This is the final bulletin issued by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center for the 2016-17 season. This will remain in effect until complete melt out. Travel in the backcountry requires careful snow evaluation and mountain sense. Hazards due to snow and ice will persist until it is all gone. Snowstorms on Mount Washington in June may be uncommon, but are not unheard of. If venturing into the mountains, be sure to use all available resources to help plan your trip and make safe travel decisions.
The summer Lion Head Trail is open and provides the most direct route to the summit of Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch.
A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed through the Bowl. This section extends from Lunch Rocks to the junction with the Alpine Garden Trail. This closure is due to the severe and possibly fatal consequences of a fall in this area. This also means that skiing or riding the Lip is not allowed. This section of trail will remain closed until the snow disappears. Check in with one of the visitor centers or the caretaker at Hermit Lake for the current status.
The John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed for the season.
Falling Ice and Rocks: While the most notorious pieces have already fallen down this spring, smaller pieces of ice linger and will continue to present a threat until the snow is gone. As the snow recedes this time of year, rocks are often dislodged. Overhead assessment and safe travel techniques will help to mitigate this hazard.
Crevasses: As the snow pulls away from cliffs, these glide cracks open and have swallowed many people over the years. These are best given a wide berth. The largest of these cracks are obvious while those smaller in size may be harder to see and therefore can often present more of a hazard.
Holes and Undermined Snow: The snowpack melts both on the surface and from beneath. As this hollowing takes place, unpredictable collapses will occur. Some are more obvious like the famous snow arch near Lunch Rocks but others are less so, like a sudden hole appearing in the floor of the Ravine.
This season was a time of significant change for our avalanche center. Thank you to everyone for lending a hand when needed. Frank Carus became the director and we were fortunate to add Ryan Matz to the team. We were also lucky to have part-time help from Joe Klementovich, Justin Preisendorfer, Brian Johnston, Dan Corn, and Alexa Siegel. Thank you all for donning a green jacket and spending time with us on the hill. A huge thank you goes to the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol for all the time they donate. Thank you also to the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake and the Harvard Cabin caretakers for collecting daily weather data, providing SAR response, and being partners in the field. In addition to this, a thank you goes to all of you for reading our advisories, providing us with your observations, and coming to this special place. We look forward to seeing you in November at the Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop.
Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This bulletin 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.
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 at 7:00 am on Monday, May 29, 2017.
Helon Hoffer, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856
As time allows, we post timely information to social media that supplements the current advisory. This includes images, videos and quick notes of what we find as we look for clues for which we base our snowpack assessment. Please take a look!