Worcester, MA 4:00AM 10 May 2005  Woke up with the worst kind of cold- achey, stuffy head, no way was I going to work that day!

4:44AM Two cups of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal later, it wasn’t getting any better… Time for a road trip.

Pinkham Notch, NH 8:03AM: Turned the motor off under a cloudless sky, 60F+ temps. Feeling slightly better- maybe a hike would help.

Tuckerman Lunch Rocks 10:27AM:  Stopped to put on ski boots & crampons and have a snack. Was a bit sweaty, hard to see with salt in the eyes, but feeling considerably better.  Took time to see if I could confirm or deny the rumor I read on that there was nothing actually steep in “the east”, or at least nothing exposed.  Results inconclusive.

Top of the Right Gully, 10:58AM: Ready to point ‘em down, waited for a couple of other cold sufferers to climb up before making my run- DEFINITELY feeling the cure starting to work!

Top of Left Gully, 12:15PM:  Second attempt at figuring out that rumor, results still inconclusive.

Time to have some lunch and a short nap while waiting for the handful of climbers to clear the run- temps above 70F, NO WIND! I could even hear people talking in the middle of the bowl ¼ mile away (but not clearly enough to eavesdrop, ‘xactly.)

Top of Left Gully, 1:00: Out of water from the sweaty hike in the summer heat, time to point ‘em down. Feeling much better, thanks!

Hermit Lake Hut, 1:38: Word has it that the upper Sherburne is still “skiable” (as in, “on your brother’s rock skis, at least it’s not closed yet.”

Pinkham Notch, 3:05: Finished off the smushed PB& J, gulped a liter of H2O and hit the road.

Worcester, MA, 6:35: Home in time for dinner- hardly a sniffle left!

For the record: They got something like 6” of snow over the weekend on a NE-NNE wind, which loaded up the Right Gully very nicely- it was 3-12” of fine grained syrupy cornmeal mush- a bit sloughy, but wicked fun. It’s undermined quite a bit on the uppermost part but there’s more than 90% available to ski.

The Right-Right Gully/Lobster Claw looked more acutely undermined but still skiable (but I didn’t).

Chute has an all-too interesting horizontal line in the funnel above- couldn’t tell if it was a slide crack or a crown face, but it looks skiable without a vanishingly small brains/gonads size ration (but smaller ratios would help :-) ) Did not see anyone ski it from above the narrows.

The north flank of the funnel on the Left Gully loaded up considerably- deep not-too-dense corn, but (big surprise?) very sloughy- had to stop a couple of times to let the slurry run by rather than risk getting tripped up by it. YMMD.

According to a couple of sources Hillman's is still skiable top to bottom (looked it), but has a wall-to-wall widening slide crack on the upper part, and is getting considerably undermined lower down- probably won't be nearly as nice in a coupla weeks.

If anybody feels a sniffle coming on, the weather for Th/Fr looks better than weekend- might be worth taking the cure before it gets any worse, eh?

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