Last weekend, I said it was my last ski trip of the year. This weekend is definitely the last ski trip. We wouldn’t have bothered, except the Mount Washington Ski Patrol needed some volunteers to haul the rescue sled back up to Gulf of Slides. (See the incident reports.) We volunteered as did some of our friends. We heard that the Gulf of Slides trail was skiable 90% of the way down. Tyson decided he couldn’t bear getting up to Gulf of Slides and not having skis. So we brought our skis. The sled ended up being really light. The other folks in light hiking gear easily outpaced Isaac in his ski boots. We saw the last of them at the second stream crossing.
Lots of snow had melted since the prior weekend. We hiked most of the way up to Gulf of Slides carrying skis in our packs. It’s not fun hiking with that heavy of a pack. Nor is it fun hiking on a muddy trail in ski boots. Tyson and I tolerated it. Isaac was sure this was the worst day ever. Once we finally made it to the snow, the skiing was pretty good. The snow was soft, even when the sun went behind the clouds. We caught up with Brian and Ted leading another AMC group. Isaac practiced using his new crampons and ice axe. He felt a lot more secure than on Hillman’s with microspikes. Tyson and Isaac both did their first run on the Main Slide. I am pretty sure I have skied it before, though I am not quite sure when. We ran out of energy before getting around to practicing self arrests with the ice axe. Summer vacation to a glacier?
The difference in snow this year compared to previous years is shocking. April 7, 2019 we skied from the parking lot with good coverage.
April 15, 2018, the main slide had 6 more feet of snow. These pictures show we were standing on top of the trees three years ago. This weekend we were down in the trees at the same point in the ravine.