A Day Fit for Kings

By:  Ben
March 12, 2010

When spring weather hits New England, skiers get excited. The warm sunny days and gentle winds whisper to us, telling us to head to the hills. After skiing ski resorts all winter, we decided to head to our favorite backcountry skiing destination: Tuckerman Ravine. We got an early start to avoid the crowds, and started up on a narrow hiking trail with no one else in sight.

This should have been our first clue. After all, the trail to Hojo’s usually has a steady stream of people on beautiful bluebird days, and it’s wide enough to drive a snowcat up. Still, Selma came in with abnormal southeasterly winds and dropped 50″ of snow on the mountain. This snow filled in all sorts of strange places that normally are just rock fields, so we reasoned the trail to Hermit Lake might have gotten a little more filled in than usual. Sure enough, we soon skinned around the bend and found the ravine opening up in front of us.

Tucks sure has a weird snowpack this year!
The Ravine

We had trouble picking out our favorite lines with the strange windloading, but everything looked skiable and stable, so we continued upward.

Tom climbing the Wasatch-esque skintrack through the alpine shrubbery
Tom skinning

I like to smile when I’m in the mountains.

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Read about the author:   Ben
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Shuksan, Second Day of Summer


  1. Greg
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 7:16 am  

    Beyond excellent Ben… incredible. Definitely worth the wait XP

  2. Evan
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 9:13 am  

    Petricks-Peters Cooler? I was thinking something like Butta’s Blogg Flogger. Either way nice line.

  3. Paul
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 1:07 pm  

    Not fair that you guys/gal have all the fun. Thanks for the pics. Great to view while at work.

  4. ml242
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 1:58 pm  

    hey, who posted and made you guys the kings of new hampshire?

  5. K_C
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

    Nice line and nice pics! Too bad you had the Xtreme gaper with you – did he tumble down the bootpack and take everyone out along the way?

    • Ben
      wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 2:34 pm  

      Ya, we really had to babysit that one. first he booted all the way up the skintrack, then he beatered down the headwall while trying to ride it switch to the road.

      Most egregiously he failed to get apres-ski beers from the overly religious gas station owner who chooses not to sell beer…

    • Anonymous
      wrote on June 23rd, 2010 at 11:53 pm  

      I believe you mean most eGREGiously

  6. Patrick
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 4:19 pm  

    Nice work! Though, as you admit, it’s a little hard to believe no one’s skied that. 4500 vertical must be nearly the most continuous vertical descent one can ski in the East however–since Mt W to Pinkham is only 4300!

    • Greg
      wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 4:24 pm  

      MTW to the Glen House is a bit more than 4500 I believe.

    • Ben
      wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 4:36 pm  

      yep! Baxter Peak to Abol Bridge is 4640′ – but even if you skied off the west side of the mountain instead of the usual north/east side, the last mile or two would be pretty flat…

      But ya, 4500′ of relatively good continuous skiing is pretty impressive for the EC!

    • Joanne
      wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 9:34 pm  

      Yah, we figured last weekend that the descent was probably the longest one on the east coast… Glad you got into one of the many new lines!

  7. christian
    wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 4:54 pm  

    man, tucks looks like crap this year…the pee pee cooler looks sick, can’t wait to falling-leaf that thing.

    • Greg
      wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 5:03 pm  

      You’d gape that thing in your jester hat dude.

  8. Sam
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 6:43 am  

    not a first descent. I skied it once in the early 1980’s on skinny skis and leather tele boots. So what if I wasn’t born yet.

  9. Allen
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 7:05 am  

    You guys should come to the Himalayas, plenty of FD’s for the taking.

  10. noel
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 11:57 am  

    it’s too bad I tracked out your line in the great gulFIE the day before.Nice pictures. I can see my tracks from tuesday.

    • Greg
      wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 5:27 pm  

      Actually not. We noticed the previous party neglected to ski the pow far skiers left. What were you guys thinking going dead middle? Best snow was on the corners!

  11. EO
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 11:24 am  

    Definitely not a first descent. I think some guy over on T4T with infinitely more soul and coreness skied it first.

    • Ben
      wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 11:27 am  

      I thought that was a given!?
      I mean, we are AT skiers, therefore we are bereft of soul. I don’t think it’s possible for us to have fun even if we tried with our heels locked up all the time.

  12. samthamandaddy
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 4:24 pm  


  13. Jonathan Shefftz
    wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 4:54 pm  

    “4500 vertical must be nearly the most continuous vertical descent one can ski in the East”
    — Close, but not quite: the max is 5100′ from Mt W summit to Dolly Copp. (A critical part of the route — allowing it to be a continuous descent — just happens to be in one of the pictures in this TR, which is why my partner brought this TR to my attention.) We skied it March 13, 2005, although I’m sure it’s been skied before and since. (Everything up there has to have been skied a zillion times — doing anything original on that mountain is pretty much impossible.) The only route I can think of that offers a greater vertical drop would be from the summit to Jackson — this is continuously skiable, but unfortunately would require a small ascent mixed in with the descent. I’ve tried to map and scout out some continuous descents to Jackson, but unfortunately they would seem to require absolutely heinous bushwhacks.

    • Greg
      wrote on March 14th, 2010 at 3:55 pm  

      we almost called the website famous internet heinous bushwhackers… i’m not sure we get that part of what we do across well enough on here.

      I’m fairly convinced that–even if I’ve never skied a turnbacker line (in which a friend “turnsback” because it’s too gnar)–I’ve bushwhacked a few turnbacker thickets

  14. Anonymous
    wrote on March 15th, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    Nice pics! Great ski lines everywhere. Nice to see a different aspect skied. Hmnnnn…… looks like a piece of the Auto Road showing in the,”…Monroe looking south picture” in far left? Clue!

    • christian
      wrote on March 15th, 2010 at 5:53 pm  


  15. mason
    wrote on March 17th, 2010 at 7:56 am  
  16. mason
    wrote on March 18th, 2010 at 8:29 am  
  17. Doug
    wrote on May 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am  

    Funny stuff. Great photos as usual. Come down to seacoast NH some winter (every third February) and ski the Stratham “Alps” with us. Look out free-heeling is infectious.

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