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Snowboarding Tuckermans on Mt. Washington

03-26-2005

Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

8 miles with 4250 feet of gain
  • Washington (6288 Feet, NH) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     This was my first trip to the Whites and I was definitely not disappointed. We drove up Friday night, Dave-Johnny was supposed to meet us at noon but we didn't end up leaving until around 3. After 6-8 hours of driving we arrived at Addario's parent's house in Berlin, NH. We woke up early Saturday and began our hike. Hiking up Washington was like nothing I've ever seen before. The climb up to Ho-jos was uneventful and soon we were at the base of the bowl. I opted for crampons (since I carried them anyways) and we climbed up the Right Gully. The climb up the gully was fun and the views from the top were amazing.

      From the top of the gully to the summit seemed to take forever. We arrived at the summit, took pictures, and changed into our ski gear. We had planned on descending the snowfields near the summit however the setting sun had cast a shadow on the snowfields turning them from snow to ice. We wasted at least 45 minutes looking for a way down before we decided it was safest to re-climb and descend back to tuckermans via the trail.

      Once we got to the snowfields above tuckermans again we put on our gear and skied down to the lip of the bowl. Here we looked down and decided to descent. Here's where I made my mistake.

      The powdery snow that we climbed in the morning had changed to icy hard pack in the shade of the afternoon. As I skied over the lip I was confronted with the steepness and I panicked. I ended up sliding over to the boot track where I began to slide on my back. From there I made the EXTREMELY bad choice of trying to put my board down to self arrest. This action caused me to catch an edge and fall forwards. It was a weird sensation when I fell forward and "missed" the ground. I tumbled down the entire length of the headwall for what seemed like an eternity. Sometimes sliding, occasionally completing an entire flip in the air before hitting the ground again. Eventually I slid to a stop at the bottom of the ravine. As I sat up on all fours I noticed blood dripping to the snow. The tumble was the worst fall of any kind that i've ever had and I was fearful that I was seriously hurt but in shock and not feeling it. Slowly I took handfuls of snow to find out where I was bleeding from and luckily it turned out to be just a bloody nose.

      Somehow I managed to escape the tumble without any serious injury (I suspect that my ski poles in my pack (above my head) had prevented me from landing head first on a few of my tumbles). Eventually Addario and Dave-Johhny skied down and we all continued down the sherbourne trail to the parking lot.

      That night we enjoyed a great dinner from Mrs. Addario and then I went to bed, still shook up from the day's events.

      The next morning we got up, ate breakfast, and then went to North Conway to look at the outdoor shops.

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

Summiting Mt. Washington
The views were amazing
Being in an alpine zone almost all day

The Bad:

almost dying by tumbling down the headwall

The Drive

Despite driving late it wasn't too bad

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