General Bulletin for Saturday, April 30, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

The 4-6” of snow that fell earlier in the week has been affected by multiple days of sunshine and is currently quite different based on aspect.  Slopes facing directly into the sun have been moving towards corn while shaded locales, or facing NE or N have been slower to change. This has made surface conditions variable so expect a firm start on many slopes.  With this said, the forecasted low wind speeds and sunshine on Saturday should allow most locations to soften eventually.  As this occurs anticipate the potential for skier induced wet sluffing in the warmest pockets of the most recent snow. In the afternoon expect slopes to firm up again as they go into the shade so plan your timing carefully.  On Sunday afternoon snow will begin in alpine terrain and is expected to deliver 2-4”, with another 1-3” Sunday night.  This may translate into rain down lower at the Ravine elevation based on the current temperature outlook.  We will publish another Bulletin Sunday as the weather forecast matures.

If you are visiting this weekend, we recommend the left, or south, side over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list below so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.  This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

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 Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 6:50 a.m., Saturday, April 30, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

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

2016-04-30 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Winter keeps hanging in there by delivering 5.7″ of new snow to the Washington summit and 3.9″ to Hermit Lake at 3800ft on Tuesday.   This precipitation came in on W winds from 35-50 mph.  This requires you to anticipate isolated instabilities in the Ravine until proven otherwise by your stability assessments.  The irregular bare alpine terrain of Bigelow Lawn above Tuckerman, on the south side of the summit cone, will absorb an amount of snow being transported as winds increase.  Also, the highly variable terrain of the Ravine consisting of ski bumps, recent melting, rocks, and breaks in the terrain’s continuity with brush and cliffs will all help reduce the overall avalanche concern of this new snow. But, some isolated instabilities may develop as winds pick up over the next 48hours so assure you have the skill and avalanche experience to make good stability assessments before deciding to enter, or be under, areas of new snow.  Cold air between 5-15F and stiff winds on the summit over the next couple of days will allow any isolated wind slab issues to linger.

Aside from the general snow concerns discussed above requiring caution, the southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list below so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.  This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

Tuckerman Ravine Trail Closure

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 Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:50 a.m., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

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

2016-04-27 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Sunday, April 24, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. 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.

High pressure will linger over the mountains on Sunday, creating blue skies and plenty of sun. This will also allow temperatures to stay below normal, with highs on the summits only reaching the upper 20sF. Winds will be 45-60mph out of the NW early, decreasing slightly as the day progresses. Due to low temperatures and NW winds, some surfaces may not soften on Sunday, particularly those with a N, NE or E aspect. Low pressure will approach tonight, creating clouds and similar temperatures for Monday. There is a chance of snow showers Monday night and Tuesday. This likely will not amount to much, but be aware it may cover some of the forming crevasses or opening holes. Be prepared to make your own safe travel decisions.

The southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper while the Chute offers steeper and more challenging terrain.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  1. FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  2. CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes.
  3. LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Snow surfaces become very hard and icy, making a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation. Good terrain choices and proper equipment, such as an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense.

Tuckerman Ravine Trail Closure

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.

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list above so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.  This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

(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.)

The Sherburne Ski trail is now closed.  Carrying your skis from the Bowl and hiking to your car is the only option.

Please Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 8:00a.m., Sunday, April 24, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Helon Hoffer, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

04-24-2016

General Bulletin for Saturday, April 23, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. 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.

Intermittent fog will limit visibility Saturday morning making it difficult to recognize Ravine hazards, particularly falling ice until clouds move out.  A lot of enormous ice has fallen over the past couple of days and we are currently right in the middle of the notorious icefall season. With sun beginning to dominate through the day snow may remain soft, but temperatures will drop to 20F creating hard conditions, especially in the shade as the sun dips below the ridge.  Watch this timing carefully! Winds will increase to hurricane force by sunset making it pretty cold and hard by the end of the day.  Saturday night winds will remain high as temperatures fall close to 10F early Sunday morning, making for a brisk firm start to the day. Sun will rule on Sunday, but temperatures will struggle to get above 20F on the summit. Several other points you need to be aware of are:

  • FALLING ICE IS CURRENTLY THE #1 OBJECTIVE HAZARD IN TUCKERMAN. Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. There is still a tremendous amount of ice waiting to fall. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • UNDERMINED SNOW, HOLES and CREVASSES. Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS. Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Snow surfaces become very hard and icy, making a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation. Good terrain choices, as well as proper equipment such as an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense.
  • A SECTION OF THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL USE. This section extends from Lunch Rocks at the floor of the Ravine to the top of the Headwall where it meets the Alpine Garden Trail.  Only this section of the trail is closed. This annual closure is due to the magnitude of the crevasses and undermining, and the severe consequences of a fall in this area. This includes no skiing or riding through the Lip area.  (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.)
  • Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list above so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.   This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

***THE BOTTOM LINE: The southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper while the Chute offers steeper and more challenging terrain. Although they hold a level of overall general hazard they offer options with lower risk than many other Ravine alternatives. The Sherburne Ski Trail is now closed to all use so hike down the Tuck trail to Pinkham Notch.

Please Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 8:30a.m., Saturday, April 23, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-23 general

General Bulletin for Friday, April 22, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. 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.

Very warm air reaching 42F on the summit and 52F at Hermit Lake on Thursday, as well as skier traffic, has stabilized the several pockets of new snow from Tuesday.  The expected rain today (Friday) and thunderstorms late will further assist this settling process.  This put’s snow instability on the back burner focusing us the traditional spring hazards as the main treat for those visiting Tuckerman Ravine.  As rain and potential thunderstorms move out of the area Friday night the summits will clear through the day on Saturday.  However, a dropping temperature into the low 20’s during the day, reaching 10-15F Saturday night, will firm up snow surfaces. Expect Sunday to also begin cold and hard.  Assure you take a close look at summit weather before heading into the Ravine as timing will be everything to avoid icy hard surfaces. Several other points you need to be aware of are:

  • FALLING ICE. Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. There is still a tremendous amount of ice waiting to fall. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • UNDERMINED SNOW, HOLES and CREVASSES. Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. The best way to avoid the hazard is by climbing up what you plan to descend and giving these areas plenty of space. If you see small holes in the snow or near large rocks, realize there may be large open spaces under the surface.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS. Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Snow surfaces become very hard and icy, making a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation. Good terrain choices, as well as proper equipment such as an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense.
  • A SECTION OF THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL USE. This section extends from Lunch Rocks at the floor of the Ravine to the top of the Headwall where it meets the Alpine Garden Trail.  Only this section of the trail is closed. This annual closure is due to the magnitude of the crevasses and undermining, and the severe consequences of a fall in this area. This includes no skiing or riding through the Lip area.  (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.)
  • Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list above so travel in this area is not recommended.  This includes the right side of the Bowl proper from the Center Headwall, heading right to the Lip, and down to just above Icefall (Lunch) Rocks. This terrain is a “no fall zone.” The consequences of a slip can be dire.

***THE BOTTOM LINE: Because of all the issues listed above, the southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper while the Chute offers steeper and more challenging terrain. Although they hold a level of overall general hazard they offer options with lower risk than many other Ravine alternatives.

Please Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 8:10a.m., Friday, April 22, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-22 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. 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.  Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so as always, make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Precipitation on Monday night did deliver a good shot of winter to the highest terrain of the Presidential Range delivering a bit over 7″ to the summit of Washington.  However, at the base of Tuckerman our manual snow plot only picked up 0.5″ of snow and over 1″ of rain. As you move up the mountain a transition to mostly all snow occurred, the majority falling on the upper 1000ft of the mountain. Anticipate isolated instabilities in the Ravine until proven otherwise by your stability assessments. An increasing NW wind late on Tuesday and into Wednesday will move some snow into lee areas of Tuckerman.  The irregular nooks and crannies of the previously bare alpine terrain will absorb an amount of snow being transported, as will the highly variable terrain of the Ravine. Small bump features from skiing over the weekend, melting, rocks, and breaks in the terrain’s continuity with brush and cliffs will all help reduce the overall impact of new slab. But, some isolated instabilities may develop so assure you have the skill and avalanche experience to make good stability assessments before deciding to enter, or be under, areas of new snow.

A SECTION OF THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL USE. This section extends from Lunch Rocks at the floor of the Ravine to the top of the Headwall where it meets the Alpine Garden Trail.  Only this section of the trail is closed. This annual closure is due to the magnitude of the crevasses and undermining, and the severe consequences of a fall in this area. This includes no skiing or riding through the Lip area.  (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.)

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the Lip area have all of the hazards in the bullet list below so travel in this area is not recommended.  This includes the right side of the Bowl proper from the Center Headwall, heading right to the Lip, and down to just above Icefall (Lunch) Rocks. This terrain is a “no fall zone.” The consequences of a slip can be dire.

BE AWARE OF THE ANNUAL SPRINGTIME HAZARDS IN TUCKERMAN RAVINE:

  • FALLING ICE. Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. There is still a tremendous amount of ice waiting to fall. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • UNDERMINED SNOW, HOLES and CREVASSES. Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. The best way to avoid the hazard is by climbing up what you plan to descend and giving these areas plenty of space. If you see small holes in the snow or near large rocks, realize there may be large open spaces under the surface.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS. Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Snow surfaces become very hard and icy, making a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation. Good terrain choices, as well as proper equipment such as an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense.

Please Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 8:25a.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-19 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Monday, April 18, 2016

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.

AS OF TODAY (Monday 4/18) A SECTION OF THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL WILL BE CLOSED TO ALL USE. This section extends from Lunch Rocks at the floor of the Ravine to the top of the Headwall where it meets the Alpine Garden Trail.  Only this section of the trail is closed. This annual closure is due to the magnitude of the crevasses and undermining, and the severe consequences of a fall in this area. This includes no skiing or riding through the Lip area.

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the Lip area have all of the hazards in the bullet list below so travel in this area is not recommended.  This generally includes the looker’s right side of the Bowl proper from the Center Headwall, heading right over to the Lip, and down to just above Icefall (Lunch) Rocks. Yesterday afternoon this thinly covered area fell apart rapidly! Multiple holes and waterfalls developed in a matter of hours. This terrain is a “no fall zone,” where the consequences of a slip at any point can be dire.

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.

BE AWARE OF THE ANNUAL SPRINGTIME HAZARDS IN TUCKERMAN RAVINE:

  • FALLING ICE. Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. There is still a tremendous amount of ice waiting to fall. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • UNDERMINED SNOW, HOLES and CREVASSES. Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. The best way to avoid the hazard is by climbing up what you plan to descend and giving these areas plenty of space. If you see small holes in the snow or near large rocks, realize there may be large open spaces under the surface.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS. Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Snow surfaces become very hard and icy, making a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation. Good terrain choices, as well as proper equipment such as an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense.

***THE BOTTOM LINE: Because of all the issues listed above, the southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper while the Chute offers steeper and more challenging terrain. Although they hold a level of overall general hazard they offer options with lower risk than many other Ravine alternatives.

Please Remember:

  • 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.
  • 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 6:15a.m., Monday, April 18, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-18 GENERAL

Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 17, 2016

This advisory expires at midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. Lobster Claw, Lower Snowfields and Little Headwall are not posted due to lack of snow.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Bulletin. 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 multiple melt-freeze cycles that took place over the past week have created a stable snowpack, eliminating most avalanche problems. Concerns about skier-induced sluffs and wet loose avalanches are less today than yesterday as just about all skiable terrain saw traffic. The most present danger today will be the several objective hazards that must be recognized for safe travel:

  • Falling ice – Large, falling ice chunks can move with surprising speed on destructive, unpredictable trajectories. The best thing you can do to reduce your exposure to this hazard is by limiting the time spent below these frozen waterfalls. “Icefall Rocks” (Lunch Rocks) and beneath Center Bowl (the Headwall) are in the crosshairs and are a bad place to sit, sled or hang around in. Sitting down lower on the Ravine floor near the entrance to the bowl is a great alternative to hanging out in “Icefall Rocks”.  Expect the falling ice hazard to increase as sun warms the Ravine.
  • Crevasses, moats, and waterfall holes – Water flowing under the snow pack creates holes, glide cracks (crevasses) and thin spots that are deep enough to injure or kill you. The climber’s right side of the Bowl, near and under “The Lip”, harbor the most and deepest holes.
  • Long sliding falls – Crampons, an ice ax, and the experience and skills to use them effectively can be essential to travel safely in steep terrain. Snowshoes and microspikes are not a substitute and just “following the boot pack” is risky. Watch the runout in your potential fall line to pick a route that avoids frozen waterfall cliffs and rocks. The thin nature of the snowpack at the moment is creating unusual bootpacks, often traversing the fall line and creating traffic jams with skiers.

WEATHER and SNOWPACK: Bluebird weather will continue allowing for another beautiful day on the mountain. North shifting NW winds will start today at 10-25mph and increase to 20-35mph. With temperatures in the low 40sF on the summit, expect all surfaces to soften throughout the day. Yesterday, all skiable surfaces saw traffic, with some of the areas previously untouched seeing skier induced sluffing that ran to the floor of the Bowl. Today, the various spring hazards will be at the forefront of my mind with icefall topping the big three. The low snowpack never covered a large amount of ice that now sits hanging above the floor of the ravine. The icefall potential will linger until it all comes down. Several skiers at the end of the day struggled with their last run due to the shade flash-freezing the snowpack. If debating whether or not to make one more run, keep in mind that anything in the shade will be vastly different than the hero corn that existed during the height of the day.

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 8:00 a.m., Sunday, April 17, 2016. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Helon Hoffer, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-17

Tuckerman Photos – April 16, 2016

Avalanche Advisory for Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tuckerman Ravine has LOW avalanche danger. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. Lobster Claw, Lower Snowfields and Little Headwall are not posted due to lack of snow.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Bulletin. 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: Due to the rain earlier in the week, and multiple melt-freeze cycles since then, avalanche problems are minimal. Minor sluffing or wet loose avalanches will mostly be small enough to be manageable but can create greater issues in steeper or untracked terrain. The following objective hazards are becoming significant players in safe route-finding:

  • Crevasses, moats, and waterfall holes – Water flowing under the snow pack creates holes, glide cracks (crevasses) and thin spots that are deep enough to injure or kill you. The climber’s right side of the Bowl, near and under “The Lip”, harbor the most and deepest holes. A skier fell near the top of the Lip yesterday and had a near miss with the Open Book hole. He, like most folks, was surprised to hear that the hole is around 70’ deep. It is unlikely that a fall into this hole, which lies in the fall line of the narrows of the run, is survivable. The waterfall hole flanking the narrows above is just as deep.
  • Falling ice – Large, falling ice chunks can move with surprising speed on destructive, unpredictable trajectories.The best thing you can do to reduce your exposure to this hazard is by limiting the time spent below these frozen waterfalls. “Icefall Rocks” (Lunch Rocks) and beneath Center Bowl (the Headwall) are in the crosshairs and are a bad place to sit, sled or hang around in. Sitting down lower on the Ravine floor near the entrance to the bowl is a great alternative to hanging out in “Icefall Rocks”.  Expect the falling ice hazard to increase as sun warms the Ravine.
  • Long sliding falls – Crampons, an ice ax, and the experience and skills to use them effectively are amost always required to travel safely in steep terrain. Snowshoes and microspikes are not a substitute and just “following a booter” is risky. Watch the runout in your potential fall line to pick a route that avoids frozen waterfall cliffs and rocks. Slopes are variable in firmness so have a plan of action in mind when the 45 degree slope you climbed becomes firm or even icy or the bootpack disappears, either from being filled in with sluffing snow or because it passes over an area of impenetrable snow or ice.

 WEATHER and SNOWPACK: High pressure continues today with sunny skies and temperatures expected to reach the mid-30’s F on the summit. Northeast winds at 20-35mph may slow the softening of the snowpack despite the full sun. Expect areas of crusty snow or ice until winds calm and ambient temperatures rise above freezing. Temperatures may remain cool enough for slopes which do not receive full sun all day to remain on the firmer side in places. Our snowpack has received several thorough soakings during the rain storms that we have received over the winter so the crust is pretty rugged in many places. Also, there are lots of areas where the ice cliffs and floes are emerging or were never really buried by our meager snowfall this year so stay heads up and expect variable snow conditions. As always, timing and choosing the right aspect at the correct time is the name of the game.

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 7:35 a.m., Saturday, April 16, 2016. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-04-16