PINKHAM NOTCH — Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, a locally based non-profit organization, will be staging the 18th annual Tuckerman Inferno Pentathlon race event on April 8. Up to 200 athletes will compete for a one thousand dollar cash prize, custom skis, various additional prizes and a chance to become the next Tuckerman or Tuckerwoman champion.
The Tuckerman Inferno Pentathlon, based on the original American Inferno ski races of the 1930s, now consists of an 8.3-mile run, a 6-mile kayak race down the Saco River, an 18-mile bike race north through Pinkham Notch, and a 3-mile run/hike up the Tuckerman Trail to Mount Washington's Tuckerman Ravine. The final leg is a climb up to the ravine wall and a ski down a designated giant slalom alpine ski route. During years when conditions permit, skiers may finish at the AMC base at Pinkham Notch.
Two classes of racers will be available this year. Elite (individuals) and Sport (teams of two, three, four or five people). The Elite registration fee is $300 and the Sport team registration fee is $750. Online registration is available at www.friendsoftuckermanravine.org. Racers should plan to pick up their bib numbers and finalize any remaining race registration details on Friday night starting at 5 p.m. at the Eastern Slope Inn.
Spectators are welcome at any and all transition points. Maps will be available on Friday evening and on the website. At the conclusion of the race, teams will gather at the Wildcat Mountain base lodge for an awards banquet, and prize giveaways.
Friends of Tuckerman Ravine seeks to preserve and protect the unique alpine and subalpine eastern slopes of Mount Washington; and to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to sustain the traditional uses of the distinctive natural area. Friends of Tuckerman Ravine has provided financial support for organizations such as the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and volunteer support for trail maintenance and site rehabilitation projects around the Cutler River Drainage on Mount Washington.
The latest key fundraising project involves conducting feasibility studies to implement new high speed wireless Internet capabilities at the U.S. Forest Service Hermit Lake shelter. Initial testing is scheduled for summer 2017 and help is needed to cover the costs of the project which will include the design and implementation phases of a high speed wireless communications link between Tuckerman Ravine and the Wildcat ski area. The primary aim of the project is be to bring reliable, high-speed Internet capabilities to the remote area in support of U.S. Forest Service snow ranger operations. It is also expected that improved Internet access will serve as a critical communications link during emergency situations. Donations will go towards making this project a reality by allowing Friends of Tuckerman Ravine to invest in new hardware, software and communications contracts.
In 2015, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine solicited donations and organized the rebuilding of the iconic outdoor deck structure located at Hermit Lake Shelter found just below Tuckerman Ravine. The deteriorating deck at HoJo's, as it is affectionately called, is a gathering point for thousands of spring skiing fans, as well as year-round hikers, and was badly in need of repair.
Working in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, and using proceeds from past Infernos, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine organized more than 20 volunteers, and working under the direction of then Snow Ranger Frank Carus, were successful in demolishing the old deck and constructing the new one during a three-week period.
Donations and contributions are critical to the success of the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine's mission. Memberships begin at $25 per year for students and $35 for individuals.
The group hosts trail maintenance work days throughout the seasons. Volunteers interested in helping out with this year's Friends of Tuckerman Ravine Inferno Pentathlon or any trail maintenance days are encouraged to call or email with questions.