Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, 2-09-2012

Advisory expires at midnight Thursday 2-09-2012

Tuckerman Ravine has both LOW and MODERATE avalanche danger. The Lobster Claw, Right Gully, Left Gully, and Hillman’s Highway have Low avalanche danger.  Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated terrain features. All other forecast areas in Tuckerman have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. The Lower Snowfields and the Little Headwall are not posted due to an overall lack of snow. Forecasts for these locations will begin when conditions warrant.

Huntington Ravine has LOW avalanche danger.  Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated terrain features.  Expect these pockets to exist and avoid them by staying to more stable older surfaces. 

Another beautiful day is welcomed with open arms, but it does put an end to our snow everyday in the month of February streak.  There is a little bit of active snow loading near the top of Hillman’s Highway, climber’s hard right.  Outside of this the mountain has been devoid of much change for the first time since January.  The cold air has only allowed slow change for slabs deposited on Tuesday so we still have some snow stability concerns.  Skier traffic did some good testing of Right Gully as a hard face-plant is equal to about a one pound hand charge.   This is a dominate factor in its dropping to Low today.  The Chute and the Sluice are a mix of Low and Moderate depending on your location.  In the Sluice, areas to the climber’s right down low under the ice do not harbor as much concern for us as the steeper sections do, as you move past the climber’s left side of the ice.  In the Chute, areas from the narrows down low and up above to the climbers left are less of an issue than up to the right on the shoulder leading to the left edge of the headwall.  Use some caution in these two locales as initially you will be fairly stable snow, but that will change if you start jumping all over these forecast areas, hence the Moderate rating.  The Lip and Headwall have seen some time to stabilize slightly but still warrant our attention, as they have the highest instabilities.  Left gully saw at least a couple folks traveling its entire length witnessed by the boot pack left behind that zigzags through the start zone and up the center to the horizon. 

Over in Huntington generally stable snow conditions exist.  Isolated pockets of concern do exist but they are fairly straight forward to avoid.  The bottom of Central and South Gully are some examples of these isolated terrain features.  Another sunny day tomorrow with moderate temperatures will be the last relaxing day in the sun before the weekend changes come our way.  Some precipitation may come into the region for the week’s end overnight on Friday, Saturday and into the end of the weekend.  Some very cold air moving in on Sunday is also in store; temperatures may go below -20F in the higher mountains into Monday morning.  More on that and the light snow coming in tomorrow’s advisory and Friday evenings “Weekend Update”.   

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 8:40a.m. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

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

2012-02-09 Print Friendly