Circumnavigation of Mount Washington

By:  Greg
April 16, 2009

Sam called me a few days ago and said he was getting pretty bored with the lack of new snow on the EC, and was therefore trying to figure out ways to hurt himself without being called suicidal. The original plan included a tour over the entire Presidential Range, skiing all the highlights over the course of two days. Neither of us liked the idea of overnight stuff though, so Sam went back to work and came up with a new, and more extra masochistic, plan to ski all 6 major drainages of Mount Washington in a single day. These drainages include the Great Gulf, Huntington Ravine, Tuckerman Ravine, the Gulf of Slides, Oakes Gulf and the Ammonusuc River/Munroe Brook Basin.

Allen got wind of this idea and sign up for the pain train as well. Suddenly, the next thing I knew we had a stretch of nice weather and the three of us were going for it.

The numbers scared me: 8200 vertical feet, over 13 miles. This would be one of the biggest days I’d ever attempted.

The party started in Burlington at 3am when several drunk dudes in Allen’s frat informed him that it was, “still yesterday”, as he made his sandwiches, and packed in the kitchen. Sam was picked up shortly thereafter, while I had the pleasure of enjoying a leisurely 415am pickup in Montpeculiar. There may have been a few red lights run between the capital of VT and cog base, but nothing slowed us down nearly as much as “the jump”
The Jump

This sucker was a perfectly placed 2-car-length indent in the road… the entrance got you up in the air, then you landed fully bottomed out in the gut of it, only to hit the next kicker… she did wonders on Allen’s undercarraige… or did Allen’s undercarraige do wonders on her?! (check the paint scuffs on the pavement near the front–note: we backed the taylor-mobile back into “the jump” for a photo-op)

We were skinning by 615, and near the top of the great gulf by 730.

Allen still thinking about “the jump”…
Allen thinking after the ascent

Allen, dropping the plane

Sam had a pretty exhilarating experience in the plane when the snow conditions went from “variable” to all ice, but he pulled it back together with his patented over the head turn off a rock… After a few scary shaken up moments, we changed over, and ascended.

Sam coming up the plane

One down, five to go…. after topping out of the Plane, we cruised on up to the summit at about 830 for a few phone-calls. I taped a few hotspots on my heels, and managed to avoid blisters for the rest of the day.

Allen loved the conditions up high (TGR special photo!!)

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Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: A PNW Summer – Part 1


  1. M V Skier Jr
    wrote on June 21st, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

    SIck TR, I hope to be able to do something like that some day!☺

    • gpetrics
      wrote on June 21st, 2009 at 9:17 pm  

      Glad you liked it MV. Can’t wait for next season. Hope to see you out there.

  2. williebikes
    wrote on March 14th, 2011 at 12:13 am  

    just came across this trip report… I saw you guys! A couple of times actually as we were accomplishing the same task(almost)… except I started from pinkham.. hit central in Huntington, then the great gulf then the east snowfields, around the bowl to Dodges drop, next a quick trip to Oakes, as there wasn’t much snow left, then finished in the Gulf of Slides back to my car. I was snowboarding.. what a great day…

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