Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

Tuckerman Ravine Wildflowers…

Mount Washington is BIG.

In size, it’s the largest mountain in the Northeast. In terms of popularity, it sees over a quarter million visitors a year. In terms of weather, it’s legendary, and experiences some of the worst recorded conditions on the planet every year. And in terms of lore, it’s one of the deadliest peaks in North America.

I hiked up the mountain on Saturday to support the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory in their annual Seek the Peak hike, and found some great conditions to photograph.

I left Pinkham Notch at about 9PM, and hiked up to Hermit Lake shelter for the night. The hike was nearly uneventful, save for an unprepared hiker yelling for help, sprawled out in the middle of the trail. No light, no map, no sense of direction…I pointed him on his way, and he was fortunate that the moon was coming up. Clouds came in after midnight, and rain fell, choking the sunrise, and allowing me to sleep in a bit before it dried out and I took off into Tuckerman Ravine.

Much of the flora in the glacial cirque is unique to New England, and I had hoped to focus on the snowbank communities that lie at the base of the headwall. The blooms were beautiful! Meadowsweet, arnica, orchids, meadow rue, avens, and corn lily lined the streams that make their way down the headwall. Asters will be in blooms soon too!

Waterfalls in Tuckerman Ravine

Waterfalls in Tuckerman Ravine

I struggled with composition, as the scale of the ravine is huge and I didn’t bring my wide angle lens. I’ll have to go back SOON, perhaps after the next rainstorm. But I’m happy with the shots I did capture…but know the ravine holds the potential for so much more! I like challenges.

Snowbank Community Flowers in Tuckerman Ravine

Snowbank Community Flowers in Tuckerman Ravine

After topping out on the ravine, the fog broke up to Lions Head, which I took down, while clouds still lingered above and below. Already in the alpine zone, signs of autumn are beginning, as the sedges are beginning to brown.

Doubleheads Enshrouded in Clouds

Doubleheads Enshrouded in Clouds

Browning Sedge Above Lion Head Trail

Browning Sedge Above Lion Head Trail

 Summer is so fleeting!  Planning the next hike!

2 Responses to “Tuckerman Ravine Wildflowers…”

  1. Karl Searl says:

    Wow, great shots Jim. Looks like an awesome hike. I’m debating whether or not to try my hand at STP next year. I love the Doublehead shot. Have you ever hiked them? They have been on my radar screen for a while, since we stay in Jackson at least twice a year for a few nights.

  2. admin says:


    When I lived in Jackson, the doubleheads were one of my favorite winter hikes. Short, steep and a great ski trail down! I’ve stayed at the cabin as well, and took my high school outing club there for an overnight. Fantastic view, great reward for the effort. South’s view is better than norths…

    As far as Seek the Peak…yes…do it…GREAT EVENT!

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