woods is known to all as the most scenic ski resort in the world!

Rosebrook.    Panorama.

All right, time to go down. Looking down McIntire from the top of Rosebrook (left) ...hmm, not much snow down there, better try something else...McIntire has been great to me this season, there's a sweet spot on the right that the groomers leave alone and that always has deep snow and I seem to be the only one using it, and from the bottom of the steep drop you can cut through the woods to Black Forest glades and have more fun...

Looking down Panorama (right)...tons of snow but roped off, and it's not even 3:30 yet! They got to be kidding! Still, got to respect the ropes...

Upper Swoop.    Snake.

OK, so go down North Ridge to the top of Upper Swoop (left) and try to go down Snake, with which I have a special relationship...

...but this is what the entry to Snake looked like (right). This particular spot on Snake, my friends, is where I snapped my Achilles tendon on December 29, 2006, at 11:17 am EST. There's one vicious rock down the middle that got me then but now I see it so it won't do me in today. In fact nothing will do me in around here since there's no snow. Forget about Snake, let's try Zealand.

Zealand.    Rosebrook lift.

Ah, Zealand is paradise. Check out this snow! From Zealand I cross over to Bode's, from Bode's to McIntire's, from McIntire's to Black Forest...

...and down to the base of Rosebrook lift. Canopy tour anyone? Alas, the place is deserted. Oh well, let's go down Signal Ridge and check out Darby's Drop...

Darby's drop.    Darby's drop.

Darby's drop has tons of snow and moguls - sweet soft snow, and sweet soft moguls that I can happily destroy like the good snowboarder that I am - but it's not as much fun when there are no skiers around to hate me for it (strictly a fanciful jest! I love my fellow skiers and wouldn't think of ruining their moguls).

After Darby's drop it's a sweet ride all the way down to the lodge. This has been so nice! I have no illusions though - temps supposed to rise to 70s next weekend. Time for a wonderful summer in the White Mountains. Bye bye snow - see you in November! (try October?)

See also: 2009 Hikes