While Tuck's can be a very dangerous place, and although the terrain demands advanced to expert skills, the barriers to entry for those looking to experience Tuckerman's Ravine are pretty low. Without a chairlift in sight, all that's required is a moderate level of fitness and the mental wherewithal to hike between three to four miles uphill. Up in the Ravine, it's not unusual to see dogs, parents with toddlers in baby-backpacks, people with either legitimate or jury-rigged sleds, hikers without any ski or snowboard equipment, or even a college rugby team (the exhausted look on the faces of freshmen team members gives these guys away every time, as they've usually been hazed into hauling a full keg of beer up the mountain!).
The Presidential Range of New Hampshire's White Mountains offers some of the most stunning scenery in all of New England, and Tuck's definitely holds up its end of the bargain in that regard. Due to the intricacies of the mountain's weather, an average of over 50 feet of snow is blown into the Ravine during the winter months, which allows skiers and snowboarders to make turns often well into June. As always, safety is paramount in any high-alpine environment, so be sure to check out the daily Avalanche Report before heading up the mountain. In spite of its serious purpose, the reports are often humorous (either that, or I have a sick sense of humor...from today's report:
"ICEFALL will continue to be a significant issue until it has all come down. Rain will help ice peel off the cliffs and tumble into the Ravines. Understand this is not ice for your lemonade unless you drink out of an Olympic pool for a glass. Expect some ice to be the size of small automobiles from perhaps a Geo Metro to a Subaru Forester.
Another excellent resource for Tuckerman's Ravine information is the Time for Tuckerman website, which features several active forums, photos, videos, trip reports and tons of other information.
If you've never been, I highly recommend planning a trip sometime soon; as Warren Miller so famously said, "If you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do."