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Thread: Portion of Tuckerman Ravine trail closed 7/18/11 for 4-5 weeks for reconstruction

  1. #1
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Exclamation Portion of Tuckerman Ravine trail closed 7/18/11 for 4-5 weeks for reconstruction

    A portion of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail from above shelters to Alpine Garden trail will be closed for 4-5 weeks starting 7/18/11 for reconstruction.

    From the Forest Service update page

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/whit...in/conditions/

    The Tuckerman Ravine Trail is currently open. A major reconstruction project planned for this summer will require the closure of a significant area of Tuckerman Ravine to all use. This will include the section of the hiking trail from Hermit Lake Shelters to the Alpine Garden trail junction. Work is scheduled to begin July 18 and last 4-5 weeks. In addition to being a significant safety hazard for you and the trail crew, travel through this area during the closure period is a violation of Federal Law (36 CFR Part 261) and will be enforced. Please seek alternate routes for hiking on Mt. Washington."

    No details yet on exact project.
    Chris

    USFS Trails Volunteer / Adopter: West Side Trail (Mt. Chocorua), Sawyer River trail; USFS vol axe instructor; Chatham Trails Association (CTA), Trailwrights

    "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four sharpening my ax" Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    Ouch! Perhaps one of the most popular trails in the Whites closed during perhaps the height of the summer hiking season....yeah, ouch!

    Brian
    Adopter: Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt.16 to Wildcat "D". If you have any issues please contact me!

  3. #3
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    ohhhhh man, I have a group of 10 that are camping at Dolly Copp that were planning on hiking that on either 7/21 or 7/22

  4. #4
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    and FYI this also affects the seek the peak event.....horrendous timing

  5. #5
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    and when was this trail closure announced? just yesterday? this sort of major work should have been announced six months ago...unless I missed something?

    normally I'm all about the needs of trails versus the needs of people, but thousands upon thousands (sometimes 500 in a day) of people plan entire trips around hiking this trail in the summertime

    the USFS is gonna have one heck of a time stopping people from going up there
    Last edited by roadtripper; 07-04-2011 at 06:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    While I'm sure it's a pain, there are several other trails (Lion Head, Boott Spur, Boott Spur Cut-off, Nelson Crag) that offer similar level trips. Sometimes trails need to be worked on. Extra notice would be nice, but Lion Head is a fine alternative.

    It's actually not going to be hard stopping people from going up there. Trail crews and a ranger or two will be sufficient.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  7. #7
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Sure, one could argue "horrendous timing," but would you have the same reaction if the closure started July 23rd? On the other hand, I'd be bummed if in your shoes looking to bring a group into a beautiful place like Tuckerman.

    This is one of those things there is probably no "good" time to do it, but it just needs to be done. Being such a popular trail, it will always ruin someone's plans. Closing the trail will likely make the work faster and safer.

    Like Dave said, there's other great trails in the area. Trails I find more enjoyable to hike, particularly Boote Spur. Longer yes, but quiet and beautiful. (Maybe not as quiet minus the TRT. )

    Rest easy knowing at the other end of this you'll have an improved trail. As always, life goes on...
    Last edited by TDawg; 07-04-2011 at 11:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    Safety and land protection

    I second the moderator's remarks. There are alternate routes offering a very similar experience. Two weeks advance notice is actually quite generous in the trailwork trade, when I have to close a trail segment for rebuilding I just post a notice at trailhead and detour signs for the detour, usually the morning the work starts. It is also true that 1 or 2 rangers is more than enough to enforce a trail closure.

    Now for the safety and land protection aspect: the season when it is physically possible to do this work is short and happens from early July to maybe mid-September, weatherwise. In the White Mtns, the ten-week season when the paid seasonal AMC Trail Crew is at work pretty much coincides with that. Remember that most Trail Crew are undergraduates who must return to college on time. Remember also that there are several other large rebuilding jobs on the list for this season, as posted by Cooperhill a few months ago, and there are only about 16-20 Trail Crew who have the skills and the time to undertake this work. There are a few crews of volunteers with comparable skills, but they can only give a day or two at a time, and of course are committed elsewhere.

    In my imperfect memory, that segment of trail gets rebuilt about every 12-15 years (can some Trail Crew vet help out here?). Aside from the heavy traffic, it is on the headwall of a ravine, an active erosion zone in the post glacial landscape. Very heavy snowfall, torrential downpours, considerable frost action. More energy being gathered and discharged than on gentler terrain in more benign climates.

    The AMC Trail Crew uses rock almost exclusively for trail rebuilding. It has to be gathered from the surrounding landscape and moved to the trail for treadway stabilization and drainage. Consult a copy of [I]Trail Building and Maintenance[I] 3rd or 4th edition. There you will see photos of them moving rock on wire skylines hung from steel tripods and tensioned by Griphoist machines. Having run jobsites where we used this arrangement I can tell you the crew does not need the hiking public anywhere near cables under tension moving rocks. If I hike Lions Head and wish to observe their work I will use binoculars from a safe distance...

    The trail on the headwall is on steep enough terrain that there is no room for any detours around the jobsite, another reason why it is not safe to let the public on the trail before it is rebuilt.

    A calculation of cost/benefit for this job might result in the decision that the trail on the headwall is too expensive to keep when there be alternate routes up the ridges to either side of the ravine. I will not go there, except to say that those of us who like to hike it should just be grateful this work is getting done, since it is for our safety and to lessen our impact on the land.

    Thank you for your patience with this job.

    Creag nan drochaid

  9. #9
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Thank you for a most eloquent post on the rationale for the closure. 99.99% of the peopled affected will not read this and 99% of them WILL be ticked off since it rained on their parade. It's kind of analogous to making a trip to Disneyland and learning that Space Mountain is closed after you've put in for vacation at work and gotten air fare, etc. Sure we can appreciate that things need maintenance, possibly even life-saving maintenance, but likewise it can be a huge downer when it rains on your parade.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  10. #10
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    I obviously appreciate all the work that's going to be done on this trail. Maintenance on the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail must be incredibly difficult. And you guys are right, there is no good time to close it.

    I just think more notice should have been given on a closure that affects one of the absolute classic trails in New England. This is considered by many to be one of the top 5 classic trails in New England. If you drive around the Pinkham Notch parking lot on the average summer Saturday, you'll see at least 15-20 state license plates represented. That's a lot of disappointed roadtrippers!

    To reemphasize my point, I would think that Mt. Monadnock State Park would let people know months in advance if they decided to close the White Dot Trail. Baxter State Park would too if they were going to close the Knife's Edge.
    Last edited by roadtripper; 07-05-2011 at 08:51 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    How is the scenic quality of Lion's Head (summer route) and Boott Spur vs. Tuckerman's Ravine?

    Am I complaining about nothing - are they just as spectacular as Tuckerman's itself?
    Last edited by roadtripper; 07-05-2011 at 12:21 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadtripper View Post
    How is the scenic quality of Lion's Head (summer route) and Boote Spur vs. Tuckerman's Ravine?

    Am I complaining about nothing - are they just as spectacular as Tuckerman's itself?
    They are both quite spectacular. Lion Head has terrific views both into the Ravine and beyond in all directions, and connects above the ravine with several routes both to the top of Mount Washington, and to various other above-treeline areas. Boott Spur is equally scenic.

  13. #13
    Senior Member surf88's Avatar
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    In my oppinion lions head is not inferior. Usually I go up TRT and down Lions Head. But with the closing of the TRT, Lions head may be a conga line on nice days.
    Last edited by surf88; 07-05-2011 at 03:08 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    I prefer the Boott Spur Link to Boott Spur route up Washington, though I do agree that there will be a few disappointed hikers when they discover that Tuckermanís is closed. I do hope they place a large sign at Pinkham notifying hikers of the closure and suggestion alternative routes.
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  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadtripper View Post
    Am I complaining about nothing - are they just as spectacular as Tuckerman's itself?
    Views from Tuckerman Ravine Trail (in the ravine proper):







    Views from Lion Head:








    Have not yet been to Boott Spur. Hope to change that soon. The ravine is well-known around New England, almost synonymous with Mount Washington and famous for spring skiing. Thus, people who plan one ascent of one peak might wish to choose Mount Washington via Tuckerman's Ravine.

    Tim
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 07-05-2011 at 02:24 PM.
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