Avalanche Advisory for 4-14-2013

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight tonight.

Tuckerman Ravine has MODERATE and LOW avalanche danger. The Sluice, Lip, Center Bowl and Chute have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. All other forecast areas have Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely, but watch for unstable snow in isolated terrain features.

The Little Headwall has an open hole on skier’s right side below the steepest part of the route. Several people fell into this hole yesterday, fortunately without injury.  Though this is the easiest way to ski out of the bowl, it remains a challenging run. Hiking out is the easiest option.

Huntington Ravine has MODERATE and LOW avalanche danger. Central, Pinnacle, Odell, and South Gullies have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible in those locations. North, Damnation, Yale and Escape Hatch Gullies have Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Watch for unstable snow in isolated terrain features.

We are starting out this morning with a Low danger rating in all forecast areas.  About an inch of new snow has fallen this morning at Hermit Lake. The degree that our avalanche danger increases depends upon the intensity and timing  of forecasted snow and wind today.  If we receive the upper end of the 1-3″ forecasted on 45-60 mph winds, the potential for avalanches will increase.  Moderate rated areas in both ravines are in the lee of WNW winds and as a result could be loaded and crossloaded with windslabs which will develop as winds ramp up and transport the new snow.  Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that the Low danger rating carries with it the possibility of small avalanches in isolated areas so be on the lookout for slabs of unstable snow on steep sections of Low rated areas.

Skiing yesterday defied the forecast and was soft and spring-like, especially on south facing slopes. Last night was a good bit colder than Friday night so surfaces could be icier beneath today’s new snow. Be prepared for the potential for difficult booting.  Experienced ski mountaineers typically carry a lightweight ice axe and crampons for easier and safer travel in addition to avalanche safety gear.

The Harvard Cabin is closed for the season. Hermit Lake is the only area in the Cutler River drainage where camping is permitted.

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 or the Harvard Cabin.
  • Posted at 7:50 a.m., April 14, 2013. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713  TTY (603) 466-2856

2013-04-14 Print friendly