A car-summit-car speed attempt on Mt. Washington has been on my to-do list for a while. Kevin Tilton’s posting of his winter run time of 1:47:31 gave a good target to shoot for. Josh and I talked about doing it together but matching schedules can be difficult. A weather window seemed to open up but it was on the same day as the Tuckerman Inferno. A few attempts to get other partners fell short so I decided to go solo. A spring weekend in Mt. Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine can bring thousands of hikers and skiers (1800 was the estimate of 4/12/14) so I would be far from alone.
On 4/12 I skied from Pinkham (Started at Avy sign) to summit and back to Pinkham (stopped at GOS sign at the parking lot by the leach field) in 1:57:00. Route was TRT->Triple Right Gully->Lion’s Head->TRT->Summit->Headwall (Lip)->Sherbie. Plenty of room for improvement on this time.
25:35 at the LH split, 35:41 at the Hojo’s Avy sign, 1:07:00 rejoined LH, Summit in 1:34:14. http://www.strava.com/activities/129604212
-There was no set bootpack going up the Lip. People were just getting to the base of it when I got a view heading in. This was my intended route and I deviated to RRR because I was able to keep my skis on and skin quite high. Both routes will have some flat skinning, either on the lower bowl or along the rim of the bowl. There was no set bootpack in RRR either so Lip may have been a better choice from that perspective. I did wallow around in some krumholz on a few occasions.
-Snow was discontinuous in a few patches requiring extra transitions on the summit cone for both the up and down. Attempt was probably a week or so late this season.
-Sustained 45 MPH winds above the bowl didn’t allow for the sun to soften the snow above the rim of Tux. Careful skinning and some sidesteps on the way down were required in icy spots. This was especially true once above the parking lots.
-Tricky exit from the bowl. Streambed has melted out in places requiring a short bushwack in a few spots. One of my calves also cramped up in here.
-Sherbie was super slow skiing. Even with my warmest temp wax, it was not enough to overcome the surface tension of the water in the snow. Super grabby so I stayed in the shade when possible.
More than a few people were confused when I came cruising through Hojos thinking that I was an Inferno racer but didn’t take the turn toward Hillman’s. No time to explain, but a quick “not in the race” comment returned a few puzzled looks and slightly stunned reaction from one of the snow rangers. Spandex skimo suits aren’t the norm in Tux (yet).
Josh won the Men’s Inferno and Nina the Women’s title.
After some recovery time and food, Josh and I headed into the Gulf of Slides for some bonus vertical.