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Skiing Mount Washington - February 22, 2017

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  • Skiing Mount Washington - February 22, 2017

    Someone gave me a free pass for the Great Glen Trails xc ski area and I decided to take advantage of it to ski legally up the Mount Washington auto road yesterday (2/22).
    After a leisurely morning with my family, I started out from the base of the auto road at around 12:30. The temperature at the base was on the mid 40s and I quickly was down to skiing in a tee shirt which lasted for the rest of the day.

    Iíve skied on a section of the road before where it is a part of a loop including OJR and Connieís Way and it was an icy affair with frozen ruts due to the stage traffic that takes tourists up to timberline and back. This time, on a very warm day following a week of heavy snows was a perfect combination for skiing the auto road.

    This was by far the most uphill skiing Iíve ever done (from the base at 1565 feet up to 4100 feet) and it was much easier than I thought it would be. I did a little bit of striding here and there but mostly a steady uphill herringbone walk which was surprisingly like just another snowshoe hike on long skinny snowshoes. This may be due to the steady grade of the road that doesnít get too steep for auto traffic facilitating a fairly narrow herringbone.

    Several times I was passed by the stage vans (in their winter continuous track configuration), but did not see another skier once I left the groomed trails. I turned around after reaching timberline near the junction with the Chandler Brook Trail after a lengthy stop to enjoy the great views of the northern Presidential range.

    Just before starting the 4-mile downhill ski, the Mount Washington Observatory tractor passed shuttling some people back to the valley. It was moving very slowly and I thought about jumping in front of it and skiing ahead of it but thought better of pressuring myself into rushing down the hill. I waited until the tractor was considerably away from me before starting down and didnít catch up to it until near the bottom, so that was a good decision. It made quite a mess of the snow surface (more so than the smaller van tracks), but the warm weather and softness of the snow mitigated that somewhat.

    As I skied down the surface was starting to ice a little but I was back at the car around 4:30. The thoughts in my head centered around how glad I was I had done this ski and wishing I could share it. The photos speak for themselves:

  • #2
    Thanks for TR, great pics, I wonder what it looks right now after the heat wave.........
    8000m 0/14