View Full Version : ammo ravine in winter?

10-31-2004, 10:47 AM
does anyone know what the status of the cog base and mount clinton roads is going to be this winter? i have never dared to drive out there myself once the threat of gate closures loomed, but last year noticed many people were using the ammo trail throughout the winter. i also remember some discussion about the gates possibly remiaining officially open and allowing access to the trailhead from cog parking. i think that would be fantastic if it's true.
thanks for your help.


David Metsky
10-31-2004, 11:04 AM
The Cog is going to be operating a ski train this winter, so the road to the base station should be maintained and open. No idea if they will gate it at night, no word on plowing out the Ammy lot, but someone posted that hikers could park in the Cog lot for $5/day. You can climb the Ammy directly from the base station and save some distance for the cut-off from the new parking area back to the main trail.

It's unclear if the Mt Clinton Road will be plowed and/or gated. A call to the rangers is probably your best bet to be sure.


10-31-2004, 12:30 PM
The base road will be plowed starting this winter, according to MountWashington.org:

"Western approaches, such as the Jewell Trail or Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, saw few winter visits in the past, as they could only be accessed with a long walk in from Route 302. With plowing of the Base Road to the Cog Railway starting in the winter of 2004-2005, the pattern of winter use on this side of the mountain will probably change."

It has been the Cog's practice in past summers to allow hikers to pay for parking in the Cog lot and thus start the Ammo trail at the old trailhead, not the newer one that is further away. Presumably, this practice will continue in winter 2004-2005 provided they plow out enough of the lot to allow space for non-railway customers.

At first I thought the long struggle between the Cog and state and federal agencies (NH Fish & Game etc.) had come to end, and the Cog had finally prevailed with its plan of taking skiers all the way to the top and then letting them hike over to Tucks and ski down. But, no, the privately-owned Cog is running a rather different operation. There will be two stops, one 15 minutes up for a beginner run, and the second at Waumbek for the intermediate run. There will be 4 groomed trails with an 1100' vertical drop.

The Cog says it will handle safety itself with certified, professional ski patrollers monitoring the trails. The nearby boundaries of WMNF will be clearly marked so skiers don't stray off the Cog border on the trip down. I can't quite visualize skiing down alongside these trains?

Bottom line: smoke in the winter now too. I thank my lucky stars once again that the original plan to put ski trails on Mt. Lafayette failed. Cannon got them instead.

This is still the situation with the Mt. Clinton Rd as far as I know although changes may be in the offing with the ski trail start up. I think the Clinton Rd was privately plowed for use by the Cog winter crew but if the whole base road will be plowed now they may no longer need to plow Clinton:

"The Mount Clinton Road is officially gated at the Crawford Path parking area, but in recent years has been privately plowed to the Base Station. The trailhead lots have not been plowed and anyone driving in risks being locked inside."

Jim lombard
11-01-2004, 01:15 PM
I can't quite visualize skiing down alongside these trains?

From the top of where they'll drop of skiers there is a fairly wide strip of land running along the right side of the tracks. I'm not a skier but having walked down it in early spring I can't imagine it comparing well with other ski areas. I hope it tanks to be quite honest.

11-01-2004, 02:10 PM
I must be missing something but if I were a downhill skier, I think I'd prefer to go across the road to Bretton Woods. Is this supposed to be a backcountry adventure or what?

Jim lombard
11-01-2004, 02:18 PM
That's what they're calling it, rates are $59 per day and $25 for a single ride. I wonder if they'll give them dust masks to filter out the black soot you'd likely have to ski through.