Huntington Ravine: Following in the Footsteps of Teddy the Golden Retriever

Date of Hike: 5/18/13


Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 1.3 miles 
Huntington Ravine Trail: 2.1 miles  
Alpine Garden: 0.9 miles 
Lion Head Trail: 1.6 miles
Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 2.3 miles
8.2 miles (3,500 elevation gain)

Trip Report
- Huntington Ravine, the place where some of my favorites and most memorable hikes have taken place over the years.  When I was sixteen our family got a Golden Retriever named Teddy (AKA Teddy Toons).  He had a tremendous amount of energy, probably from stealing people food, and we quickly found out he could hike anywhere.  Lots of dogs from all shapes and sizes hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire but only a few hike up the Huntington Ravine Trail.  It's is the steepest trail in the White Mountains as you travel through a boulder field called the Fan and then ascend up rock slab where proper use of hand holds is required.  However, back in the mid to late 90's Teddy hiked Huntington Ravine four times with my dad and I.  We had a pretty solid system in place as we tackled the first and most difficult scramble; my dad would go ahead, Teddy behind him, and me bringing up there rear.  When Teddy couldn't scramble up the 'crack', my dad would grab his collar, I would secure my feet as best as I could and grab Teddy's backside and lift him up as my dad carefully lead him up to a safe spot.  The first scramble was always the most dangerous and where my dad said the famous line, "Remember, if something goes wrong, we can always replace the dog but you we can't"
- We never had any issues in Huntington Ravine and Teddy always made it safely to the top of Huntington Ravine and up the Nelson Crags' to the summit of Mount Washington where he'd try and steal more people food!
- Teddy was a special hiking dog and even though he was no Scarlet (my first Golden Retriever from when I was six years old).  He was one of the best hiking Golden Retrievers I have ever seen.
- Anyway, back to present day!  Alton recently became a happy owner of a Shiba Inu named Cole.  Last week we took him on his first hike up Mount Major, so of course it made perfect sense for his second hike to take him into Huntington Ravine!
- Huntington Ravine, much like Tuckerman Ravine is a huge glacial cirque. However, unlike Tuckerman Ravine, it's lightly traveled and pretty fn' bad ass!  Today there would be hundreds of people all over the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Lion Head Trail, Mount Washington summit cone, but there was not a sole on the Huntington Ravine Trail.
-  Alton, Cole, and I had a quick hike to the floor of the ravine but as soon as we entered the boulder section below the Fan and the Fan itself our pace slowed considerably.  Cole, weighs just under twenty five pounds which means he is light on his feet and is built for hiking, however he is a smaller dog so his length becomes an issue when rock hopping through a field of boulders.  Here, Alton picked him up a few times and safely navigated him through the Fan with no issues. 
- Once we crossed the Fan we headed up steeply toward Central Gully.  Here the snow was still present and the trail disappeared in spots but we kicked in one step at a time and made it to the bottom of Central Gully where we took a long break before cutting across more snow below the first rock scramble.
- As we relaxed we could here the ice and snow a gully over in Pinnacle crack and slide away.  up above us in Central Gully there was still snow but not enough to worry about crashing down on us, although some did break off and roll down but never reached us.
- The first scramble has freaked me out since 2007, I have no idea why this has happened but I always get scared for a few seconds.  I Never had an issue when I was a crazy teenager pushing an eighty pound dog but now I get a little anxious.  Luckily it goes away as I climb up and over it.  Alton just speeds up like Spiderman and helped Cole when he needed it.
- Cole actually did better through the scrambles than he did in the Fan, Alton would have to pick him up and hand him to me at times but it was much easier than we expected and definitely easier than dragging Teddy Toons up the slab!
- We had a blast hiking up Huntington Ravine and took a bunch of breaks to admire the views and take pictures before reaching the Alpine Garden Trail junction.  Alton did a great job of keeping Cole safe and sound through the sketchy parts and Cole came out with only a minor cut near his paw which didn't phase him at all.
- We decided to skip the summit and cut across the beautiful Alpine Garden Trail and descend down the Lion Head Trail.  There were no flowers blooming along the Alpine Garden yet but it was still a picturesque scene.  As we hiked skiers were above us taking runs in one of the snow fields left below the Auto Road.
- Once we hooked onto the Lion Head Trail it was back to civilization as we would pass close to a hundred hikers on the way down Lion Head and out the lower section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. Views from above treeline looking into Tuckerman Ravine were great and there was still lots of dirty old snow in the and bowl that skiers and boarders were having fun with.
- We booked it down the mountain and Cole was still speeding along even after a rough and tough hike through Huntington Ravine and rock hopping down Lion Head.
- We made it back to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and washed Cole off in the river before changing into clean clothes ourselves.  We then headed to Twin Mountain to catch up with Bob & Gerri and for Cole to meet Dusty and play.  Believe it or not Cole still had plenty of energy and bounced around with Dusty for over an hour!  Only as we drove home through the mountains Cole finally became exhausted and fell asleep on Alton's lap making perfect ending to another great day in White Mountains!

Tuckerman Ravine Trailhead
Avalanche Information Board
Cutler River
Huntington Ravine Junction
Cole refueling
Fudgy the Whale knee highs!
Cole's excited look
Cutler River Crossing
Cutler River
Cutler River
Alton and Cole heading to the floor of the ravine
Central Gully
Albert Dow First Aid Cache
Alton and Cole
The Fan, Pinnacle, and Central Gully

The Fan, Pinnacle, and Central Gully

The Fan, Pinnacle, and Central Gully
Cole contimplating
Ice left high in the ravine
Huntington Ravine Trail
Alton and Cole heading up into the ravine
Navigating through the Fan
Pinnacle Gully
Pinnacle Gully
Close up of the last snow and ice in Pinnacle Gully
Alton helping Cole out
Rock climber up and over Pinnacle Buttress
Wildcat and Carter Range
Pinnacle Gully
Pinnacle Gully
Alton leading Cole through the boulders
Pinkham Notch
The Fan
Pinnacle Gully
Central Gully
The Fan, Pinnacle, and Central Gully
The Fan
The Fan
Alton helping Cole through the Fan
Playing in the snow!
Pinnacle Gully
 Approaching the first rock scramble
The first rock scramble
Up the first scramble
 
Second scramble
Second scramble
Alton assisting Cole
Alton showing Cole where the hand holds are
Alton carrying Cole up the second scramble
Cole leads the way
Huntington Ravine Trail
Huntington Ravine Trail
Alton and Cole
Alton carrying Cole around a ledge

Cole gets a push up the third scramble
Cole taking a break in a non-break spot!
Superdog!
Pinkham Notch
Wildcat Ski Area
Huntington Ravine Trail
The Chimney
Alton leading Cole up the chimney
Huntington Ravine
Wildcat Ski Area
Cole at the top of Huntington Ravine
Alpine Garden Trail
Alpine Garden Trail with the Boot Spur in the background
Alpine Garden Trail
Alpine Garden Trail
Skiers!
Tuckerman Ravine
Lion Head Trail
TEDDY!!! (1996 - 2007)
 

5 comments:

  1. Amazing shots Chris. I can just picture Alton carrying Cole up and handing him off to you!

    You guys make a great trio!

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  2. I am totally jealous, what a fantastic trip and Cole is super adorable! Reminds me that Huntington's is on the bucket list this summer, maybe late June or July. We've got other big plans for early June and August.;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Summerset, I hope you get to explore Huntington Ravine this summer. Have a great Spring and Summer hiking with your family! :)

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  3. Nice shots. Haven't done that route. Only Tuckermans. But it was neat to see Alpine garderns approached from the otehr direction.

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