Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 28, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Be prepared for increasing avalanche hazard if snow falls heavier than forecast.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. 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: Generally, snow stability in the ravine will be good today. There may be opportunities for loose wet sluffs to be a problem. Areas that see a lot of skier traffic will be less affected by this issue; get off the beaten track and you may see more of it.

WEATHER: 3” (7.8cm) of new snow fell Saturday through daybreak Sunday, this was followed by just a trace of snow during the day yesterday (reports were that it rained steadily in the valley, but all we saw was snow). Today will be cloudy, with the potential for fog to drop low enough into the ravines to obscure the visibility. Temperatures should warm above the freezing mark in the ravines, while winds will be on the light side for Washington. All in all, it won’t be too shabby of a day if you don’t mind the clouds.

SNOWPACK: Yesterday around noon, temperatures rose about 5 degrees in a short amount of time, bringing temperatures at ravine elevations above freezing. This warming helped moisten the new snow. After subsequent refreezing last night, the thin new layer is likely to be well-adhered to the older surfaces below. Rising temperatures today should allow surfaces to soften again. However, cloud cover may make this slower to happen than if it were a sunny day.

OTHER HAZARDS: ICEFALL is a possibility today. Not much ice has fallen yet this season, which means there is still a large amount of ice up in the headwall and in the Sluice above Lunch Rocks waiting to come crashing down. Don’t spend any more time than you need to in areas exposed to icefall hazard, such as at Lunch Rocks.

CREVASSES have been late in emerging this season. I expect that this week we will begin to see these cracks creep up to the surface. Remember that what you see at the surface is often much smaller than the hole beneath the snow. Approach crevasse prone areas (e.g. the Lip) with caution and choose your route carefully, or avoid these locations altogether.

The Lion Head Winter Route is still open. This is a steep icy trail. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use these tools effectively are highly recommended. Lightweight trail crampons lose their effectiveness in steep terrain!

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is open to about 1 mile from Pinkham and closed below this point. Expect lots of bare patches, icy sections, and enormous bumps throughout the trail.

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 or the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake or staff at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
  • Posted 6:55a.m. 4-28-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

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

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