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The Lip

A steep and dangerous descent down the traditional Tuckerman Ravine route.

Ski Touring Severe

207 m
0 m
154 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
1.5 km
The Lip Map

The Lip is one of the most popular routes in the bowl, second only to Left Gully. In the summer, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail ascends The Lip and continues to the summit of Mount Washington. The Lip bootpack follows a similar route. On spring days you can see hundreds of people climbing this insanely steep line. The Lip is a fairly wide bowl between the Icefall and The Sluice. Climb The Lip from the bottom to access it. You will begin this terrifying line with a blind rollover, it appears to just drop off the face of the earth. The top section is usually scrapped off due to nervous skiers who don’t know how to handle steep terrain, take this section slowly to avoid catching an edge. Try to remain in the fall line and avoid traversing too far in either direction. After the first hundred feet you are below the Icefall, you can traverse out underneath it as far as you want before committing to the fall line. The lower half is wide open and offers some wonderful west coast style skiing. Although The Lip is steep, the real hazard here is glide cracks. When the steep terrain starts to melt out, a pocket between the land and snow forms, this drops up to 800 feet to the floor of the Ravine. In most areas they don’t get big enough to fall into, but on The Lip they become huge gaping holes. People can and have died from falls into them. When these glide cracks become prominent, the rangers will close The Lip. You will see a sign that reads “Tuckerman Ravine Trail closed beyond Lunch Rocks.” Even when it is open, these still pose a threat. Luckily they can easily be scoped while hiking up. If you are still nervous, ski a different line and avoid The Lip entirely.



Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and April


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Guidebooks in this area