Hiking in the Whites 2002       Picasa Photo Album

MAY 25TH, 2002, WAS CLEAR AS A BELL AT MT. WASHINGTON IN THE WHITES OF NEW HAMPSHIRE! Yes, Bob (Mae West) and Sue (Mime) headed up Tuckerman's Ravine with 5 other Montrealers (Gonzo wannabees). Never has a day shone so brightly at this infamous weather area, where we have all seen freezing rain, fog, 90 mile per hour winds (crouch! crouch!), snow squalls and skiers in August at the Headwall Bowl.

As you can see from the attached photos, in spring there now is a danger not just of avalanches but of ICE FALLS (quote "WARNING- ICE FALL DANGER- Massive blocks of ice the size of automobiles travel at high speeds, hit rocks and send deadly shrapnel in all directions" end quote). This sign certainly lifted our spirits and made us look forward to a carefree climb, along with 100's of other hopeful people with death-wishes. As we hiked up Tuckerman's, we saw snowboards, skis, water tubes, crampons, dogs with booties, children in backpacks, people ranging in age from 3 weeks to 82 years old. What a happening place! LOVE IT!

The other 5 hiked ahead (you would remember Keith of Katadhin, he slept with Ross? Larry? in Millinocket and followed Gordon (not too closely!) and Greg along the Knife's Edge.) with Keith leading the way to the top. The Headwall and Ammonoosic is still closed at this time of the year so the "winter" route is the newly constructed Lion's Head Trail (around the avalanche area). Reports were that our group had to dodge the skiers who were coming down from the cone of Mt. Washington but enjoyed windless, sunny, warm (T-shirts only) hiking conditions on top of the snow pack.

YES, no rocks to leap from one to the other as the snow filled up the crevasses. Just watch out for ICE FALLS AND OUT-OF-CONTROL SKIERS! They took 3 and a quarter hours to "top out" so they were pleased. Coming down was tough as the snow was icing up...regretfully they coudn't hop a ride down on the back of a skier or snowboarder! MAE WEST and MIME scouted out Hermit's Lake Shelter area for the perfect picnic area with a million-dollar view of the Headwall's ski area and the infamous Hillman's Highway (where people die every year crashing into rocks, falling into crevasses or getting caught in an avalanche or ICE FALL).

Bob and Sue lounged, had a picnic with a Mae West, took pictures, snoozed (surprised, anyone?!) and caught major sun rays, tanning quickly in the bright sunshine. Literally not a cloud in the sky all day. We headed back down Tuckerman's to our group and ended the day with a great dinner and social with our group of 10 (the ladies had enjoyed a day in North Conway).

All in all, a special day