Last April, on a whim, Kelly and I signed up for the Tuckerman Inferno. For those unacquainted, the Inferno is a pentathlon with solo categories, two-man team and five-man team categories. We entered as duo. I would lead off with an 8+ mile run (with over 400 feet of hill climbing). Kelly would take the second leg, navigating down the only recently thawed Saco River for 6+ miles, after which she would transition to the bike leg: 18 miles, nearly entirely uphill for a whopping 2000′ feet of climbing. At Pinkham Notch Kelly would tag me and I’d set off on the last two stages of the race, the trail run, followed by the ski race. The trail run consists of about 2000′ of hiking via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, before a transition to ski gear for the final 800′ or so of climbing before skiing back down to Pinkham. Check out the full course map, below.
Fortunately neither Kelly nor I have made it into any future editions of Not Without Peril, by Nicholas Howe during this weekend’s adventure, but it did serve as a succinct reminder to not underestimate the mountain…
We were up in North Conway for ESAW and though that we should really take advantage of the mountains as long as we were there. It didn’t seem like there was much worthwhile skiing to be had, so we opted for a hike. I picked a seemingly benign loop out of Pinkham Notch: Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Lion Head Trail, then south via Alpine Garden and Tuckerman Cutoff, and finally back down by way of Davis Path and Boot Spur Trail.
Even though it basically didn’t snow last season, we were determined to get after it. In the end, I was so thrilled with out accomplishments during such trying times, I decided to whip up a season encompassing highlight reel. If this is season even approaches last season in awesomeness I’ll be content.
Your alarm wakes you up at 8 am. It’s snowing lightly. On another Christmas morning, maybe you head downstairs and open presents, but not this day. You make a quick cup of coffee, and eat some sticky oatmeal. Soon you’re on the road with your favorite tunes playing.