Mt Washington Slackcountry

Posted by: on May 16, 2009 | No Comments

Skiing in May? Hells yes! With the Auto Road open, and (most) of my work done for the semester, it was a perfect time to head north and see what’s left in the hills. We drove up Friday night and camped on the Intervale platform, getting to the Auto Road at 7:30, first in line for it to open at 8. Greg of course had to go get breakfast, so we weren’t actually the first ones up, but there was still plenty left by the time we got there.

The great thing about driving up is that we had fresh legs for the descent, meaning more runs on the steeps, and less time slogging uphill. The downside of driving is the cost, $40 for a carload, and the fact that little pebbles kept getting stuck in my brake rotors and screeching like sirens. But at least I got a bumper sticker that now proclaims that my roof box “climbed Mt. Washington.”

Great Gulf was sick, as always. We did three runs, 800 feet vertical each, at over a 45 degree pitch. The hardcore guys ventured off to some even sicker terrain, but I was happy stretching my legs on Airplane’s relatively open slop. Spacewalk sounded a little too exciting for me, with a 60 degree slope and a right angle dogleg in the middle.

After our third run, the wind picked up and the weather took a drastic turn for the worse. The wind rose and our sunny spring day disappeared under the clouds. Gusts over 60 mph made the climb back to the car a little spicy with our skis acting as sails on our packs. But we all made it fine, and drove up to the summit for a “topless on top” picture. That one may not make it on the internet, due to partial nudity. But I think the rest speak for themselves.

Looking down

Looking down

Storing our perishables

Storing our perishables

Panorama from Camp

Panorama from Camp

Bottom of the run

Bottom of the run

Chillin on it

Chillin on it

Mammiferous clouds herald bad weather

Mammiferous clouds herald bad weather

Google Earth Summary

Google Earth Summary