A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

First backcountry ski of the season

January 6, 2009
Emilie Phillips

Sunday we went skiing with the AMC. The trip was supposed to ski up to the base of Tuckermans and back down the Sherborne. Unfortunately the Sherborne was in horrible shape — ice patches mixed with bare patches. So instead we decided to try the Gulf of Slides trail since it wouldn’t have blown off. It was in fact better, although the snow was still hard, and there were plenty of exposed rocks and branches. As we went up farther, conditions seemed to be getting worse. A bunch of us decided we didn’t feel like skiing back down any more of it, so we parked our skis and hiked. Tyson and Jen were the only two who stayed on skis. Initially the trail continued to degrade, so taking off the skis looked like the right choice. Then nearer to the top, the snow improved drastically to the best snow on the trail. The hikers gave up and turned around because we were postholing too much. Jen and Tyson continued until they could actually see the gulf. We ended up waiting a bit for the two of them at the meet-up point, so even with some decent snow, skiing down still wasn’t much faster than walking. For the rest of the way down, people did a combination of skiing and hiking, and a decent bit of the skiing involved snow plows and side slips.

There is more snow in the forecast, and what is there will work fine as a base.

Photos are available here.