Tuckerman Inferno Course Description

Detailed Course Description & Map

Pre-race staging and logistics:

Gear staging areas are staffed with race volunteers starting at 6am on race day.

At Great Glen Trails each bib number (team or solo racer) will be assigned a 6’x10’ staging area along the transition loop to the left of the Auto Road at Great Glen Trails.  Racers should use this space to stage equipment, change footwear and clothing between legs, and fuel and rehydrate. Each area will be marked with the assigned bib number prior to the race. Maps with the assigned gear staging area will be provided at the bib-pickup.

The snowshoe - mountain run transition will be in the north end of the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.  Gear racks will be available for solo’s to stage ski/snowboard leg gear. We will establish a dedicated drop-off/pick-up zone in the north end of the PNVC parking lot and will allow exit-only traffic through the north end gate. FOTR Volunteers will transport any remaining snowshoes to the race finish line once the final snowshoer finishes the leg.

Race Start:

The race starts at 7 AM at Great Glen Trails using a 5-sec interval start format. We will start two racers at a time. We will place orange road cones with bib-numbers on them in the start corral. Racers should find their start position and line up their bikes by 6:50 am. Racers will cross the start in bib number order two at a time every 5 seconds until all bib-numbers are on the course.

Fat Bike:

The Fat Bike Leg starts at 7 AM. Individual Racers time starts at the assigned start time. Racers will complete two laps of a ~3 mile course on the Great Glen Trail network. The final loop will be determined the week before the race but will be roughly equivalent in distance and difficulty to the Great Glen Trails Nordic Meisters 5k loop. After completing the 2nd lap, team racers will “tag” the XC Skier in the transition zone. Solo racers will proceed to the staging area and transition to XC ski gear. The team’s fat bike time stops when the XC skier departs the tag zone. Solo’s time for the fat bike leg stops when the racer departs the transition zone for the XC ski leg.

XC Ski:

The XC Ski Leg begins when a team XC Skier is tagged by the Fat Biker or when a solo racer departs the transition zone on XC skis. This is a freestyle event. Racers can choose to use skate or classical technique or a combination of both. Racers will complete two laps of a ~3 mile course on the Great Glen Trail network. The final loop will be determined the week before the race but will be roughly equivalent in distance and difficulty to the Great Glen Trails Nordic Meisters 5k loop. After completing the 2nd lap, team racers will “tag” the Snowshoer in the transition zone. Solo racers will proceed to the staging area and transition to Snowshoe gear. The team’s XC ski time stops when the snowshoer departs the tag zone. Solo’s time for the XC ski leg stops when the racer departs the transition zone for the snowshoe leg.

Snowshoe:

The Snowshoe Leg begins when the snowshoer is tagged by the XC skier or when a solo racer departs the transition zone on snowshoes. The snowshoe course follows the Great Glen Trails network including an ungroomed single track for about 1 mile, then travels up the auto road for just under a mile to the Connie’s way backcountry ski trail. Racers follow Connie's Way for approximately 3 miles, taking a left on the Blanchard Loop ski trail and then a right turn to follow the Blanchard Loop/Connie’s way trail to the transition zone at the north end of the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center parking lot. Solo racers will transition to mountain running/skimo gear and team snowshoers will tag the mountain runner. Time for this leg stops with the racer (solo or team mountain runner) departs the transition zone.

Mountain Run:   

The Mountain Run Leg begins when a runner is tagged by the snowshoer or a solo racer departs the transition zone at the north end of the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Solo’s must carry their ski gear for the skimo/snowboard leg from the parking lot transition zone. Skinning instead of running is allowed. Racers follow the cat track behind the USFS garage and turn right onto the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. Racers follow the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake, passing hermit lake around the perimeter of the courtyard, and follow trail markers to the designated route to the mountain run - ski/snowboard mountaineering transition zone. 

Ski/Snowboard Mountaineering Leg:

The final route for the Ski/Snowboard Mountaineering Leg will be determined the week prior to the race and announced at the bib pick-up. The final go/no go decision for any portion of the course above the treeline will be made on the morning of the race if weather and snowpack conditions change drastically overnight. The primary objective for the ski/snowboard mountaineering leg includes a Giant Slalom segment above treeline on Mount Washington. The secondary objective is to link a course from the alpine zone to the Sherburne Ski Trail finishing at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The ski/snowboard mountaineering leg will include both uphill and downhill travel for the racer and may include multiple transitions between up and downhill travel. Uphill travel could be in terrain appropriate for “boot packing”, or “skinning”, or both. There will not be any terrain where the protection of a rope is required, however, long sliding falls may be a hazard. If the conditions allow, this leg will travel through terrain capable of producing avalanches. Racers will have to pass a beacon check prior to entering avalanche terrain and carry at a minimum a probe and shovel. The leg and overall race time finish when the racer crosses the finish line at the end of the ski/snowboard mountaineering course.

Safety Notes:

  • Volunteer Ski Patrol will be stationed along the Snowshoe and Ski/Snowboard Mountaineering course.
  • Report any observed non-life-threatening injury to the next course marshal along the course.
  • Course Marshals will “sweep” the snowshoe, mountain run, and ski/snowshoe mountaineering legs after the final racer departs the transition zones. 
  • Please check in with the closest transition zone/finish if you decide to pull out of the race.
  • While there will be limited water stops, racers should be prepared to fulfill their own hydration and food needs.
  • Racers should be prepared (through a support crew if necessary) to stay/get warm at the end of their leg or race. Mountain Runners especially should plan ahead to have warm layers waiting at the mountain run-ski/snowboard mountaineering transition zone.
  • Beacon, Probe, and Shovel are required gear for the Ski/Snowboard Mountaineering leg. Consider appropriate traction and self-arrest tools if the weather/conditions warrant.
  • Connie’s Way has a damaged bridge that is scheduled for replacement and is not safe to cross. The bridge and an alternate route will be marked, do not use it.  
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing if possible, wear a mask if social distancing is not possible.