Avalanche Forecast Archives

2016 – 2017 Season

General Bulletin for Tuckerman Ravine

Date: May 29, 2017
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.

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 27, 2017

Date: May 27, 2017
A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new advisory will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

As high pressure builds over New England on Saturday, skies should clear as the day progresses. An inversion may keep clouds over mid-elevations with a slight chance of precipitation, but this should be limited to the morning. Sunday will see clearer skies overall with temperatures reaching close to the 50sF. A system arriving Sunday night will likely bring rain on Memorial Day.

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Date: May 24, 2017
This bulletin will expire at Midnight on Friday, May 26, 2017. A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new advisory will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. The high pressure […]

General Bulletin for Monday, May 22, 2017

Date: May 22, 2017
The summer Lion Head Trail is now open and is the preferred route to the Summit from Pinkham Notch. A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the Bowl is closed to all use. This section is from Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail and is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail, including the Lip, is not permitted. ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! 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.

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 20, 2017

Date: May 20, 2017
Cooler conditions have returned to the Ravines and brought a refreeze to the snowpack. Warming temperatures and sunshine today and through this weekend will soften snow and bring good, albeit limited skiing conditions to Tuckerman Ravine. Top to bottom runs are limited mostly to Hillman’s Highway and Left Gully.

The summer Lion Head Trail is now open and the preferred route to the summit from the east side. A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! 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.)

Please be aware that that snow and ice are still a concern on the summer Lion Head Trail and significant long-sliding falls have happened on the snowfield traverse near treeline. An ice axe and crampons and the ability to use them effectively are recommended.

General Bulletin for Thursday, May 18, 2017

Date: May 18, 2017
On Mother’s Day through the following morning, the summit received 33” (83cm) of new snow. Hermit Lake received just 10” (25cm, 25% density) during the same period of time. Warming temperatures and rain on Monday led to rapid settlement with two reports the following day of medium sized but harmless, human-triggered loose, wet avalanches in the sloppy snow. Currently, the new snow is virtually indistinguishable from the old surface. The melting will continue today with capricious spring weather. Expect record breaking high temperatures today near 60F on the summit with winds gusting to 85mph and thunderstorms developing Thursday night. Temperatures will fall through Friday, possibly bringing a freeze to the snowpack on Friday night which would set the stage for improved skiing conditions on Saturday. Both weekend days are forecast to be sunny and in the 40’s F.

The summer Lion Head Trail is now open. Due to open glide cracks and undermined snow, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed in the Ravine between Lunch Rocks and the Alpine Garden Trail. Please use the summer Lion Head trail if going to the summit from Pinkham. Please be aware that that snow and ice are still a concern on this trail and significant long-sliding falls have happened on the snowfield traverse near treeline.

General Bulletin for Monday, May 15, 2017

Date: May 15, 2017
On Sunday, 12” of new snow fell at Hermit Lake, with 4-6” more falling today. New snow, increasing winds and warming temperatures will create the potential for natural avalanches in many areas in Tuckerman Ravine. This includes the summer Lion Head Trail between Hermit Lake and treeline. The Lion Head Winter route is once again the safer route to the summit. Though significant melting has occurred since winter, there are ample bed surfaces remaining on the east side of Mount Washington that will allow avalanches large enough to bury and kill a person to occur. Today, wind from the North around 60 mph will load slopes with a south facing aspect and cross-load easterly aspects with wind slabs. As temperatures warm today and into Tuesday, precipitation will transition to freezing rain and then rain which will stress these wind slabs, making them more sensitive to human triggering and increasing the chance of natural wet slab avalanches.

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 13, 2017

Date: May 13, 2017
The Lion Head Winter route is now closed. The summer Lion Head Trail is now the preferred route to the summit of Mount Washington from the east side. This trail crosses steep snow slopes above significant cliffs in spots. As always in wintry ground conditions, crampons and ice axes and appropriate footwear are recommended equipment. Warm temperatures in the low 40’s with light southeast wind on the summit will make Saturday the better day of the weekend for skiing and hiking with plenty of snow remaining in Left Gully and Hillman’s Highway. Saturday afternoon will bring thickening clouds as the next precipitation moves in overnight bringing with it rain and slushy snowfall at higher elevations on Sunday. Sunday will be a washout with up to an inch and a half of rain predicted to fall by Monday.

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Date: May 10, 2017
Temperatures will trend slightly higher each day through Friday, with cloud cover and precipitation potential decreasing as well. Today will remain just below freezing on the upper mountain. Light snowfall over the past two days has not been sufficient to form unstable slabs of much significance in our terrain. Minimal snow accumulation forecast for the next three days limits our avalanche concerns, but the current cold weather should motivate you to consider the possibility of such winter hazards, in addition to those present in springtime.

General Bulletin for Monday, May 8, 2017

Date: May 8, 2017
An upper level low pressure system is moving over New England. This is slow moving and will promote cool and wet conditions for the duration of this bulletin. Temperatures should remain below freezing on the Summit with wind shifting between the N and W and speeds staying below 30mph. The snowpack will become firm with new snow covering some hazards. Forecast snow totals vary, but it seems likely that by the end of Wednesday it will be close to 3” of new snow.

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 6, 2017

Date: May 6, 2017
Unless updated this bulletin expires at Midnight, Monday, May 8, 2017. A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new advisory will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. A general bulletin for Tuckerman will be in effect until complete melt […]

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Date: May 3, 2017
Unless updated this bulletin expires at Midnight, Friday, May 5, 2017. A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new advisory will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. A general bulletin for Tuckerman will be in effect until complete melt […]

General Bulletin for Monday, May 1, 2017

Date: May 1, 2017
A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Due to open glide cracks and undermined snow, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is now closed in the Ravine between Lunch Rocks and its junction with the Alpine Garden Trail. This closure includes the Lip, which presents numerous hazards to the public and potential rescuers alike. This area is closed to all use.

General Bulletin for Saturday, April 29, 2017

Date: April 29, 2017
Unless updated this bulletin expires at Midnight, Monday, May 1. A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new bulletin will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. A general bulletin for Tuckerman will be in effect until complete melt out […]

General Bulletin for Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Date: April 26, 2017
Temperatures have only dipped below freezing briefly since last Saturday’s solid overnight freeze. Warm temperatures penetrating the snowpack increase the risk of loose, wet sluffs large enough to push a skier downhill and possibly into a crevasse, a waterfall hole, into rocks or over a cliff. Continued warm temperatures are on tap until the weekend when summit temperatures may once again drop, allowing a refreeze. Until then, count on record setting warm temperatures along with meltwater runoff to make the following hazards worse:

General Bulletin for Monday, April 24, 2017

Date: April 24, 2017
A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine until complete melt out in early summer. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 23, 2017

Date: April 23, 2017
This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington and Tuckerman Ravines have LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Generally safe avalanche conditions exist. Use caution to avoid other spring hazards, particularly icefall. Lunch Rocks is in the direct fall line of significant ice and is not […]

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, April 22, 2017

Date: April 22, 2017
Surface loose wet sluff avalanches remain our primary stability concern, with recent precipitation and temperatures just above freezing allowing continued development of uniformity deep in the snowpack. Upper elevations of our forecast areas may have seen a refreeze overnight, but we do not expect particularly firm snow conditions for much if any of Tuckerman or Huntington Ravines today. . . If skiing or riding in the Bowl and heading down, please walk down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake where you can then get on the Sherburne Ski Trail. The rope is up at crossover #3, about a half mile from Pinkham.

Avalanche Advisory for Friday, April 21, 2017

Date: April 21, 2017
As precipitation continues today with 1-3” of snow and sleet arriving, skier-induced loose-wet sluffs will need to be managed appropriately. These sluffs may be capable of pulling people to an undesired location, particularly in steeper terrain. . . If skiing or riding in the Bowl and heading down, please walk down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake where you can then get on the Sherburne Ski Trail. The rope is up at crossover #3, about a half mile from Pinkham. Please respect the rope and move over to the hiking trail to avoid wallowing in mud.

Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, April 20, 2017

Date: April 20, 2017
Loose wet sluffs may be a problem for those seeking out turns in the sloppy snow today but recent freeze/thaw cycles have reduced more significant avalanche concerns. The one outlier is always the areas around running waterfalls which sometimes spill water into the snowpack and release a deeper wet slab. It’s a good idea to keep that hazard in the back of your mind, particularly beneath the growing waterfall hole in the Lip/Headwall area.

Avalanche Advisory for Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Date: April 19, 2017
ontinued freeze/thaw cycles have reduced avalanche concerns today. Freezing conditions overnight have frozen the snow surface which will create a different set of concerns for safe travel today that will replace the more typical skier-generated wet-loose sluff problem. Long, sliding falls will be more of a concern due to the hard surface conditions that exist this morning. Snow may soften later in the day but thick cloud cover will delay this process.

Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Date: April 18, 2017
The trace of snow that arrived overnight coupled with another possible dusting today will likely not be enough to create new avalanche hazard. With colder temperatures, the isothermal snowpack has refrozen. This situation will make long, sliding falls the greatest threat today as the snow surface will repel attempts at self-arresting... The Little Headwall is now more water than snow and is no longer recommended as a descent from The Bowl. The Sherburne is melting fast and much of the trail close to Pinkham has more dirt and grass showing than snow remaining. Removing skis for at least one section seems necessary at this point.

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 17, 2017

Date: April 17, 2017
As the spring snowpack goes through the freeze/thaw process, avalanche problems start to take the back seat to other objective hazards. That being said, the mountain has been above freezing since Saturday morning relying on only strong wind speeds to cool things down. As depth of snow which a skier can push around increases, the potential for loose-wet avalanches rise. The steepest slopes that have seen less traffic have a greater likelihood of entraining enough snow to cause problems. With mindful steep-skiing techniques, most sluff-induced wet-loose avalanches can be managed. As the snowpack locks back up due to dropping temperatures, the loose-wet problem will be replaced by long, sliding fall hazard and possible wind slab. Snow showers in the afternoon of up to 2” may create isolated areas of wind slab. Due to decreasing wind speed and a small amount of snow forecast, these will likely be smaller in size and not pose significant problems.

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 16, 2017

Date: April 16, 2017
This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington and Tuckerman Ravines have LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Generally safe avalanche conditions exist, but watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. The Little Headwall is not forecast as it is now dominated by a raging waterfall. It contains weak snow bridges and […]

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, April 15, 2017

Date: April 15, 2017
The freeze/thaw cycle taking place, with colder temperatures at night and warmer during the day, is creating a generally stable snowpack. Skier-generated loose-wet avalanches will be the primary avalanche problem today, though with proper management, these can be mitigated safely. South facing slopes that receive the most warming due to prolonged sunlight will hold this hazard the most as well as slopes that see the least amount of traffic through the day. This morning, before slopes soften, long, sliding falls are possible due to a firm snow surface. This hazard will return later in the day when slopes refreeze as they pass into the shade or as they are shaded by cloud cover.

Avalanche Advisory for Friday, April 14, 2017

Date: April 14, 2017
This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington and Tuckerman Ravines have LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Generally safe avalanche conditions exist, but watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. The Little Headwall is not forecast as it is now dominated by flowing water, but will still hold weak snow bridges […]

Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, April 13, 2017

Date: April 13, 2017
This advisory expires at Midnight. Huntington and Tuckerman Ravines have LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. The Little Headwall is now a waterfall with open holes and thin snow bridges above. AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Recent rain and meltwater have drained through our snowpack during the past 12 hours or so as freezing temperatures […]

Avalanche Advisory for Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Date: April 12, 2017
Above freezing temperatures since Sunday night have led to settlement of our snowpack, however a risk of wet avalanches will remain through the day. Loose-wet avalanches, or sluffs, will be easy to trigger but manageable for the prepared. The water fall in the Lip is open now which is an indicator of the increased risk of wet slab avalanches. In the past, water flowing from the Lip/Headwall area has flowed between layers in the snow and triggered these heavy, water saturated slides. Either of the wet avalanche types can be surprisingly powerful due to the density of wet snow grains so continue to practice safe-travel techniques and consider rocks and cliffs in your runout. As temperatures continue to warm, spring hazards will take center stage as primary hazards. Undermined snow over deep holes, glide cracks, falling ice and rockfall are all emerging as primary hazards as spring arrives.

Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Date: April 11, 2017
Another warm day following no overnight freezing temperatures will further the wet avalanche problem. Loose-wet avalanches are more likely to occur from skier induced slough rather than naturally occurring. Evidence of this can be seen from the skier-triggered wet slide that came out of The Duchess yesterday morning. These are more likely to occur on steeper slopes that have seen little to no traffic. While these often can be managed, getting caught in this mass of cement-like snow can take someone over a cliff almost in slow-motion. As the day progresses, temperatures will rise and the chance of rain will increase. Wet slabs are another problem today. When meltwater and rain start to lubricate the freezing rain crust below the surface slab in Moderate rated areas, these slabs will rely on tensile strength to stay in place. The Lip presents a specific hazard as the waterfall hole is now open and this area will now see undermining.

Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 10, 2017

Date: April 10, 2017
The warming snowpack will make loose-wet and wet slab the avalanche problems today. This hazard will increase as the day progresses and temperatures continue to rise. Firm wind slab that formed from strong NW winds moving 12” of snow on Saturday will see rapid warming today. The interface of this slab and the old freezing rain crust becoming lubricated will create our wet slab problem. This slab is the biggest in Considerable rated areas and with enough warmth today, may release naturally. Slough created while skiing or riding can often entrain a good amount of snow and if improperly managed, can carry a person over a cliff or into rocks. Runnels exist in the Headwall region of Tuckerman and as these funnel slough, expect them to become deeper as the day progresses. In addition to avalanche problems today, extreme warmth may create icefall. Be aware of this, particularly in Huntington Ravine.