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Skiing the Great Gulf

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Stuck in North Eastern Pennsylvania for the summer, far from my beloved Chamonix I felt the need to skiing on my day off – knowing that soon as summer camp really starts time off will be in short supply. The nearest snow to me is on Mt Washington in the Presidential range in New Hampshire, some 430 long miles away.
After a long drive, not wanting to hike for three hours to ski Tuckerman’s Ravine as I did last year, I opted for the lazy drive up the ‘auto road’. Built in the late 1850’s this is an impressive road by anyone’s standards, Clinging to the mountainside over a climb of some 4000 ft.



On my way up I spied a snow Patch on neighboring Mt Jefferson. But nearing the summit I noticed snow patches in some of the gullies of the ‘Great Gulf’ My first conquest of the day.



A five minute walk from the car took me to the top of the most snow filled gully. To my disappointment, not much snow. I was there anyway so may as well ski it. 12 very tight turns down a 10ft wide 50 degree slope with a 1000ft boulder field below!
Scrambling back up I almost put my crampons on. Ok I was only climbing 30 feet or so, but slush on ice between rock walls is just not nice.



Back at the top my attention turned to the snow patch over on Jefferson. By looking at the hills the distance to the next peak would be a long way in the alps, but in north Wales it would be half an hour or so. These mountains look like Snowdonia, just a little bigger. Off I headed. An hour and a half later I was stood on the shoulder and the snow patch must have been 200ft beyond some low bushes…..an hour later I staggered out onto the snow. The toughest bush bashing I’ve ever done. Clothes torn, clips on my boots bent and my poles and my Ice Axe dropped somewhere
The snow patch itself wasn’t that long but at lest it was wide, wide enough for a few sweeping carves.





My hike back to Mt Washington was through its infamous changeable weather. Hot sunshine, biting cold wind, some rain and plenty of moving clouds.
Just before reaching the summit I passed the Cog railway a strange affair. Despite being some 150 years old it sill rattles its way to the summit on wooden trestles.



Unfortunately it looks like I won’t be skiing snow again for a few months.
post #2 of 7
Tom,

Only jealousy makes me ask you - How do you earn a living? What do you
do during the few weeks that you are not skiing - that pays your skiing expenses
the rest of the year :-)

marty
post #3 of 7
Yeah, inquiring minds want to know!

And if you're really jonesin', you can always go south young man, Portillo has gotten 24" in the last 24 hours.
post #4 of 7
Tom, great photos! I trust you upheld the local tradition of mooning the cog?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
Tom,

Only jealousy makes me ask you - How do you earn a living? What do you
do during the few weeks that you are not skiing - that pays your skiing expenses
the rest of the year :-)

marty
I worked all winter for a British Holiday company in Chamonix, I'm working the summer with kids with ADHD...last year I probably mare about $8000 usa....but skied 100 days in 5 countries!...might have to get a real job this fall, I am 30 and stil have 6 student loans!
post #6 of 7
Nice pictures Tom!!

Money can't buy what you are doing ..... LIVE THE DREAM!
post #7 of 7
Nice pictures! Too bad about the skiing. In a normal good year those chutes are a lot of fun.
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