Melting & Springlike Conditions on the Eastside of Mount Washington

March 25, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Name: Ryan Lewthwaite| MWAC
Location: Eastside Mount Washington

Another warm afternoon with temperatures near 42F degrees on the summit. Partly cloudy skies and west winds were light. Rapid melting of the snowpack is occurring due to abundant sunshine, warm daytime temperatures, and a lack of diurnal refreeze. Exposed rock and vegetation, increased streamflow, waterfalls and undermined snow-bridges are a result of the quick melting. Wet corn snow was available for those who braved walking/post-holing up the Tux Trail from Hermit Lake. The saturated snow is wet down 6 inches in some places, with good sliding in steeper terrain but difficult for walking and low angle ski maneuvering. Small stress(glide) cracks are forming on steep convex features in “Sluice” due to the well-lubricated ground interface below the seasons snowpack. Along with snow melt the ravine ice is becoming hazardous. I observed fractured columns and ice chucks falling off and gouging the snow below. The lower headwall is still negotiable but entrance into the gully from the ravine and the steeper falls section are a bit dicey(photo enclosed). The lower Tux Trail is becoming segmented at bridges and exposed rocky locations but mostly contiguous skinning is still possible from Pinkham Notch. Forecasted rain tomorrow will exacerbate this melting dilemma.