Today I was able to get on my roadbike for the first time of the season and have a fun little ride. I ride a nice, but older bike. I love the ride it gives me and am not looking to upgrade any time soon.
I used the TrailGuru app on my phone to record my stats and tracks
Start: 04/27/2011 4:19pm
Finish: 04/27/2011 5:05pm
Distance: 12.17 miles
Min Speed: 5.19 mph
Avg Speed: 15.86 mph
Max Speed: 32.73 mph
Avg Pace: 03:47 mins/mi.
Min Elevation: 185 ft
Max Elevation: 662 ft
Total Ascent: 1560 ft
Total Descent: 1627 ft
Another Friday, and another Bluebird day on Mt Washington. I knew it was going to be a good day when I saw the mountain from North Conway
When I arrived at Pinkham this morning it was already such a zoo. Cars had already filled the overflow lot by the bridge,and I ended up parking in the lot accross the street. I thought about Gulf of Slides for a little bit, but I really wanted to head towards tucks in spite of the crowds. As I skinned up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail the amount of new snow on the ground increased. By the time I reached Hermit Lake shelters there was pretty good coverage of new snow. The avalanche board showed most of the stuff on the right side of the Ravine to be rated at considerable, and there were a ton of people over there, and everything on the left side of the ravine was pretty wind scoured boiler plate. I didnt really want to deal with inexperienced people and avalanche possibilities. I’ve already once before been in the ravine on a day that that was a bad combination.
I decided to hit Hillmans instead. So I started skinning up towards Hillmans. On the way up I had an equipment failure, a few screws that hold my touring brackets in had gone missing. So I strapped my splitboard to my backpack and headed up the old fashion way.
Hillmans was super wind loaded in spots with nice soft powder.
The start zone at the top of the right fork was slabby on top but deep enough and unconsolidated enough for me to stick my ski pole into it up to the grip with little effort. I was still about 100 feet below the top of the route, but I decided not to go any hire do to my concerns with stability. I strapped my snowboard on and had a really nice powder run down.
Shot a little conditions report vid half way down:
Fot the last seven years I have gone up to Gulf of Slides on the same weekend that the inferno race is scheduled for Tuckerman Ravine and it is interesting to see how the conditions vary from year to year. It was forecasted to be an unseasonably cold, but also a clear and sunny day Friday. I was happy to find unseasonably good snow pack as well. I took my splitboard and skinned up the Gulf of Slides Ski Trail. Everything was solid as a rock from the subfrezing tempertures on thursday night. I followed the ski trail and used the bushwack shortcut. Everything was in great shape
I was happy to see that the whole ski trail was still covered and there were no portages needed. I did not see anybody else between Pinkham and main gully and was stoked to be up in the Gulf of slides totally alone. I took a couple panoramic shots
Gully 2 Pano
Main Gully Pano
The gulf was perfect blurbird conditions, the only thing in the sky was this plane
I shot this little video when I got to the bottom of main gully
Everything in the Gulf seemed to still be a little hard from the warm day and cold night prior to my arrival, so I took my time converting my ride back to snowboard mode and lashing it to my pack for the climb up, so that the sun could do its work on softening the snow pack. About 15 minutes after arriving, two other snowboarders showed up. After chating for a bit I took off up the ascent. The boot ladder that had been set was perfect, the step hight and steps were practically perfect. It was almost as good as a chairlift
The ride down was more fun than it sounded. The freezing fog that came through the prior night had formed a coating of rime ice on everything making it sound really crusty. But the sun had softened it up enough to be edgeable and fun. But not fun enough to want to climb up for another run. So I decided to start making my way back down the ski trail toward Pinkham Notch. The ski trail was rock hard in the shade, and creamy soft in the sun. The descent was kind of fun, planning your turns on the sunny spots while straightlining the shadey spots.
The ski trail was still top to bottom coverage, for the first time on this “inferno race weekend” in about 5 years.
I got back to Pinkham around 2:30 and headed home. I hope I can take advantage of the great snow pack and get back up there again before the season is over.
Apparently my local ski hill must not be able to compete with the other distractions that spring brings, because they closed last weekend for the season with 100% terrain still covered. It has become an annual pastime for me to hike up and poach the mountain in mediocre conditions after they have closed, but this year’s great conditions were made even better by 6 inches of fresh snow that fell this morning.
I headed up after work for a run, the hike up was nice, but loud because they are haveng a snowmobile race on the mountain tommorow, and there was lots of practicing going on. the trai I wanted to ride was already marked up by the snow machines so I choose another trail that was still fairly steep but mostly untracked.
The mountain looking pretty plush on arrival. Post Season?