Mt Washington via Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head (summer route) Trails - 10/4

Help Support

NH Tramper

Apr 10, 2012
Reaction score
North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.
Date of Hike: Oct 4, 2014

Trail Conditions: The fine drizzle meant everything was damp and that made the newly modified Tuckerman Ravine Trail slick and muddy. Not soupy, but a mess nonetheless. I had previously noticed some of the work on that trail while working in the area. But I hadn't ascended further than Crystal Cascade. Today, heading to the summit by way of the summer Lion Head Trail detour, I got to see the majority of the lower trail... and I don't know what to make of it. There are now many rather huge dirt and rock waterbars spanning the trail! They are difficult to step over and difficult to climb into and out of again, so the trail bottlenecks at the narrow obvious crossings left (and one of those is tiny), or it could on a busy day. Perhaps the work is in progress. I'm guessing it is. But I can't say I like the changes so far. Seems drastic. And it looks like the work of heavy machinery. Moreover, the movement of all those rocks has made many of them unstable. Beware, the footing can be rather unstable. The upper part of the trail to the summit was pretty usual, though it looks like some scree walls are being built and trail defined. I think. The bit past the Alpine Garden Trail junction was dry. The Lionhead Trail (summer) was rocky, steep, fun, and all that stuff. Normal.

Special Equipment Used: None, though I did have trekking poles.

Comments: I hiked this as part of team of guides and participants in an Aid Climb offered by the company I work for: Northeast Mountaineering. This year's charity is three families of fallen Boston firefighters. We brought up three groups, well-staggered, 22 people, 20 of which made summit. And the families... they get $8500.00. Not only that, as the sun rose (we ascended at night) we were blessed with a spectacular, all-encompassing undercast that offered us puffy down comforters and satin pillows. It was awesome.

Side Note: Construction on the Sherman Adams building left it potentially inaccessible in the winter. I don't know, but there are big garage doors up there and such. If they don't leave one door open, or allow it to be opened, a well-loved sanctuary from the summit's fury will be gone. Granted, we don't have a building on Mt Adams and survive, but it was welcome, though.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH