First Proper Tour of the Year

First Day of Ski Touring on Mount Washington This Year

Had a nice outing with Keith. Skinned up to Gulf of Slides to check out the gullies which still had a ways to go. Getting out there this early in the season was a great reminder of exactly how much snow this mountain gets. The 12+ foot trees at the entrance to the main gully become almost completely buried and look like shrubs by mid winter. Seeing the amount shwacking that would be involved with going into the gully, and wanting to play it safe because I’m not definitely not in prime ski shape, Keith and I ripped skins and just made our way back down the GOS trail.

It was tough going. Keith was feeling the burn in his quads and I was feeling my lack of soft-snow-skiing skill. The conditions went from hard pack skin track to multi-foot deep unconsolidated heavy snow that stopped all momentum. Add in a lot of rocks, bushes and down tress just under the surface and it made for some real survival skiing.

I stopped at the car to dump some gear and then we headed up to Hermit Lake. Keith’s legs were burning and my feet were feeling cramped from not being in ski boots for a while. But it was all worth it for the ride down the Sherburne. With the exception of some open water bars and a couple of bare spots the snow was perfect.

It was a pretty solid day of skiing and nice wake up call for the legs. Let’s hope this mid-November early winter thing keeps up.