General Bulletin issued on Monday, May 27, 2019

This information was published 05/27/2019 at 4:30 AM.
A new bulletin will be issued when conditions warrant.


The Bottom Line

This is the final bulletin published by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center for the 2018-19 winter season. It 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 both are all gone. Summer snowstorms on Mount Washington are uncommon, but 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.

2019-05-27 General Bulletin

Danger Rating by Zone

The tail end of each winter brings a few trails updates in the Tuckerman Ravine area. The following changes are now in effect:

  • A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the Bowl is now closed and will remain closed until full melt-out. This closures affects the trail between Lunch Rocks and the junction of the Tuckerman Ravine and Alpine Garden Trails, covering the area commonly known as the Lip. This closure is in effect to help prevent unaware hikers from descending a disintegrating snowpack that is riddled with glide cracks and moats. This closure is backed by a forest order, meaning traveling through this section of trail can result in a fine. The closure will end when the hiking trail through the Sluice and Lip are free of snow.
  • Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.
  • The Lion Head Summer Trail is now open and the preferred hiking trail to access the summit of Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch. The Winter Route is now closed to prevent resource damage, as the trail was designed for over-snow use. While the summer trail is now open, do keep in mind you will encounter snow on this trail until mid-June. Bringing some sort of traction will greatly increase your sense of security, particularly on the section of trail right at tree line.
  • The John Sherburne Ski Trail is now closed to skiing due to a lack of snow.

Mountain Weather

Despite what the calendar says, snow is never out of the question in any month on Mount Washington. Spring and early summer bring rapid changes to our snowpack, with conditions often changing by the hour. Plan accordingly for these changes by reading the weather forecast before you head out (MWObs Higher Summits and NWS Hourly forecast) and bringing the appropriate gear for your objective.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

The following is a list of hazards you may encounter if recreating in steep, snow covered terrain. These all have mitigation measures as well as locations that they more commonly appear. Realize that many of these are weather dependent and that even the professionals do their weather and conditions homework before venturing into field.

Additional Concerns

Thank you to all of our partners and volunteers, including the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, the AMC and the caretakers at Hermit Lake and the Harvard Cabin, the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation, Randolph Mountain Club, and many others. Thanks to all of you who have volunteered your time or your money to help with projects and rescues. Our mission is to serve the public and we count on support from the community to make that happen. Also, we look forward to seeing you this fall at the Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop. Stay tuned to our social media channels and this website for news, upcoming talks in your region and of course, for avalanche forecasts next winter!

Details on daily snowfall totals, precipitation type, total depth of snow and other information can be found on our page devoted to snow study plot data. Click here to check it out.

Recent snowpack and avalanche observations can be found here and on Instagram. Your observations help improve our forecast product. Please take a moment and submit a photo or two and a brief description of snow and avalanche information that you gather in the field.

The young man who was last seen heading up the Winter Lion Head Route on March 8 remains missing.  It is thought that he may have been intent on taking his own life. If that is the case, his remains may be somewhere near Tuckerman Ravine, around the summit or within a few hours hike on the steep part of Lion Head Winter Route. Please report any potential clues to the NH Fish and Game officers at 603-271-3361 or to USFS Snow Rangers at mwactucks@gmail.com or via AMC Front Desk staff at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. If it is clear that you have found him, please call 911.

Snow Plot Information

DateHN24HN24W
(SWE)
Density (%)HSTTotalAir TT MaxT MinSkyPrecipComments
12/14/19
05:15
Trace 18.7 MMTrace55 CM1.5 C2.0 C-8.5 COvercastRain
12/13/19
05:00
0 CM 0.0 MM0CM55 CM-8.0 C-8.0 C-12.0 CBrokenNo precipitation
12/12/19
05:00
1 CM 0.2 MM1CM55 CM-12.0 C-7.0 C-12.0 COvercastNo precipitation
12/11/19
05:00
Trace 9.9 MMTrace55 CM-10.0 C4.0 C-10.0 COvercastNo precipitation
12/10/19
05:15
0 CM 23.0 MM0CM59 CM2.5 C2.5 C-2.0 COvercastRain

Avalanche Log and Summit Weather

Thank you Mount Washington Observatory for providing daily weather data from the summit of Mount Washington.

DateMax TempMin TempTotal (SWE)24H Snow & IceWind AvgWind Fastest MileFastest Mile DirAvalanche Activity
05/30/1946 F36 F 0 in 0 in27.9 MPH55 MPH

290 (WNW)

05/29/1947 F33 F 0 in 0 in20 MPH48 MPH

290 (WNW)

05/28/1934 F28 F .71 in 3.7 in20 MPH48 MPH

290 (WNW)

05/27/1940 F27 FTrace 0 in38.9 MPH68 MPH

300 (WNW)

05/26/1948 F39 F .77 in 0 in48.7 MPH75 MPH

290 (WNW)

05/25/1947 F31 F .42 in 0 in17.7 MPH63 MPH

240 (WSW)

05/24/1942 F32 F .66 in 0 in44.8 MPH105 MPH

05/23/1944 F30 F .16 in 0 in26.8 MPH71 MPH

270 (W)

05/22/1934 F21 F 0 in 0 in36.2 MPH115 MPH

330 (NNW)

05/21/1934 F23 F .57 in 1.9 in73 MPH135 MPH

330 (NNW)

05/20/1951 F33 F 0.57 in 0.0 in48 MPH82 MPH

250 (WSW)

05/19/1951 F34 F .6 in 0 in34.2 MPH66 MPH

250 (WSW)

Please Remember:

Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This forecast 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.

Avalanche danger may change when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.

For more information contact the US Forest Service Snow Rangers, AMC visitor services staff at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters or seasonally at the Harvard Cabin (generally December 1 through March 31). The Mount Washington Ski Patrol is also available on spring weekends.

Posted 05/27/2019 at 4:30 AM.

Frank Carus, Helon Hoffer, Ryan Matz, and Jeff Fongemie
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest