We headed north this New Years weekend to chase the snow, hoping to get on the cross-country (XC) or back-country (BC) skis for a bit. What we didn’t expect, was a bout of warm weather. We rented a place (the Loft) we stayed at over Christmas in 2016, practically on Route 16 near the Androscoggin Ranger Station in Gorham, NH. It’s the perfect spot for hiking, skiing and relaxing.
The forecast for Saturday was bleh. Warm temperatures and rain found us sleeping in (till 9am) and cooking a leisurely breakfast. While John caught up on Backpacker Magazine issues, I worked on a crocheting project and together we contemplated whether to go “into town”. I loathe Conway…tourists, meh. John talked me into a drive to Peter Limmer and Son to check out their line of boots. Limmers are, according to their website, “world famous custom and stock boot” makers. We have friends with more than one pair, so we wanted to see what they were all about.
Sadly, the overseas company that made their stock boots is no longer doing so and thus had no boots to purchase. John made conversation with one of the Limmers who told us they are in the process of rebuilding their own stock over the winter and to check back in the spring. We’ll see.
Back at the Loft, I baked chocolate chip cookies as we looked over maps and weather forecasts. Due to the high winds, we decided on a low elevation hike to the bowl of Tuckerman’s Ravine. I was hopeful we’d be entertained by some daredevil skiers.
Avalanche danger was moderate and we saw many people headed up the trail. Some folks were skinning their way up on skis, while others had trail crampons (like us) and some even bare-booted (no traction). We passed nearly all of the skinners and sweat our way to the bowl where we saw a small group of people climbing down the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail into the bowl! Slowly but surely, boots punching into the side of the steep wall. We bundled up and enjoyed a warm lunch of carrot ginger soup before heading back down.
As we headed back down, I stopped at the “winter toilets” – BEST EVER! Then, we decided to be adventurous and took a short side trail that led us to the Huntington Ravine Trail and then skirted back onto the Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail. Since I didn’t get to see a skier in the bowl, we cut across to the Hillmans Ski Trail and waited for a skier…we saw one.
We returned to the Loft where John enjoyed a pint and coooked some easy stir-fry. Now that I think of it, we may have had an appetizer of chocolate chip cookies. We hit the hay early, perusing through maps for the following days adventure.