I went to Tucks on Tuesday this week (4/22/2014). Here is my summary (I will add some pic's in a day or two):
Went up with a group of 13 people, combination of parents and boy scouts. All but two carried up skis. Not the perfect weather day, but not bad. Mix of overcast with some periods of sun, 40's at the top and 60's at the bottom. We hiked up the Tuck's trail. It was 95% snow covered and in pretty good condition. Mostly walking on snow pack with some bare spots and some soft ice spots. Once past the the half way point, almost all semi melted snow pack. Since it was mid-week, not very crowded and a pleasant hike up. Had lunch at HoJo's and then the group decided to hike up Hillman's Highway and ski, rather than hike the additional 45 minutes to Tuckerman Ravine. You could see into the ravine very clearly from HoJo's. The top of the head wall / lower snowfield was all rock and no snow. Plenty of snow inside the bowl, but you will be walking if you hike above the headwall and want to come down in a different location. Lots of big ice outcroppings that are about ready to let loose. Advisory to avoid lunch rocks and stay on opposite side of the bowl.
We went to Hillman's, which is right behing HoJo's and outside of the ravine, it was much safer and no ice danger. Lot's of exposed rock on Hilmans, but the highway was snow all the way to the top, which was expose rock, and the snowfields to the right of the highway were skiable. You could not go lower down to what is called, lower headwall (below Tuckerman Ravine) unless you wanted to walk all the way back up the snow fields. We all skied the Highway and it was good. Very, very soft snow that was like being on a sugar pile and crumbling under your weight. I personally only went about 1/2 way up (due to lack of conditioning), some in my group went about 3/4 up. Everyone enjoyed the ski down and the youngest decided it was more fun to slide down than ski.
After a rest stop back at HoJo's, it was time to ski the Sherborne trail back down. The upper half was soft moguls and a lot of fun to ski. I would rate it a black level due to the narrowness and moguls. Not real steep, but pretty narrow in spots. After the halfway point, melting and bare spots were getting worse. Lot's of taking off skis, hiking down over mud, skiing a few hundred feet again, and then repeat. At the 3/4 mark, I cut over to the Tuckerman trail and put my hiking boots back on for the remainder of the downhill. By this time in the day, the tuck trail was much worse, lots of water running everywhere, lots of ice sheets, and lots of snow pack breaking up. A bit treacherous, but we made it down fine.
To sum it up, I would recommend waiting a week or two to let the Tuck's trail melt out and dry up. Otherwise, you will need some cat tracks or other traction add ons to your hiking boots for the lower half of the trail. I didn't use any and was fine on the way up, but lots of slipping on the way down, the melting was that severe and advancing. The skiable terrain wont change much in the next two weeks, except I think the sherborne will be closed in a day or two, at least the lower half. At the top, almost all the rocks are bare that melt out and uncover. In a week or two, the dangerous ice will let loose and fall, and then it will be much safer. I usually go in May and the hiking part is much dryer and easier at that time.
Edited by bttocs - 5/1/14 at 6:28pm