Trip Report: Mt. Washington, NH & Tuckerman Ravine

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Don’t Go Here Trip Reports: Mt. Washington Summer Recon

by Death Cookies

An excellent weather window for the Presidential Range meant it was time to not only check Mt. Washington off my summit list, but most importantly recon some ski terrain in and around Tuckerman Ravine.


Matt and I got an early start from Vermont and arrived at Hermit Lake by 9am where we would camp for the evening.

Walking out the next morning validated our decision to go on a Friday when the crowds would be lighter…weekend leading into July 4th Pinkham Notch was jammed.

Thankfully, the crowds were very light at HoJo’s, we nearly had the place to ourselves. A bit different from the last time I was here.

This video gives a nice perspective of the difference a few months can make in the ravine.

Tuckerman, two ways from Jon Miller on Vimeo.

Looking up at the Boott Spur ridge from the deck at HoJo’s. Hillman’s Highway is the prominent rock slide coming down from the right. No hint of the size of the boulders or the depth of the slide path in the winter, when everything is smoothed over into a nice lazy gully by the snow.

Dodge’s Drop in the middle, Cathedral to the left.



Climbed the Tuckerman trail to the Bigelow Lawn, past the last remainders of the snow pack still hanging on for dear life as we enter July.

Ascending what is Sluice in the wintertime.



Topping out on the Bigelow Lawn, Hermit Lake way down below. Lion’s Head to the left.

Obligatory summit pic. There was a horde of tourists just out of view who had just arrived via the cog railway. Buzz kill.

Now over to the west side. Looking down (south) at Lakes of the Clouds and Mt. Monroe in the distance, and the broad expanse of the top of the Ammonoosuc Ravine to the right. Lots and lots of acreage between here and the treeline.

From Monroe, looking back (north) at the Washington summit cone on the left, Lakes of the Clouds below, and into Oakes Gulf on the right, with Boott Spur summit behind.

Highlight of the day: fantastic vistas from the rocky outcroppings on the Boott Spur ridge. No GoPros were harmed in the writing of the blog.

A bit of everything. Cathedral to the right, variations of Dodge’s Drop in the left foreground, Hillman’s beyond that with the rock slide/run leading all the way down towards Hermit Lake middle-right of the pic.

Plus, the entry into Tuckerman with Lion’s Head above, and in the far distance the top of Huntington Ravine.

This must be one of the best vistas on the whole mountain!

Don’t go here.

The upper entrances to Dodge’s Drop are steep and committing. Great intel on these lines in my summer reading post.

A less intense entrance to Cathedral to the right…

…viewed from the top. Straight down to Hermit Lake.

Quick peek, looking south into the Gulf of Slides.

The Boott Spur Trail, while steep and rugged (likely a boot pack in winter), offers fantastic descents in either direction. Walk 100 yards to the north to drop into any of the aforementioned lines, or go 100 yards to the south and you’re standing at the top of the north side of GOS.

Coming down off Boott Spur…the connector link back to Hermit Lake also offers great views into Tuckerman.

Also, after seeing hundreds of people around the summit cone, we saw only two people the rest of the day once we got to the Boott Spur trail.

Thankfully, nobody goes there.

No turns earned, but these sure were.


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One thought on “Trip Report: Mt. Washington, NH & Tuckerman Ravine

  1. Good article.
    I’ve done Tucks many times, always over Memorial Day.
    Way more snow than you guys had.

    Down side is it always seems to rain that weekend.

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