Avalanche Advisory for Sunday, April 19, 2015

This advisory expires tonight at 12:00 midnight.

All forecast areas of Tuckerman Ravine have Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated terrain features. Unstable snow may exist on isolated terrain features.

A General Advisory is currently issued for Huntington Ravine. We have stopped issuing daily avalanche forecasts for Huntington for the remainder of the season. You will need to do your own stability assessments when traveling through avalanche terrain. A danger of falling ice and rock exists.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Yesterday’s expected snow did come, but did not result in a widespread loading event. Instead, the ravine is covered in a veneer of heavily rimed crystals, with the possibility for some areas to have collected deposits a few inches deep. This leaves loose avalanches as the avalanche threat today, although it will not be a very threatening problem. Generally, the snowpack will be very stable; the other mountain hazards will be a greater threat than avalanches.

FALLING ICE will be a concern today. Lunch Rocks and under the ice in the Center Bowl are the locations most at risk. Your best bet is to not spend time unnecessarily in these locations. E.g., don’t send your kids up into the Center Bowl with their sleds—this is a bad idea that seems to be gaining in popularity. Falling ice is a very real threat that has injured numerous people through the years. Probably not a single one of them actually thought it could have happened to them.

UNDERMINED SNOW is also a problem. You’ll find this in any location where a stream flows under the snowpack. Prominent examples are found in the Little Headwall and the streambed above it, as well as in Hillman’s Highway and Right Gully.

CREVASSES are beginning to open up, as is the waterfall hole in the Lip. Currently the largest crevasses are in the Lip, right near where the bootpack goes up along the skiers’ left side. If you head up this way, remember that the crack you see in the surface can be much larger and longer underneath the surface. Assess your intended route for this hazard and give these openings a wide berth.

WEATHER: Yesterday we received about an inch of heavy wet rimed snow crystals. This fell along with an impressively close display of thunder and lightning. I’m sure anyone above treeline when this came in must have felt a little uneasy about the exposure. Today, clearing skies, warming temperatures, and diminishing wind speeds will make a pleasant day in the mountains. Remember, you are going into the mountains, so be responsible for yourself and your group with enough clothing and equipment to keep yourselves warm and dry.

The Sherburne Ski Trail is still open to the parking lot. There are numerous bare patches along the way. Be ready for immense moguls and challenging skiing, especially if you’re unaccustomed to skiing with a large pack and your legs are tired from a long day.

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 Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, or the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:45 a.m., Sunday, April 19, 2015. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

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

2015-04-19