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I've dreamt of skiing obscure lines in the Presidential Range for years, but aside from a quick trip to Tuckerman's Ravine several years ago, I haven't done anything crazy. Hiking 4000+ vertical in 5 miles with skis and not enough snow to skin was certainly an adventure. And we got a summit of Jefferson to boot!

Lauren, Andrew, Alex and I began our ascent up the Cog Railway from the Ammonoosuc Lot. It's a hefty $10 per person which is absurd, but that's for a separate blog post. There was little to no snow for the first portion of the trail but it became patchy as we continued along.



Andrew and Alex put their skins on as soon as they reached the more consistent snow, but Lauren didn't bring her skins and I waited until we cross the train tracks to the other side. It was quite icy in all but the spots that were already exposed to the sun.

I whipped on my skins, but they were soaking wet due to a combination of icy snow and slushy snow caused by the nearly 70 degree weather on the mountain. Crazy for early April.




Eventually we breached the ridgeline which was completely bare of snow. Alex and Andrew hiked in their ski boots while Lauren and I alternated between our ski boots and hiking boots.



Alex and Andrew decided to try some of the gross mountain water. Yum.

It was a true slog across the Gulfside Trail, which made our project to ski the Beach even more ambitious. With nearly a 5 mile approach with skis, we were quite tired when we reached the summit of Jefferson. For me, this was for my April grid. Ironically, we met Ed Hawkins (who created the grid), and my friend Liam who was working on his grid just before the summit.








Finding the snowfields was tricky. The Beach, as it is so aptly named, is one of the longest lasting snowfields on Jefferson. It was roasted by the sun all day. When we eventually found it on the way down from the Six Husbands Trail off to the right, we realized how sticky the snow was. Alex took a nice tumble and both of his skis released.




As we made it to the end of the Beach, we decided to keep going and check out Stealth Gully. The headwall was steep and amazing, and we realized the conditions down here would be in much better shape. Alex and I decided to go for it, but in order to get to the gully proper we had to traverse left using some old tracks over some exposed terrain.


The start was more or less a no fall zone, but the snow was in excellent shape and we had a blast descending it. Unfortunately we would have to go back up, but there were some kicked steps that we used to get back up to the trail where we met Lauren and Andrew. They had done an extra lap of the Beach while we had our fun in the Stealth Gully.




We took a nice long rest, and then began the brutal trek back across the ridge toward the Cog. It was at this point that we put our skis back on and were able to go more or less all the way to the bottom. We got creative using the trees and other tracks that people before us had navigated.

All in all this was a lofty objective but a fun one, and it made me want to get some more obscure lines to stay away from the Tucks traffic. I would highly recommend this tour if you don't mind the mileage.
Total Time: ~10 hrs 13 minsTotal Distance: ~11.25 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~5600 vertical gain