Huntingdon Ravine

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  • Huntingdon Ravine

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Title

Huntingdon Ravine

Creator

Bethann Weick

Date

6.26.2013

Relation

Passing Through: The Allure of the White Mountains

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Text

Just last week I had the opportunity to hike up Mt. Washington’s Huntingdon Ravine (then crossing the Alpine Garden, and descending via Lion’s Head to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail). Despite approaching the summer solstice, patches of snow still lingered. In places, browned sedge was evidence that additional snow cover had only recently receded. Wildflowers were beginning to bloom, but much had yet to unfold fully. Mountain azaleas, sheltered clumps of diapensia, and geum were the most common.

For those unfamiliar with Huntingdon, it is rugged and rocky, the steepest ravine within the range. Hiking up the headwall is, at times, akin to bouldering; rock climbing and ice climbing routes abound in their respective seasons. It is named for Joshua H. Huntingdon, a 17th century mountaineer and scientist who was known for his daring expeditions. White Mountain historians Laura & Guy Waterman refer to him as “intensely interested in scientific observations” with a “burning desire to climb mountains, ill-concealed under motives of science.” While he summitted dozens of peaks throughout the Whites in an era when trails and trails systems were just underway, it seems fitting that such a rugged route is named after a figure with such a bold personality. The trail through Huntingdon Ravine certainly requires care and caution for a safe ascent, even today when it is neither so remote nor so feared as it once was.

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Citation

Bethann Weick, “Huntingdon Ravine,” The Cairn, accessed October 31, 2014, http://www.plymouth.edu/the-cairn/items/show/55.