May 222015

There really isn’t too much new to talk about as we enter the last weekend of our season.  Snow conditions continue to deteriorate so expect icefall to still be a problem particularly in the center of the Ravine.  Crevasses have made the main bowl look like an old cracked leather shoe that has sat out in an Arizona wash under a pear cactus.  These long deep slots pepper the snowpack and have been the cause for many accidents in the past, keep clear of them. Be especially vigilant to avoid traveling over them as a fall down slope could put you into one of these large holes.  We will be putting out our last advisories of the season over the next two days that will highlight any specific new concerns.  Check these before moving above Hermit Lake.

The bottom line is Left Gully, although smaller than a week ago, is the longest run with the least amount of hazards. We believe this will offer you the most skiing and fun for the least amount of risk.

The weather currently looks ok with some caveats! Tonight and tomorrow the summit may break records for the daily low temperatures along with some snow showers overnight into Saturday morning. High winds will prevail keeping it pretty cold. Expect wintery conditions so plan accordingly with the right clothes.  Temperatures should only climb to 30F tomorrow so plan for hard conditions so pick your ski lines appropriately.  See weather details at:

See you this weekend. Chris

 Posted by at 2:09 pm
May 082015

The jubilation that spring skiing conditions bring in Tuckerman Ravine is colored by the hazards that emerge at the same time. Returning to the hill from days off spent rock climbing in the valley, I noticed the astonishing drop in the depth of the snowpack. Water is flowing all around the mountain including under the snow, the Little Headwall is now a water fall and the vast majority of ice accumulated on the cliffs through the winter months is still clinging in place, but just barely. Though Left Gully and Hillman’s Highway hold good riding and limited consequences for mistakes, the area around the Lip, Center Bowl and Lunch Rocks in a minefield of hazards. While crevasses are still just barely open, the waterfall hole near the Lip brings images of the shark in Jaws lunging for Captain Quint….I would not want to find myself in that horrible gullet. And the ice above Lunch Rocks lurks in the shadows. I made a quick video pan of the Bowl so you can check things out and begin to consider your plans.

Hillman’s Highway and Left Gully are the best options in my mind right now. Limited hazards from ice fall, no crevasses and limited undermining combined with their length, make them a great option. Hillman’s has the advantage of the most vertical without the hike into and back out of the Bowl. The trail out of the Bowl is the only viable descent from the floor at this point. After the quick, but icy in places, hike back down to the Hermit Lake courtyard, intrepid skiers can ski about a half mile down to the rope at crossover #7 and begin the hike back to Route 16.

Weather wise the weekend begins pretty nicely with sun and clouds on Saturday with a chance of thunderstorms very late in the day.  Saturday night this chance builds and Sunday now looks like fog and rain with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms in higher terrain.  This will linger into Monday.