General Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight, Thursday, April 30, 2014.

Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines are under a late season General Avalanche Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain. General Advisories are valid for no more than three days, but may be updated earlier as conditions warrant.

This is a late season General Advisory, which is different from advisories using the 5-scale danger rating system. It’s important for you to understand that there may be unstable snow while a GA is in effect. Instabilities may come in many forms, such as wind slab, wet slab, loose wet snow, etc. We most often use GAs late in the season after the snowpack has stabilized to the point where day-to-day weather changes are not going to drastically affect snow stability. But remember, you are ultimately responsible for making your own assessments of snow stability when using avalanche terrain.

This upcoming week we expect to see rain and generally unsettled weather over the mountain. Even in a springtime snowpack, rain can exacerbate a lot of problems. In addition to the annual spring hazards listed below, a heavy rain event can cause large destructive wet slab avalanches, particularly in the Lip. At this time of year, I would not personally recommend traveling into Tuckerman during a heavy rain event, due to the variety and magnitude of hazards present.

FALLING ICE is a very dangerous situation. The largest ice looms in the Sluice above Lunch Rocks, in the Center Bowl of Tuckerman, and throughout much of Huntington. Other areas pose this threat as well, though to a lesser extent. The best advice we can give is to not spend time underneath areas where ice may fall. Large rocks may provide some cover, but they have proven themselves in the past to be inadequate shields for people hiding behind them. Lunch Rocks is a hazardous location when icefall is a possibility!

CREVASSES AND WATERFALL HOLES are another potentially lethal hazard. Each season these form in many areas, the worst are in the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Many of these holes follow stream courses under the snowpack with icy water spraying around. We anticipate these hazards to be increasing in magnitude throughout this week.

UNDERMINED SNOW is related to the hazard above. It occurs when streams have eroded away the snowpack from below, but left behind a bridge of snow. This bridge can collapse without warning under your weight, bringing you into the icy stream below. Give wide berth to areas that have already collapsed or show signs of sagging or cracking.

LONG SLIDING FALLS are probably the #1 cause of injury each spring. Cold temperatures cause the soft corn snow to refreeze into a slick and solid mass of ice. We always recommend an ice axe and crampons for travel in steep terrain. You may not need them always, but if the unexpected happens these tools, and the ability to use them effectively, can save you from serious injury or death.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. The bottom half of the John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed. Please cross over to the hiking trail at the closure rope and hike the rest of the way down to Pinkham.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:15 a.m. April 29, 2014. A new advisory will be issued Friday, May 2.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-29 General Advisory

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 28, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Be prepared for increasing avalanche hazard if snow falls heavier than forecast.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Generally, snow stability in the ravine will be good today. There may be opportunities for loose wet sluffs to be a problem. Areas that see a lot of skier traffic will be less affected by this issue; get off the beaten track and you may see more of it.

WEATHER: 3” (7.8cm) of new snow fell Saturday through daybreak Sunday, this was followed by just a trace of snow during the day yesterday (reports were that it rained steadily in the valley, but all we saw was snow). Today will be cloudy, with the potential for fog to drop low enough into the ravines to obscure the visibility. Temperatures should warm above the freezing mark in the ravines, while winds will be on the light side for Washington. All in all, it won’t be too shabby of a day if you don’t mind the clouds.

SNOWPACK: Yesterday around noon, temperatures rose about 5 degrees in a short amount of time, bringing temperatures at ravine elevations above freezing. This warming helped moisten the new snow. After subsequent refreezing last night, the thin new layer is likely to be well-adhered to the older surfaces below. Rising temperatures today should allow surfaces to soften again. However, cloud cover may make this slower to happen than if it were a sunny day.

OTHER HAZARDS: ICEFALL is a possibility today. Not much ice has fallen yet this season, which means there is still a large amount of ice up in the headwall and in the Sluice above Lunch Rocks waiting to come crashing down. Don’t spend any more time than you need to in areas exposed to icefall hazard, such as at Lunch Rocks.

CREVASSES have been late in emerging this season. I expect that this week we will begin to see these cracks creep up to the surface. Remember that what you see at the surface is often much smaller than the hole beneath the snow. Approach crevasse prone areas (e.g. the Lip) with caution and choose your route carefully, or avoid these locations altogether.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in steep terrain!

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is open to about 1 mile from Pinkham and closed below this point. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers or the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake or staff at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
  • Posted 6:55a.m. 4-28-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-28 Print Friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 27, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Watch for unstable snow in isolated terrain features.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: The possibility of wind slabs developing during the day caught my attention and had initially driven up the danger rating for select areas. Then the fog in the ravine lifted momentarily and I was able to see that yesterday’s new snow did not blanket the old surfaces the way I was thinking they would have. This visual clue was a key factor in keeping danger ratings at Low today. However, you should be on the lookout for small pockets of wind slab in all areas regardless of the Low rating. The most likely locations for unstable slab to develop will have a S or SE aspect. This is due to winds shifting to the N and increasing in speeds late today.

WEATHER: Yesterday and overnight we received 3” (7.8cm) of new snow at Hermit Lake. This began to fall with winds 30-40mph from the S, then they lessened to 15-20mph and shifted to the NW as snow continued to fall. Today we expect an increase back up to 35-50mph and a further shift to the N. Additionally, we may receive a trace to 2” of additional accumulations today. Ravine temperatures today will only be hovering near freezing, so don’t be looking for soft spring snow. Visibility may be poor at times as fog comes and goes.

SNOWPACK: After hiking up to find 3” of new snow coating everything in sight, it was a bit of a surprise to see up into the Lip and Sluice while writing and easily see old surfaces showing through in more or less all areas. My impression of what happened is that the light winds were not able to transport the high density snow, so it just stayed in place wherever it fell instead of building into deeper drifts. Beneath the dusting is an icy surface that has been thoroughly stabilized by previous melt/freeze cycles. As winds ramp up, new wind slab development may take place today, especially if we get another 2” of snow. There are factors working in favor of keeping new slab from being unstable, such as the rough textured bed surfaces, high density snow, and relatively warm temperatures. Be watchful for thin weak layers beneath newly formed slabs.

OTHER HAZARDS: Long sliding falls are a potential hazard today snow surfaces stay frozen. An ice axe and crampons will help keep you safe, but knowing how to effectively use them is every bit as important. Practice before you put yourself into “no-fall” terrain. CREVASSES have been late in emerging this season. Currently they are mostly buried and not a problem. The most notable exception to this is in the Lip, other smaller holes exist in Sluice and elsewhere. There is also some undermined snow in Right Gully and Lobster Claw.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in steep terrain.

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is open to about 1 mile from Pinkham and closed below this point. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, or the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake or Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
  • Posted 8:35a.m. 4-27-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

 2014-04-27 Print Friendly

 

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, April 26, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Be prepared for increasing avalanche hazard if snow falls heavier than forecast.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Earlier this week we received a small amount of new snow, which was blown into S and E facing slopes as well as pockets just about everywhere else. Yesterday all of this new snow warmed and then was chopped up by numerous skiers and riders. This snow has since gone below freezing and provides the groundwork for what will come today. Today we are expecting new precipitation. If this comes as all snow, and if we exceed the upper range of what is forecast, avalanche danger may rise above today’s Low rating in some areas. With a roughly textured bed surface, the forecasted snow totals, and relatively light winds, I do not expect there will be enough slab development to become a widespread problem. As always though, you need to watch the actual weather yourself and be responsible for your own decisions based on your assessments!

WEATHER: The big question about the weather is this: At what elevation will the line be drawn between frozen precipitation and rain? We are almost certainly going to get some precipitation today, but whether this comes as snow, sleet, or rain will be something you will need to pay attention to. You should be expecting rain, between 0.2 and 0.3” (~1cm) at elevations with temperatures above freezing. This may translate to 1-3” (2.5-7.5cm) of snow where it falls as all snow. Winds will be from the S and decreasing to 10-25mph. Also be prepared for very limited visibility in the thick fog.

SNOWPACK: As mentioned, there is a mix of old surfaces and relatively new snow from earlier in the week. The new snow adhered well in locations where it had loaded, allowing many skiers to carve it up yesterday while it was warm. Both the old surface and the new snow have good stability.

OTHER HAZARDS: Long sliding falls are a potential hazard today snow surfaces stay frozen. An ice axe and crampons will help keep you safe, but knowing how to effectively use them is every bit as important. Practice before you put yourself into “no-fall” terrain. ICEFALL is a possibility today. Rain is often a trigger for falling ice. In low visibility you cannot see it coming at you. This hazard will be increasing if it warms or if we have rain. CREVASSES have been late in emerging this season. Currently they are mostly buried and not a problem. The most notable exception to this is in the Lip, other smaller holes exist in Sluice and elsewhere. There is also some undermined snow in Right Gully and Lobster Claw.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in terrain this steep!

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is open to about 1 mile from Pinkham and closed below this point. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, or the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake or Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
  • Posted 7:15 a.m. 4-26-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-26 Print Friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Friday April 25, 2014

This advisory expires at Midnight.  

Tuckerman Ravine has LOW and MODERATE avalanche danger.  The Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible.  All other areas have Low avalanche danger where natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. The Little Headwall is an open waterfall and has no rating.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. We are no longer monitoring conditions. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEMWind Slab is the main problem today due to Wednesday night and Thursday snow.  The summit is reporting 7.3″ of snow, melting to 1.27″ of water, in the last 36 hours.  Lower on the mountain, Hermit Lake received much less,  and Pinkham picked up nothing.  Later in the day, if enough solar gain occurs, anticipate the Wind Slab problem to mix in with Wet Loose and potentially Wet Slab problems.

WEATHER: Conditions have changed dramatically in the past 24 hours from socked in clouds, blowing snow, and winds peaking at 106 mph on Thursday to a beautiful morning with dropping winds.  Winds are expected to continue falling from around 50 to close to 20 mph today under mostly sunny skies.  As we move into the evening increasing clouds are expected in prelude to the precipitation forecasted for tonight and the weekend.  Lower on the mountain we will likely get mostly rain, the majority of which should come during the day on Saturday.  In the Ravines and Summit cone you can anticipate rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. Some verglass glazing is  possible during this event making rocks up high very slick.  From tonight through Sunday morning the current models are predicting 0.6-0.75″ of water to hit our region.

SNOWPACK:  Very high winds on Thursday, exceeding 100 mph (160kph), scoured most areas back to the old hard melt freeze crust peppered with patches of new snow.  As temperatures rise today you may see this old surface move from very hard towards softening.  Expect the large patches of new snow in the areas forecasted at “Low” to have some cold elastic properties early in the day capable of producing a small human triggered avalanche.  A good example is the pocket above the narrows in the Chute. These could send you for a long fall that could be quite bad, but mostly wouldn’t bury you.  Other areas forecasted at Moderate, namely the Sluice through Center Bowl, were in the lee of N and NW winds and picked up more snow.  These area have thicker slabs capable of burying you.  As temperatures rise today, due to a high Spring sun and dropping winds, expect new snow in these areas to warm and initially begin stabilizing.  The big question is whether they heat up long enough to begin losing strength, and hedging towards wet sluffing and wet slab potential.  This is most probable on slopes that are most protected from winds and point directly south such as in the Sluice.  This is something to watch this afternoon.  It is possible these locales will creep up through the Moderate rating, bumping the ceiling of the definition.  Also consider falling ice as a potential trigger.

OTHER HAZARDS:  Icefall hazard will jump forward again as the lead spring hazard today as temperature warm again.  Keep this on your mind, particularly the Sluice ice that looms behind Lunch Rocks.  Ice fall has injured and killed numerous people of over the years as well as triggering avalanches.  Crevasses, that have begun to open up primarily in the Lip area and down towards Lunch Rocks, will likely be hidden by new snow making this hazard very difficult to assess.  The prudent traveler would avoid this areas due both to avalanche problems and crevasses.

Walking from the Bowl to Hermit Lake is the only option as the brook has blown out.  Expect bare spots and bumps on the Sherburne ski trail back to Pinkham.  The lower half of the trail is closed due to melt-out and mud.   Please cross to the hiking trail and walk the short distance to parking lot.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 845 a.m. 4-25-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-25 Print

Avalanche Advisory for Thursday April 24, 2014

This advisory expires at Midnight.  

Although we just moved to a General Advisory during this midweek we are returning to a 5 Scale advisory. This is due to extent of the hazard in prelude to the weekend with additional precipitation over the next few days.  

Tuckerman Ravine has Considerable and Moderate avalanche danger. The Sluice, Lip, Center Bowl, and the Chute has Considerable avalanche danger.  Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely.  All other forecast areas in Tuckerman have Moderate avalanche hazard. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible.  The Little Headwall is an open waterfall and has no rating.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. We are no longer monitoring conditions. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Wind Slabs and Storm Slabs are the main problem today due to overnight snow, snow today and high winds.  We expect a lingering avalanche problem due to this precipitation event and new rain/snow coming Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday.

WEATHER: As of midnight over 5″ fell in a short period and it has been snowing ever since adding an additional inch or two as of this morning.  Up to another 2″ is expected today.  High N winds will continue to build and shift, coming from the NW later today. Expect wind velocities over 100mph (160kph).   The cold air in the teens F, blowing snow, low visibility and very high winds have created full on winter conditions.

SNOWPACK: New snow is falling on an old rough and irregular melt freeze surface.  The hazard is almost exclusively in the new snow slabs that have developed over the past 12 hours and will continue to grow today.  Expect +/- 7 to 8″ of new snow on the summit to be loaded in on high winds causing slab development across all forecast areas.  Earlier in the winter when alpine areas are completely snow covered and bed surfaces are consistent and smooth we would have most areas bumped one rating higher.  But, between skier induced bumps and alpine bushes capturing some of this new snow, today’s ratings are appropriate.  Expect areas to be on the upper end of their rating depending how much new snow we receive exactly and what wind velocities we reach today.

OTHER HAZARDS:  With the current temperatures the icefall hazard has decreased a bit, but it should be on your mind, particularly the Sluice ice that looms behind Lunch Rocks.  Crevasses, that have begun to open up primarily in the Lip down towards Lunch Rocks, will likely be hidden by new snow making this hazard very difficult to assess.  The prudent traveler would avoid this areas due both to avalanche problems and crevasses.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:20 a.m. 4-24-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-24 Print

General Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

This General Advisory expires at 12:00 midnight, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines are under a late season General Avalanche Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain. General Advisories are valid for no more than three days, but may be updated earlier as conditions warrant.

Each season we reach a point where the day-to-day avalanche hazard is not significantly changing. We have reached this point in the 2014 season, for this reason we have decided to shift to a General Advisory. We will be monitoring the ravines, though with less of a snowpack-focused approach than we have for the past several months. For you, as a backcountry traveler, this means that you are responsible for assessing weather, snow, and avalanche conditions (this is always the expectation, but now we will have less daily information for you to utilize.) New snow, rain, or other weather may cause stability problems to exist even under a General Advisory.

At the time of this posting, the snowpack in the ravines is very stable. It has seen multiple melt-freeze cycles, which have added tremendous strength to the snowpack. There are both very warm temps and some rain expected in the next few days, so be thinking about the effects of a lot of running water throughout the snowpack and in the streams.

FALLING ICE is a very dangerous situation. The largest ice looms in the Sluice above Lunch Rocks, in the Center Bowl of Tuckerman, and throughout much of Huntington. Other areas pose this threat as well, though to a lesser extent. The best advice we can give is to not spend time underneath areas where ice may fall. Large rocks may provide some cover, but they have proven themselves in the past to be inadequate shields for people hiding behind them. Lunch Rocks is a hazardous location when icefall is a possibility!

CREVASSES AND WATERFALL HOLES are another potentially lethal hazard. Each season these form in many areas, the worst are in the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Many of these holes follow stream courses under the snowpack with icy water spraying around. Sunday evening we received our first report of a climber breaking through and dangling her body into a crevasse, thankfully she did not fall all the way in, and was able to climb out.

UNDERMINED SNOW is related to the hazard above. It occurs when streams have eroded away the snowpack from below, but left behind a bridge of snow. This bridge can collapse without warning under your weight, bringing you into the icy stream below. Give wide berth to areas that have already collapse or show signs of sagging or cracking.

LONG SLIDING FALLS are probably the #1 cause of injury each spring. Cold temperatures cause the soft corn snow to refreeze into a slick and solid mass of ice. We always recommend an ice axe and crampons for travel in steep terrain. You may not need them always, but if the unexpected happens these tools, and the ability to use them effectively, can save you from serious injury or death.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 6:45 a.m. April 21, 2014. A new advisory will be issued Thursday, April 24.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-21 General Advisory

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 20, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Snow stability in Tuckerman is generally quite good at this time. Other hazards such as falling ice and long falls should get your attention today. Read on for more details.

WEATHER: Today will be an incredible contrast to yesterday as far as weather is concerned. Winds will be about as calm as they get on the mountain due to high pressure passing by the area. Temperatures are forecast to rise above freezing at all elevations. Best of all, the sun will be out. For perspective, yesterday morning visibility ranged from 50 to 100 feet for many hours without a break, surfaces were rock solid ice with no hope of softening with temps below freezing.

SNOWPACK: The snowpack starting today is solidly locked into the freeze portion of a melt-freeze cycle. This will quickly change as sun and warmth begin to have their way with frozen layers. I expect all surfaces to become softened early, then maybe even become deeply wetted as the day moves on.

ICEFALL SEASON IS HERE. There is currently a large chunk perched threateningly over Lunch Rocks. This will almost certainly crash into the rocks if it were to fall today. There are many safer locations to relax between runs or hang out and watch the action…Lunch Rocks is not one of them. Icefall may occur from other locations as well, so stay aware of this potential.

CREVASSES AND HOLES IN THE SNOWPACK have been late in emerging this season. They will come out and become a problem at some point. Today might be the day. Ask if you have questions about where these typically open up because you’ll have a hard time seeing them until the snow gives way under your feet.

The best exit from the bowl is to hike down the trail. The Little Headwall is blown out completely for the season. The streambed has also deteriorated beyond what a reasonable person would call “skiable”. Trying to negotiate the trees on either side is difficult at best, dangerous at worst, and your judgment will be questioned by anyone on the hiking trail or the porch who happens to see you flailing in there.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in terrain this steep!

The John Sherburne Ski Trail remains open to the parking lot. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:00 a.m. 4-20-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-20 Print Friendly

 

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, April 19, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Snow stability in Tuckerman is generally quite good at this time. Other hazards such as icy surfaces and long falls should get your attention today. Read on for more details. Snow is forecast as a possibility today. If we receive a significant amount, wind slabs may be developing. However, we would need to reach or exceed the upper end of the 2” forecast to have this become a real threat.

WEATHER: The weather forecast for today is not ideal for spring skiing. It will feel more like a harsh winter day. Expect dropping temperatures, falling into the 20s F or even lower in the ravines. Summit winds will be on the increase, rising to 50-70mph from the NW. While it won’t be blowing quite this strong in the ravine itself, you’d be mistaken to say it won’t be windy even in protected areas. To top this all off, a trace to 2” of snow may fall during the day. My recommendation to anyone out hiking around today: bring warm boots, extra dry layers, and a thermos full of piping hot coffee.

SNOWPACK: We are clearly into the melt-freeze cycle of springtime. Yesterday there were two dominant surfaces, an older gray colored crust and a pure white layer of windblown snow that was transported in on Weds/Thurs. Both of these were warmed yesterday and refrozen again overnight.

With the temperatures expected to decrease today, these surfaces aren’t likely to soften. If you decide to climb steep terrain, choose your route carefully. Not every route has a fall line that is free from rocks and other hazards. You don’t want to slip and fall today. The snow surface will be abrasive, to put it mildly. Additionally, you might quickly generate more speed than you could ever imagine. An ice axe and crampons are good tools to help navigate steep icy terrain, but using your good judgment to choose appropriate terrain is even more important.

OTHER HAZARDS: We are at the beginning of the icefall season. There is currently a large chunk perched threateningly over Lunch Rocks, but much of the largest ice is still in the usual locations.

The best exit from the bowl is to hike down the trail. The Little Headwall is blown out completely for the season. The streambed has also deteriorated beyond what a reasonable person would call “skiable”. Trying to negotiate the trees on either side is sure to generate laughter from anyone on the hiking trail or the porch who happens to see you flailing in there. You can take this as advice from someone who’s been there, or you can take it as a challenge, it’s your choice.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in terrain this steep!

The John Sherburne Ski Trail remains open to the parking lot. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 6:40 a.m. 4-19-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-19 Print Friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Friday April 18, 2014

This Advisory expires at midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated terrain features. These pockets do exist particularly from the Lip through the Center Bowl. Other secondary pockets exist in other locations such as in the Sluice, on the traverse between the Sluice and the Lip, etc. It is important to understand there is still potential to trigger a pocket from midweek’s snow, albeit isolated.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Wind deposited snow across the Center Bowl, and especially in the Lip area, that occurred on Wednesday is still the primary concern. These Wind Slabs stabilized a bit yesterday as temperature flirted with the freezing mark under bright sun. Higher temperatures in avalanche terrain today, perhaps close to 40F, will likely move cold wind slab issues towards a Wet Loose and thin Wet Slab concern.

WEATHER: Clear conditions and good 100 mile visibility with temperatures just below freezing made for a nice “winter” day on Thursday. Today, summit temperatures should break the freezing mark while increasing clouds start to knock down solar gain influence this afternoon. Winds from the S will move to the SW and increase to 40+mph (64kph). Looking forward, snow showers overnight and colder air will be in place tomorrow, but we’ll discuss that more in this afternoon’s Weekend Update.

SNOWPACK: +/-2” of rain on Tuesday followed by sub-zeroF temperatures created a bomber concrete snowpack by Wednesday that would have taken a trigger of planetary proportions to cause avalanches. A couple of inches of snow that fell since then are the problem now that Frank discussed yesterday, and I mention above. Slabs are scattered around primarily in the Center Bowl and Lip and are not to be walked into blindly, but don’t quite make into the Moderate rating. This is due to their overall lack of widespread continuity, size in the steepest terrain, the snow surfaces texture allowing good adhesion, as well are the generally roughness of the surfaces caused by the weekend traffic. Rain did knock down the size of bumps in the Lip, etc. but all these types of features are assisting in keeping new snow in place. Again, have an eye open for instability and do your stability tests to have good information to help your choices. A prudent and thoughtful user can avoid problems with some flexibility.

Additionally, be sure to consider new snow may be covering the beginning of developing crevasses and holes. Some of these drifts may be obscuring possible deep slots that opened during recent heavy rain and warm temperatures. You are most likely to find these on steep snow slopes beneath buttresses of rock or ice in the Headwall/Lip and Sluice areas. Be aware of the potential to punch through into these slots. The main waterfall hole, marking the Lip/Center Bowl boundary, opened during the rain storm, but some thin ice and snow is now concealing the hazard from view. The Open Book waterfall hole in the fall line of the Lip, 2/3rds the way down towards the floor, could make a sliding fall extremely consequential. Choose your line carefully!

OTHER HAZARDS: 1. Micro-spikes and other creeper style traction devices may be helpful on some lower angle trails, but they simply are not adequate for steep terrain! Be prepared for steep, firm snow and fast, icy surfaces. A fall on steep terrain today on the old surface would be next to impossible to self-arrest. Don’t fall especially above a crevasse or streambed. 2. Warm conditions will return the ice fall menace! The Sluice ice, behind Lunch Rocks, make this a horrible place to sit. Ice fall across the Lip through the Center Bowl is also looming waiting to be heated. Next to sliding falls this has been out #2 injury maker over time. Do not linger in their runouts! 3. Recent rain and warm weather really melted out snow spanning streams like the one that flows out of Tuckerman. With our deep snowpack, the distance from snow surface to rushing streambed below could make it difficult to climb out of some of the holes should you fall in. 4. The Sherburne ski trail is what you would expect after 2″ of rain followed by freezing temperatures. You can still make it to the parking lot but expect detours around ice, large bumps, bare spots and open water drainages.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters or the Harvard Cabin. Posted 0815. 4-18-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Christopher Joosen, USFS Snow Ranger.

2014-04-18 Print

Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tuckerman Ravine has Moderate and Low avalanche danger. Lip and Center Bowl have Moderate avalanche hazard. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. All other forecast areas have Low avalanche hazard. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully!

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Wind deposited snow across the Center Bowl and especially in the Lip area yesterday. These Wind Slabs will most likely be reactive to human triggering as they warm this morning before their energy is cooked out by the sunshine. The Open Book waterfall hole in the fall line of the Lip could make a sliding fall extremely consequential. Pockets of new wind slab also exist beneath Sluice ice, in Chute and below the narrow section, on skiers left, in Left Gully.

WEATHER: Two inches of snow yesterday blew into the Ravines on high, westerly winds. Light winds this morning coupled with clear skies will allow temperatures to push up into the 30’sF, if not into the 40’s, in Tuckerman today with upper 20’s F forecast for the summit. Scattered clouds could allow slopes to refreeze at times today with the temperature so close to freezing.

SNOWPACK: Snow surfaces not covered with new snow today will be very hard and icy this morning. Yesterday, winds from the west effectively transported the small amount of new snow into smooth wind slabs in the Lip, beneath the ice across the Headwall. Some of these drifts may be obscuring possibly deep slots that opened during recent heavy rain and warm temperatures. You are most likely to find these  on steep snow slopes beneath buttresses of rock or ice in the Headwall/Lip and Sluice areas. Be aware of the potential to punch through into these slots, especially when traveling on foot. The main waterfall hole marking the Lip/Center Bowl boundary opened but some thin ice and snow is now concealing the hazard from view. Choose your line carefully!

OTHER HAZARDS:  Recent rain and warm weather really melted out snow spanning streams like the one that flows out of Tuckerman. With our deep snowpack, the distance from snow surface to rushing streambed below could make it difficult to climb out of some of the holes should you fall in. Rain also weakened frozen waterfalls so keep this hazard on your radar. Lunch Rocks is still a roll of the dice in terms of this hazard.

Micro-spikes and other creeper style traction devices may be helpful on some lower angle trails, but they do not provide the security of crampons. Be prepared to handle steep, firm snow and fast, icy surfaces. A fall on steep terrain today would be next to impossible to self-arrest. Don’t fall today, especially above a crevasse or streambed.

The Sherburne ski trail is what you would expect after 2″ of rain followed by freezing temperatures. You can still make it to the parking lot but expect detours around ice, bare spots and open water drainages.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:45 a.m. 4-17-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-17 Print friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Plunging temperatures overnight are freezing our snow pack and beginning to lock up free water. A small amount of new snow (<1″) with continued upslope snow may create small pockets of unstable Wind Slab in lee areasThis morning, high winds are likely scouring high start zones and depositing snow lower in the Ravines. As winds slow later, look for the potential for wind slab development in higher start zones. Monitor the amount of new snow fall today and anticipate a potentially growing hazard, particularly if more upslope snow falls than is forecast.

WEATHER: The summit temperature graph was bearish last night, to say the least. Temperatures dropped to -2F (-19C) from a steady 40F (4C) last night at 6pm. Cold frontal passages like the one we are experiencing often spawn upslope snow shower activity on the mountain, though the Obs is only calling for a trace to one inch (2.5cm) of new snow today. Winds are blowing pretty steadily around 90 mph (115 kph) this morning. NWS point forecast is for 115 mph (185 kph) gusts this morning. Either way, it is pretty darn windy out. NW winds should fall off to 30-45 mph (50-70 kph) by sunset with clearing skies and temperatures rebounding a bit to the mid-single digits F (+/-  -15C).

SNOWPACK: To sum it up, hard and icy everywhere and undermined in many areas. If weak layers deep in the snowpack remain intact after the warm spell, they will be thoroughly bridged over by a icy skin of frozen slush and cold hard slabs of melt forms in the upper layers. The 2.18″ of rain that fell in the past 36 hours have opened waterfall holes and crevasses and undermined snow bridges covering water channels. Despite the cold, water is still flowing and continuing this process so if you venture into the Ravines be aware of the potential for punching through into these voids which can be surprisingly deep. Some thin areas in Right Gully and Sluice and areas over high volume water courses like the Lip and Center Bowl could collapse. The Little Headwall is now a waterfall. The Lip/Center Bowl waterfall hole and a crevasse along the base of the ice opened up on Monday and likely grew yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slot lower near the top of the Open Book when visibility improves later today.

OTHER HAZARDS:  Today, we are standing at the busy intersection of winter and spring hazards. Cold temps and high winds coupled with open waterfall holes and icy trails make travel in the mountains challenging. Recent rain and warm weather really melted out snow spanning streams like the one that flows out of Tuckerman. With our deep snowpack, the distance from snow surface to rushing streambed below could make it difficult to climb out of some of the holes.

Micro-spikes and other creeper style traction devices may be helpful on some lower angle trails, but they do not provide the security of crampons. Be prepared to handle steep, firm snow and fast, icy surfaces. A fall on steep terrain today would be next to impossible to self-arrest. Don’t fall today, especially above a crevasse or streambed.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:55 a.m. 4-16-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-16 Print friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Considerable avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely. Dangerous avalanche conditions will exist after rainfall begins. Careful snowpack assessment, cautious route finding and conservative decision making are essential.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Potentially heavy rain today will create the potential for Wet Slab avalanches. The largest of these would be most likely to occur in the Sluice, Lip and Center Bowl area if the larger water courses overflow their channels and run out over deeper slabs or ice lenses. The greatest chance of these types of avalanches will be later in the day after the rain has penetrated more deeply through the snow and melt runoff increases beyond it’s already high levels. Most other forecast areas will share this problem so if skiing in the rain is your thing, consider lift service today.

WEATHER: Rain should begin this morning and pickup in intensity into the afternoon. An inch of rain will fall before changing over to snow late tonight and in the wee hours of Wednesday. Temperatures, now standing at 42F will start to decline in the late afternoon and evening to around freezing at sundown and then down to around 10F by morning. 1-3″ snow may fall by morning. SW Wind will ramp up a bit from it’s current 45 mph or so as rain increases in intensity before slowing a bit later in the day. Overnight wind will shift to the NW and crank up to the 80-100 mph range by morning. Expect temperatures well below normal tomorrow.

SNOWPACK: Todays rain will be falling on an already rotten, unsupportive snowpack. Even packed trails will have the potential for postholing as water channels beneath the melting bonds between snow grains. All the warm weather has weakened the snowpack and encouraged the inevitable downhill creep of the snowpack. Smaller crevasses near rocks were opening over the past several days but were minor compared to what you could expect to see today. The main waterfall hole that opened yesterday in the Lip/Center Bowl area makes a crossing of the Tuckerman Ravine trail a dangerous proposition.

OTHER HAZARDS: Rain and more warm temperatures today continue to flood streams and undermine snow. Larger stream channels like the brook coming out of Tucks can be dangerous. Imagine falling into a treewell with water rushing through the bottom…..just as hard to get out of and with hypothermia and drowning a real possibility. To spice things up further, icefall potential will be on the rise today making Lunch Rocks an especially bad choice of places to hang out and enjoy the cold, wind driven rain.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:00 a.m. 4-15-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-15 Print friendly

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 14, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: The Low avalanche danger today is a result of multiple days of warm weather and cold nighttime temperatures. This diurnal cycle adds a lot of strength to the snow surfaces and reduces the potential for avalanche activity to a point where we are comfortable calling the danger level “Low.” Understand that predicting avalanches is not a perfect science. With this in mind, when traveling in avalanche terrain we always recommend carrying avalanche rescue equipment, practicing safe travel rituals, and keeping your awareness up for situations that could increase your risk.

WEATHER: If you’ve had any doubts about whether spring would ever arrive, today should be enough to erase them thoroughly. Valley temperatures may hit 70°F. The temperature sensors along the Auto Rd are already reading over 50°F at the 4300’ elevation! Higher summits forecasts for today call for the mountains to be in the clouds, but currently this is not the case. Even so, you should be ready for visibility to decrease if the cloud levels drop during the day.

Yesterday we received a surprise of about 2” of new snow at Hermit Lake before precipitation turned over to ice pellets and rain. At this point in the season, we will take whatever we can get to keep the existing snowpack fresh. It also highlights the ability of mountain weather to be somewhat unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for poor weather even if forecasts look promising.

SNOWPACK: We are certainly into a springtime snowpack. The ravines have spent far more time above freezing than they have below freezing over the last 24 hours. Today you should be expecting all surfaces to soften with the intense warming. Some slopes may turn into deep and unsupportive slop as well. Melt water may find its way to lower layers in the snow and produce a wet slab avalanche. My thoughts are that this will be more of a problem with Tuesday’s rain than with only melt water today.

OTHER HAZARDS: We are at the beginning of the icefall season, which means that there is a lot of ammunition perched high on the cliffs of the ravines. Sitting at Lunch Rocks is a lot like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. You don’t want to be there when heat and sunshine pull the trigger. Other springtime hazards, such as undermined snow and crevasses, are emerging as well. If you’re planning a future trip to the ravine, do your homework about these issues in advance!

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:45 a.m. 4-14-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-14 printable

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Recent daily melt and freeze cycles have brought our avalanche hazard down to Low. Today’s small amount of rain and warming are unlikely to create much avalanche danger. That said, safe travel practices and avalanche safety equipment are still a good idea. Avalanches caused by rain and warming are notoriously hard to predict, so a savvy mountain traveler will respect this threat by minimizing exposure with careful route finding.

WEATHER: Current temperatures are hovering around freezing at Alpine Garden elevations this morning and in the mid-30’s at Hermit Lake. Freezing rain and then rain are likely today. Up to a 1/4″ of rain may fall with temperatures on the summit eventually reaching 40 F by afternoon. This morning, freezing rain is predicted with winds coming from the southwest at around 40 mph, increasing to around 60 mph with higher gusts this afternoon.

SNOWPACK:  The snow pack is really beginning to shows signs of spring. Folks enjoyed the heck out of Tuckerman yesterday. About 1800 folks. Friday nights freeze was not very deep so all it took to soften things up was some sunshine with sluff piles and moguls showing up in short order. Shady aspects near the rims refroze quickly as the sun began to set. A little rain and freezing rain today may help smooth things out a bit. While generally stable, the issues that keep us search and rescue ready are still out there. There are still potential weak interfaces between wind slabs deep in the snowpack that can be lubricated and weakened by water. We saw this last year on a busy day when a wet slab pulled out of the Lip/Center Bowl waterfall area and surprised a lot of people near Lunch Rocks. A flood watch has been issued until Wednesday for the region so this hazard, along with undermined snow, crevasses opening up and sketchy stream crossings are all coming. Huntington Ravine climbs will continue to be exposed to rock and ice fall hazard due to warming.

OTHER HAZARDS: Icefall from the Sluice onto Lunch Rocks is becoming a real threat. Some of the ice over the “Knife edge” ridge between Sluice and Right Gully looks like it could fall any day.  Continued melting has really softened snow spanning streams like the exit from Tuckerman. As the volume of running water increases so does the hazard. Micro-spikes and other creeper style traction devices may be helpful on some lower angle trails, but they do not provide the security of crampons. Be prepared to handle steep, firm snow and fast, icy surfaces.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:40 a.m. 4-13-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-13 Print friendly