December 28, 2005
Tuckerman Ravine, shown above in the center of the photo, is a cirque located on Mt. Washington in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern United States. At 6,288 feet (1,916 meters), this mountain is notorious for rapidly changing weather and serious wind gusts (231 miles/hour or 372 kilometers/hour -- at one time the highests gust ever recorded). Tuckerman Ravine was formed as glaciers eroded rock during the Pleistocene epoch about two million years ago. There are four distinct talus piles in this ravine, having formed as rocks broke from the main formations and toppled down the mountainside. Though Tuckerman Ravine is a popular hiking attraction, only the most ambitious skiiers ski its slopes -- no lifts are available. Before you can experience the downhill exhillaration, you first need to carry your equipment up the 3 mile (4.8 km) long trail, which rises a little over 3,000 ft (914 m).