This trail leaves Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and climbs steadily to Hermit Lake Shelters (2.4 miles, 1800 feet elevation gain) and is used to access Lion Head, Boott Spur, and Huntington Ravine. From Hermit Lake you begin to climb more steeply to the floor of the ravine, then very steeply through the top of the ravine. From the junction with the Alpine Garden trail, the trail climbs the rocky summit cone another 1000 vertical feet to the top.
Each winter, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is covered by snow and ice, and has highly exposed steep cliffs and slopes below it. From late fall through late spring or even early summer, think of it more as a mountaineering ascent than a hike. The consequences of a fall or being involved in an avalanche during these months can be dire. Without appropriate equipment (e.g. ice axe, crampons, and avalanche equipment), climbing this trail in winter should not be attempted. Due to the widespread presence of objective hazards such as icy waterfalls, falling ice, and steep snow, each spring the section of the trail from Lunch Rocks to the Alpine Garden Trail is closed.
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