Tuckerman Ravine and the East Snowfields on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire's Presidential Range offer late-season skiing and riding to those intrepid enough to make the climb.

It's a regional rite of spring, but not for the faint of heart.

The base of the ravine is 2.4 miles from the trailhead at the Appalachian Mountain Club lodge on Route 16.

It's another half-mile up the steep sides of the ravine to where one steps into skis or board, 800 vertical feet above the floor of Tuckerman. The East Snowfields are another 1,000 feet or so uphill, and another half-mile in distance.

Weather changes constantly in this setting, so visitors should be prepared for the worst, with layers of warm clothing, topped off by windproof parka and pants, hat, and goggles.

Remember everything has to be carried in - gear, clothing, food.

Remember as well that Mt. Washington has serious weather, the second-highest winds ever recorded on planet Earth, and any mishap can be serious.

The Mt. Washington Avalanche Center is warning of high avalanche danger in much of the ravine. The Center's Website offers up-to-date reports on conditions, weather forecasts, history, and excellent advice on planning a trip there.

It's still early season on Mt. Washington, when winter's snows have not yet settled into the firm and stable cover that affords safe surface for climbing and sliding. Over the course of the next few weeks that should happen, and the mountain should afford fabulous conditions well into May.

More information.