Saturday, February 2, 2013

Skiing the Sherbie

Combine a love of hiking and skiing into a perfect afternoon in the Whites.
Hiking up the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake Shelter
        Last weekend I had my first non-park alpine skiing adventure.  This was a great activity for me because it combined winter hiking (which I love), skiing (which I love), and not spending any money on a lift ticket (which I love!)
        Matt and I drove up to AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center/Joe Dodge Lodge in the White Mountains, NH. We arrived around noon and planned to hike to Hermit Lake Shelter then ski the 2 mile John Sherburne Ski Trail (nicknamed the "Sherbie") back to the Lodge parking lot.
While loading up our pack in the parking lot, we ran into friend Tyler who had just finished the run.      He warned that the Sherbie was icy and rated it a "black diamond" that day.  Ready for another run, he decided to gear up and go for a second trek.
        The hike up the wide Tuckerman's Ravine trail in packed snow was highly enjoyable, and although I was nervous for my first "backcountry" skiing, I really enjoyed the winding Sherbie ski trail.  I'd love to try it again on a powder day!

Below is more information you need to recreate this adventure...

Drive:  2.5 hour drive from Kennebunk, ME to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center/Joe Dodge Lodge on Rt. 16, NH.

Trail Up: Hike up Tuckerman's Ravine Trail.
Winter View from Hermit Lake Shelter
Distance: 2.4 miles from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center to Hermit Lake Shelter.
Time: 1.5-2.5 hours depending on pace
Challenge Level: Moderate

Trail Down: Ski/Board down the John Sherburne Trail (Sherbie) accessed from Hermit Lake Shelter.
Distance: approx. 2 miles to south end of parking lot at Joe Dodge Lodge
Time: 10 - 40 minutes depending on pace
Challenge Level:  Moderate to Difficult (Black Diamond on a icy day)

For this adventure, you need both winter hiking gear and ski/snowboard gear:

Attach Skis to side of pack.  Put boots in pack.
- Winter hiking pants w long underwear
- Poly long sleeve top
- Fleece or 2nd non cotton layer
- Shell or Parka
- Warm Hat/Headband
- Gloves or Mittens
- Warm Socks
- Winter Hiking Boots/Snow Boots
- Traction (I wear MicroSpikes) or Skis with Skins*
- Ski Poles
- Sunglasses or Goggles

In Pack:
- Ski Boots
- Small First Aid Kit
- Extra Dry layer
- Ski Helmut (optional)
- Skis latched to outside of pack or Split Board*
- Camera (optional)
- Water and Snack
- Headlamp (just in case)

Tyler uses a split board and skis to ascend.

* Tyler chose to use a split board.  This is a snowboard that is split and allows the user to ski up the trail instead of hiking.  Skins (adhesive carpet like strands) are place on the bottom of skis to allow the user to ski uphill and not slide.  Once at the hut, Tyler re-configured his skis into a snowboard and flew down the Sherbie.