Sunday, April 12, 2015

Huntington Ravine “The Fan” - Solo Spring Hike

winter, hiking, white mountains, Pinnacle, Central, Damnation, Yale, North, South

Huntington Ravine Floor (4,100ft)
Elevation Gain: 2,100ft
Distance: 5.2 miles roundtrip
Trails: Tuckerman Ravine, Huntington Ravine, Fire/Service Road

Not my usual hike to a summit, but above 4000 feet for sure. The Huntington Ravine floor, commonly known as “The Fan” was my destination for this morning. I had originally planned to hike this yesterday but today the forecast called for a sunny, deep blue sky day. 'The Fan' is a huge open boulder field below the headwall that spreads out like one of those old hand fans.  Normally you would have to navigate around, over, and in between some huge boulders in the scrub to get to the Fan. But the snow and ice make it easier to get around.

I was pretty surprised at the amount of skiers and boarders at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The parking lot was packed so I ended up parking on the side of the road just outside the entrance. Tuckerman Ravine Trail was packed with folks of all ages with downhill and XC skis, snow boards, sleds and butt sleds. Lots of dogs hike this trail to the ravine as well. Even on my descent there were folks hiking up. It was pretty cool to watch skiers come down the John Sherburne Ski Trail. I used information on Marc Chauvin’s website to plan my solo hike: http://www.chauvinguides.com/hunticeguide.htm

Crystal Cascade Waterfall from Tuckerman Ravine Trail

Tuckerman Ravine from the fire/service road

A peek of the ravine - Central Gully

First Aid cache just below the floor of the ravine

The mouth of Huntington Ravine

Yale and Damnation Gullies

Pinnacle and Central Gullies

Odell's Gully

South Gully

Escape Hatch Gully

Overall this was a great solo hike….well, not so much solo as Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail was packed. The snow was packed well but on my descent, with warm temps, the snow was a slushy and slippery mess.

I was blown away when I got into ‘The Fan’, the views were phenomenal! I was glad to experience the immensity of the ravine. There were climbers making their way up Damnation, Yale, Central and Pinnacle gullies and a few glissading down the Escape Hatch gully. I hiked the entirety in my ice climbing boots and I’m not ever doing that again. They are super stiff and my feet started aching ¾ of the way up. Anyways, hope you enjoyed some photos that I took of my visit to the Huntington Ravine floor! Here’s a short video from the ravine floor.