I’ve often seen the sign for for the untracked Avalanche Brook Trail at the bottom of the Gulf of Slides trail, but never taken it. Over the past two years, Al, one of the NH AMC ski committee members, adopted the trail. He cleared blow downs and cut back the brush to a proper ski trail width. The only thing he couldn’t fix was two damaged bridges.
The trail now suitable for skiing, Al led an AMC trip from Pinkham Notch down to Rocky Branch. It was blisteringly cold at the top, -9F, and howling wind. So only three of us braved the trip. The trail is very much like a shorter Cedar Brook. It climbs up the side slopes of Mt Washington to a few views between the trees. Then it drops and traverses back down to the road at Rocky Branch. Once we escaped the pandemonium of ice climbers and Tuckerman’s skiers at Pinkham, it was a nice quiet backcountry trip. The trail is suitable for cross country skis, but the climbs and downhill runs are strenuous.
We finished the 6 miles in 3 hours. Everyone’s fingers were warm, which was a good thing because the few times I had taken my hands out of my mittens they screamed in pain in less than a minute. We all had cold toes. And the car wouldn’t start at first. We didn’t get many pictures. Al’s camera froze after one photo. My camera battery died as soon as it’s hand warmer gave out.
Now that Al has cleared the trail, it’s definitely worth skiing. You’ll need two cars for the run around.