West Side 4/3/10 (day 21 on snow)

I had gotten a really big blister on my right ankle from the Gulf of Slides trip 2 weekends ago, it wasnt healing very well and earlier this week it became really infected I did nt think I was going to be able go for a tour this weekend, but after lots of intensive care it had healed up enough that I was willing to at least attempt a trip.  Afterall the West Side of Mt Washington is more filled in right now than I’ve ever seen, and record high temperatures for april were forecasted for saturday.  I couldnt let this day pass me by.  I bandaged up my foot, stuck some moleskin over the bandage and slipped into my boots.  I knew that there would be other people I knew on the hill today, but I decided to go alone due to not yet knowing how limited I might be with my bum foot.  My plan was to ascend the ammonusuc ravine trail to the hut, and then just take a run down Monroe Brook back to my car.  However when I hit the Monroe Brook jct I mistakenly missed  the Ammo Trail blaze because there was so much storm damage, and ended up following Monroe Brook to the bottom of the Gully.  Monroe Brook was beautiful and I was glad I had made the mistake.

I was able to skin up as far as the fork in the gully, and then I switched over to climbing an already set boot ladder. Looking Down:

Looking across towards the rockpile:

When I got to where the snow ended I was too close to the summit of Monroe for the peak bagger in me to not want to grab it for the 3rd time. Summit of Monroe:

While chatting with a few hikers on the summit Ridersteve called me on my cell, he and a group of others were just below me at the top of Oakes Gulf.  I spotted a little snowfield that would take me from near the summit to where they were and hopped on my board and rode down to meet them.  When I got down I was with all familiar faces, Bladegirl (Karen) and Bladeguy(Mike) with Windy, Seeker (Brenda) and RiderSteve, and Telemark (Dave). I realized at that point that my foot still felt fine and decided I would join them on there tour.  We dropped down into an untouched  Oakes Gulf, I went as far as the first spruce choke and then skinned back up.
Next we traversed over to the upper part of Ammonusuc Ravine, Brenda and Dave continued on to the summit, and I lapped the snow field with steve, before skinning back up to the Hut where we met up with the BladePeeps again.Afew shots:
Dave getting freshies in Oakes

Steve in Oakes:

Skinning above Ammo


Mike on the Snowfield

A little POV I shot following Steve
http://www.flickr.com/photos/surf88/4489632837/
Little vid of Windy and Bladegirl
http://www.flickr.com/photos/surf88/4489640975/
From Lake in the clouds we made a hard left and skiied through the spruce tops over to Monroe Brook  Steve and Mike dropped in the Gully and Karen and I dropped down an untraked slide path just to the right of the gully.  It was pretty plush.

vid: http://www.flickr.com/photos/surf88/4489650761/
Abut half way down MB we dropped back into the gully and rejoined the party

The gully was a little bumpy from some of the wet sluffing after last weeks wet storm, but the soft snow made it much better.  We reconnected with the Ammonusuc Ravine trail, and rode it back to the cars.  My bandage worked great my foot was still fine after the tour, now my only ailment is sunburn.

The rest of my shots from the day:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/surf88/sets/72157623643704593/

A few of Dave’s shots I stole from his hikethewhites website:


The second shot was taken from the lake in the clouds col, I was descending from near the top of Monroe
Vid by Karen:

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