|Mt. Adams, right, and Mt. Jefferson on the left. The darkened ridge jutting down from Jefferson is "Jefferson's Knee". Jefferson Ravine is to the right of the Knee. Wonderful colors!|
|Close up of Mt. Washington. In an hour I would be up in that cloud.|
|Starting up the Fire Trail towards Tuckerman Ravine in early morning light.|
A glimpse of the hut interior. It always feels like home to me. I'd come up to do some research which consisted of sitting on the couch next to the heater and reading a Masters Thesis written in 1978 by a University of Massachusetts grad student by the name of Diane Eskenasy. The title of her thesis is The Origin of The King Ravine Rock Glacier in The Presidential Range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her thesis, and several others on various topics, somehow, or other, ended up at Tuck Shelter some years ago and have been sitting in the book shelf there. Like a lot of other people I've been curious about the "rock glacier" in King Ravine for years and have wanted to camp on the floor of King Ravine for a few days to explore its nooks and crannies. The rock glacier is reported to be the only one of its kind in New England. They are commonly found in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Wyoming. Ms Eskenasy wrote: "King Ravine, one of the north facing cirques on the Presidential Range, contains an inactive rock glacier, a mass of rocks having the morphology of an alpine glacier." I may, this summer, get into King Ravine and integrate Ms Eskenasy's thesis into a blog article with photos that might help explain what a rock glacier is and how it evolved.
Shape of the King Ravine rock glacier from an aerial photo. The mass of rock debris is roughly 1800 feet long and 1000 feet wide. ( Diane Eskenasy, 1978).
Profile representing the rock glacier after the separation of the King Ravine ice lobe from the continental ice sheet after the disappearance of the ice sheet from New Hampshire. (From Eskenasy, 1978). (I took photos of the diagrams in the books holding my camera with one hand while I attempted to flatten the page with my other hand--which accounts for the distortion in parallax)
Modern profile of the rock glacier. The term rock glacier doesn't imply that the rock lobe is moving. It means that the glacier, at one time, when it was active transported blocks from higher on the cirque headwall. The predominant ice has since melted leaving the blocks in the form of a glacier. The time line between the first diagram and this one is roughly 11,000 years (from Eskenasy, 1978).
The view out the west-facing window in Tuck Shelter which has a spectacular view of Tuckerman Ravine--normally. It's possible to sit in the swivel chair and, with a good pair of binoculars, watch skiers and hikers in the Ravine.
|This is as clear as it got while I was in Tuckerman Ravine--even a small patch of blue sky! I told everyone that after I left it would clear up and be a beautiful afternoon. I'm not sure that actually happened.|
I didn't ask, but I'm pretty sure that's his girl friend.
|Another first-timer and obviously enthused about the hike.|
Finally I passed some one close to my own age. This was another father and son duo with the father on the left. They were heading up to ski the Sherburne. We had a nice chat about the "good old days."