Date: March 22, 2000
Hello Adventurers !!!
This is the third e-mail (in a series) to help plan and prepare
3rd Annual Tuckerman Ravine Hiking/Skiing Expedition...
It's time to make some definite plans... We've decided on the date
now is the time to start making travel reservations and do some
The date of the expedition has been set for April 15th and 16th...
keep our fingers crossed that we get a good day (or two)... The summit
of Mount Washington is still about 10 inches over the average seasonal
snowfall totals this winter so we're hoping that makes up for some of
the warm weather we've been getting the past month... Can any of the New
England people give me any indication how the cover at the commercial
resorts is this year compared to last year at this time ? ... The goal
is to pick a date that is late enough to miss any avalanche danger but
early enough so that the Sherburne Ski Trail to Pinkham Notch (the
bottom) is still covered and skiable... We'll soon know if we picked
well this year...
Here's a tentative schedule for the expedition:
FRIDAY APRIL 14th:
Travel (via whatever means) to Royalty Inn in Gorham, NH... some
will be arriving around 4 PM... others will arrive later in the
evening... for anyone that's there by about 7:00 PM, we can go out to
eat... hopefully by bedtime (say around 11:00 PM) everyone will have
arrived and checked in with me (room 109 or 110) to discuss plans for
Saturday... go to sleep
SATURDAY APRIL 15th:
Wake up... go to breakfast at the Royalty Inn's restaurant at 6:30
(when they open)... leave to drive to Pinkham Notch (the bottom of Mt.
Washington) around 7:45... get to Pinkham Notch around 8:00... assemble,
find each other, buy last minute supplies in the store, start hiking by
8:30... the hike to the base of Tuckerman Ravine will probably take 2 to
3 hours up and 2 hours back (although hopefully we'll get to ski down in
under an hour)... climbs up & ski downs in the bowl or in the gulleys
are whatever you want them to be... leave Pinkham Notch around 4:00 (if
we skied down) or 5:00 (if we had to hike) and go back to Royalty Inn...
celebrate, snack, drink some brews in rooms 109 and/or 110 for an hour
or two... hot tub, pool, sauna, shower for awhile... feast at a local
restaurant... fall asleep exhausted
SUNDAY APRIL 16th:
Get up (but not too early)... eat breakfast next door or maybe on
way to Sunday River... drive to Sunday River (30 to 40 minutes)... maybe
stop at ski shop on the access road (we've found great deals on skis,
boots, and snowblades there the last several years)... ski Sunday River
(last year they still were 75% open which means about 80 trails)... hit
the Sunday River microbrewery for dinner... drive back to Manchester and
fly (or however you got there) home
Here's information to help you make reservations:
I've gotten a group rate for us at the Royalty Inn in Gorham, NH
(1-800-43RELAX)... if you say you're with "The Columbia Ski Club"
(that's Columbia, Maryland for you non-clubmembers) when you make a
reservation you should get a rate of $49/night for a double room (if we
fill 5 rooms) and $42/night (if we fill 10 rooms)... this is $5 to $10
cheaper than we got other years with their Tuckerman Ravine Internet
Special and we always felt that that was a good rate... the rooms are
decent (clean but nothing special really) but the
hottub/pool/sauna/healthclub are excellent for a place this cheap in a
resort/tourist area... they also have a nice restaurant and are close to
other restaurants, fast-food, supermarkets, and souvenir shopping... and
one other lodging note, Laura Gabanski is looking for someone to share a
room with... send her an e-mail if you're interested
I've been checking Southwest Airlines flights from Baltimore, MD
airport to Manchester, NH (MHT)... unfortunately almost all of the
promotional fares ($44 each way) are gone for Friday April 14th and
Sunday April 16th... the alternative is a fully refundable/exchangeable
ticket ($68 each way) which is still available for all flights... all
flights in either direction take 1 hour and 15 minutes...
On Friday April 14th, Southwest has flights leaving Baltimore at
9AM, 12:15PM, 3:10PM, 5:05PM, 6:15PM, 7:30PM, and 8:45PM... I believe
there are still cheap fares left for the 7AM and 9AM flights... $68
fares are available for all the times...
On Sunday April 16th, Southwest had flights leaving Manchester at
7:20AM, 10:35AM, 2PM, 3:35PM, 5PM, 6:40PM, 7:50PM... $68 fares are
available for all the times but no cheap fares are left... if you want
to ski Sunday River (or if we have to do Tuckermans on Sunday), I
wouldn't choose anything but the 6:40PM or 7:50PM flights...
Other airlines fly from Baltimore to Manchester (I'm pretty sure
does) but some of them give you a layover in Newark, NJ and therefore
take 3 or 4 hours... other options on Southwest could be a late Thursday
night or an early Monday morning flight... cheap fares are still
available then but you'd spend another night in the motel
I've had good success using Southwest Airlines Internet Site at:
Just click on the button that says "RESERVATIONS"... then enter
cities and the dates and make sure that it shows you the flights for
"ALL DAY" and not just the "EARLY MORNING" or "LATE EVENING" or
whatever... if you follow through and use your credit card you'll get a
"Ticketless Travel" Confirmation Number that you'll want to write down
and also print out on your printer... It worked great last year !!!
If the people coming from Baltimore would like to stick together
group here's the flights that at least 3 of us are planning to be on:
Friday April 14 - Southwest Airlines Flight 1452 Departing Baltimore
(BWI) at 12:15PM and arriving in Manchester (MHT) at 1:30PM
Sunday April 16 - Southwest Airlines Flight 613 Departing Manchester
(MHT) at 7:50PM and arriving in Baltimore (BWI) at 9:05PM
Manchester airport has all the major car rental companies (Hertz,
Budget, Economy, and several others) in terminal with no shuttle
required... From my checking their rates are all pretty similiar... From
Hertz I reserved a 4-Door Full Size (Ford Taurus or equivalent) for an
advertised price of $37.99/day with unlimited miles... of course with a
few fees and 11% worth of various taxes that came to more like
$48/day... then I got a ski rack (don't forget that) which added $6/day
for a grand total of $54/day with unlimited miles... I'm not sure how
that compares to "typical" car rental prices in other areas... Anyway
here's Hertz reservation number (800-654-3131)... and Hertz does have
pickup/dropoff at the Manchester terminal with no shuttle required...
after I know exactly who's coming on this trip and what flight they're
going to be on I'll try to organize it so we only rent as many cars as
we have to (i.e. - we can share cars if we arrive and leave on the same
flight)... by the way, the drive from Manchester to Gorham is around 2
hours mostly on 65 MPH Interstate 93
I liked these paragraphs/sections from the last (2nd) letter and
all still relevant so here they are again... I'll give them a little
It's time to get trainin'... in addition to the April 9th "shake
hike mentioned below, I'm likely to do some kind of hiking on one or
both of the preceding weekends... anyone interested in joining me ? ...
which days are possible for you ? ...
We need FRS radios... they're really cool... they're really cheap...
doesn't someone else want to own these marvels of technology ? ...
Sleds are cool... we may even have some kids with us this year (you
who you are)... let's get a cheap plastic sled or two up in the bowl
this year !!!
O.K... here're the sections repeated from the last e-mailing:
1. - Now is the a good time to start "training" for the hike up
Tuckerman Ravine... I've found that stairmastering with ankle-weights
and/or a weighted backpack is an excellent training method... if you can
do an hour on a stairmaster with 20-40 extra pounds you're probably
"good-to-go"... as I mentioned before, I'll be leading a "shake down"
hike (twice) up and down Bob's Hill in the Catoctin mountains of
Maryland before we go... at this point, I'll say that that will happen
on Sunday April 9th at 1:00 PM... let me know if you're interested in
participating... it's highly recommended !!!
2. - Does anyone own (or want to own) any "Family Radio Service"
? ... I recently purchased a pair and if we could get another 2 or 3 (or
more) on the expedition I think it would be really helpful in keeping
our group organized... the pair I purchased were made by Audiovox and
sold for $70 (for the pair) at BestBuy... the Audiovoxes (Model FR230-2)
were about the smallest I've seen... they tune all 14 channels (cheaper
models only have 2 channels) but don't have all the fancy voice
scrambling/privacy code stuff on them... I used them on a recent ski
trip and thought they were great... anyway, let me know if you can have
any you can bring along...
3. - Does anyone own any small lightweight plastic sleds/toboggans
those "SkiBob" things they sell at Princeton Sports) ? ... I think it
might be fun this year to bring a couple of sleds up to Tuckermans...
after climbing the bowl a time or two, some people might really enjoy
just noodling around on a sled on that vast snowfield... again, let me
Following is a list where I've attempted to figure out who's going
who's not... if I have you misclassified please let me know ASAP... if I
haven't heard from you in awhile please let me know what you're
planning... and if you've made reservations and are "100% go" let me
know that too... Thanks !!!
WILL BE THERE:
Kim Vogel & Friends
THERE'S A CHANCE:
Dave Strack & Sons
NOT THIS YEAR, MAYBE NEXT YEAR:
YOU HAD INTEREST BUT I HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YOU IN AWHILE:
Darryl ??? (Carmen's friend)
If anyone knows of anyone else who'd be interested please forward
e-mail to them and have them give me a call or an e-mail so they can get
in on the fun...
That's all for now... As always if if you have any questions feel
to e-mail or call me... and don't forget to check out the website at
for pictures, information, and links to relevant sites with even
information (like travel reservations, weather, and avalance forecasts):
See Ya Soon,