General Observations – Left Gully 3/6/21

March 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Name: Zachary Seelenfreund
Location: Left Gully

I ascended the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the base of the ravine, where I transitioned from skins to crampons for the ascent up the bowl. The majority of the bowl is either glazed over with reflective white ice or packed into very stubborn wind slabs. Minimal signs of present instability, although I was easily able to punch through the slab to softer snow near and around rocky terrain features. I do not think this layer will do well with continued deep cold and more sudden changes to the snow pack—people coming up for the upcoming thaw should be aware. Travel without ice tools appeared to be life threatening to impossible. This was the primary danger in the terrain I accessed. I ascended cautiously—particularly when crossing Left Gully to avoid some weaker slabs near the rock wall (lookers right). Ski descent ranged from cautious/deliberate at the top which was “white ice” to fluid turns down the gut and lower part of the gully.

Ski conditions ranged from edgeable chalky snow to boilerplate ice. There were (comparably) softer isolated patches of snow which skied OK, but could pose a risk of hooking a ski or catching an edge in bad visibility which would have serious consequences in terms of a long sliding fall.