I've been researching a lot about this, and still have a lot of questions. This is all thanks to an eventual goal of going up to Tuckerman Ravine. This plan is at least a year away (I doubt a lot of people are going to do Tuckerman anyway this year), maybe even two years. I don't have a great lungs, so I need to start climbing more to get in better shape.
I'll continue this post with other places I would like to attempt this. To start off, I would probably climb up Wildcat, like I see people doing every weekend. Another destination I have in mind is up the Tuckerman Trail to ski down Sherburne. Do people commonly do this in the middle of winter? How far can you go and still steer clear of the avalanche areas? Is Hojo's the limit to avoid the avalanche area?
Next questions is about the method of going up. Another option besides skinning is carrying everything (skis, etc) on the back. This may work for Tuckerman in the spring or Wildcat, but I doubt it would work going up the Tuckerman Trail mid winter. This is where the decision-making is a little harder. Carrying everything is hard on the back (I'm only used to carrying about 5 lbs, nevermind 30+), and AT skiing would be hard on the wallet (since it seems, doing it correctly, I would have to buy another set of boots, skis, and bindings). I read somewhere that uphill ski traffic is allowed on the Sherburne trail, but doesn't it get bumped up in the spring? Is that even doable with skins?
I found out about the BCA Alpine Trekker. Many people don't seem to like it much, but it would at least allow me to try this out. With the addition of skins, I could probably get away with my current skis and boots. I have Head Rev 80s and Soul Riders. The Revs are a little lighter, but the Soul Riders would be the better ski to have in the conditions I would encounter. Another option would be to rent AT gear. Do most shops in North Conway rent AT gear?