Avalanche Advisory for Monday, April 7, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines have LOW avalanche danger today. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Look out for small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Loose-Wet (aka point release) avalanches due to warming of Saturday night’s thin wind slabs are the most likely avalanche threat today. Wet Slab avalanches are also possible in a few areas where the wind slab is thicker and not cut up by ski traffic, such as in the Chute and Central. Both avalanche types could push you downhill or knock you off your feet but are unlikely to be large enough to bury you. Low avalanche danger does not mean NO avalanche danger.

WEATHER: Sky cover will slowly increase today as a warm front nudges into our area. An inversion last night created a warm band around the 4,000′ level with colder air above and below. Light but increasing winds with continued rising mercury, topping out in the lower 30’s on the summit, will make for a fairly calm day before mixed precipitation begins around dark. The potential for liquid equivalents around 1.5″ will change things tonight. It is likely that a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain will Zamboni our slopes and gullies overnight.

SNOWPACK: The summit reported 2″ of snow Saturday night which blew into select areas in the Ravines on fairly high winds. While not deep, these softer wind slabs bonded fairly well to the existing refrozen crust. A lot of triggers were on the slopes yesterday with no avalanches resulting. Some of the shadier aspects like the Chute weren’t tested yesterday. I would be cautious today and keep a close eye on temperatures as warming temperatures will soften and weaken the surface wind slabs. It will be another hard-to-call day in terms of snow surface temperatures due to the timing incoming cloud cover. If clouds thicken significantly by mid-day,  surfaces may not warm enough to soften, especially the harder surfaces devoid of the new snowfall like parts of upper Hillman’s and Left Gully. South facing gullies in Huntington were mostly devoid of new snow yesterday after a good scouring by Saturday night 90 mph wind but pockets probably remain in Central, Pinnacle and Odell.

OTHER HAZARDS: Icy, refrozen snow on higher and steeper terrain can limit penetration of boots or skis. Crampons and an ice axe are recommended for travel on steep slopes. Micro-spikes and other creeper style traction devices may be helpful on some lower angle trails, but they do not provide the security of crampons. Be prepared to handle steep, firm snow and fast, icy surfaces.

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 7:45 a.m. 4-7-2014. 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

2014-04-07 print friendly