Sometimes skiing has a way of sneaking up on you.
I got home from work around 8 focused solely on making dinner, drinking a beer and calling it a night in preparation for getting up super early to make the trek to Mount Washington. I’d been up there a number of years ago during the summer, and knew to expect a short but steep trip uphill to the lunch rocks. I was braced for getting up early, shooting down some human rocket fuel energy drinks and getting after it, but when the first thing out of Adam’s mouth when he saw me was “You all packed? We’re leaving at midnight!”, my head started spinning a bit………..
Midnight……….. That’s in three hours! @#$%&*!!!!!!
So I went to bed hunting some beauty sleep, knowing I was going to wake up in all sorts of ugly. Without even enough time to roll over and start snoring, Craig from CS Films is attacking the door with a vengeance, and next thing I know I’m stuffing half charged batteries into my camera pack, basically falling down the stairs, out the door, and into the car. Fast forward three hours of three dudes in a mid-sized car, and we arrived at Pinkham Notch – just in time to wake the sleeping MacMahoooon. Everybody was more beat than was expected at that point, so a quick shred-nap in the car was in order.
We got up and started gearing up not long after that. Tweak the Alpine Trekkers, test the lights, radios, beacons, fill the water bottles…. game on! Adam and Chris zipped up the skin in no time flat, and beat the entourage (Craig and yours truly) to HoJo’s hut by a good margin. From there, we made like a herd of turtles, headed up, and after a short stint of n00b involving me blowing up a trekker and sliding ass-over-teakettle backwards, we made it to the base of the ravine.
Adam and Chris went to work scouting their line and prepping their plan of attack, and settled on a steep, sun-drenched face which seemed to have a solid cover of spring snow on it. In the meantime, Craig and I went to work calling the play by play of the terrifyingly un-prepared people hiking up, and later tumbling down the headwall. Granted the avalanche danger was rated low for the day, but when two girls arrived with round saucers, we knew the junk show was coming in full force.
After watching the crew hike up their first line, and commenting on the gathering crowd at the base (who hikes Tucks with a 5 foot pirate flag?!?!), it was showtime. Adam got the first turns, which looked buttery smooth and funneled out right into the valley below to hoots and hollers. Chris was right behind, with much the same results – steep, fast, spring skiing.
Chris and Adam ate a quick lunch and then set off for a second line, which turned out somewhere in the mediocre range. Between the beginnings of wet-slide sluff-alanches and the growing number of tourists in the ravine, things were starting to get a bit hairy. Combine that with a weather front moving in, and Adam getting stuck in 60mph winds at the top of the headwall for about twenty minutes, we decided to call it a day. Making our way down, I managed to shralp my way around an pair of exploded sledding saucers, and the very angry blonde girl and boyfriend that were formerly attached to them. It seems that saucers are not a good method of transit down the ski trail out of Tucks – note to self.
We made out way down to Moat’s brewpub, where the hot item seems to be the “Family Dinner”. Combine a platter of chicken, pork, brisket, ribs, potatoes, beans and all the rest of the trimmings with good, cheap beer, and you have the perfect apres-shred feast of fools. Somehow over the course of dinner we managed to translate the waitress’s name from Kristen to Katatatatataatatatatata, which became the running joke for the rest of the drive home.
All in all, a good shred mission to the biggest peak on this side of the country!