Date of Hike: Mar. 10, 2013

Trail Conditions: The four lane highway that is the lower half of Tuckerman Ravine Tr was thoroughly packed out, appeared nearly "groomed" from the Cat and snow rangers' snowmobiles and was easy walking with spikes. Lion Head Tr (Winter Route) was a bit deeper and softer (especially in the afternoon), but not by much. No blowdowns, no crossings, just the well-trodden steeps packed out by a conga line of mountaineers.

Special Equipment Used: We used microspikes to the Lion Head winter route first aid cache, and crampons were used the rest of the way, and this is what I would recommend (no snowshoes needed today, not on those trails). We also each used an ice axe. Trekking poles were not necessary at all and barring the start, stayed in my pack all day. Some folks barebooted on the steeps, and one fellow used tubular frame snowshoes. They all made it, luckily, but regretted not having better equipment to make it up those early sections with greater security and ease. Postholing wasn't really an issue anywhere. One pro-led group employed the use a ropes for ascent, but mostly for added safety and climbing practice. Another private group top-roped the steeper sections on descent. The lines weren't as bad as it could be, and being a warm day, everyone seemed happy to hang out and watch the fun. Smiles from start to finish on the faces of all we met.

Comments: Hiked this one Samantha Brady (from MWOBS), and met the staff and toured the facility up there. A lot of fun that was and quite interesting. This was followed by a NH SAR banquet at the PNVC where I met a bunch of amazing people. When I move up north I intend to volunteer with AVSAR so attending was a very positive thing. I hiked Mt Moriah the day before, which was awesome, but MW via this route, and with all the value-added fun, was even more awesome. What a great day!

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
Nottingham NH