Avalanche Advisory for Thursday, May 7, 2015

This advisory expires tonight at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. 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: Continue to manage your sluff when above terrain hazards like cliffs and crevasses. Overall, snow stability is very good but other springtime hazards are growing like wildfire.

FALLING ICE: The threat of falling ice remains high today. Massive blocks still sit on the center headwall cliffs and in the Sluice, directly above Lunch Rocks. We recommend reducing time spent in areas with ice above. Don’t underestimate the speed and random trajectory of chunks of falling ice. Many people have been seriously injured or killed from falling ice.

CREVASSES: The threat of crevasses is greatest in the Lip and Sluice, but other locations may have cracks opening up as well. Some of these are wide enough to fall into and they are probably much deeper than you think due to the turn downslope that they make at the bottom. The largest concentration of these slots in Lip and Sluice is best avoided, especially when traveling on foot.

UNDERMINED SNOW: This hazard develops where the snowpack has a stream of meltwater running beneath. Typical areas include Hillman’s Highway, Right Gully, and Lobster Claw, but in general, areas where you might expect the largest volume of water will create the most undermining and a thin snow bridge above. A near miss occurred yesterday when a skier fell head first into a hole while exiting the bowl towards the Little Headwall.  He disappeared under the snow and was rescued from certain drowning or hypothermia at the last moment by someone passing by. Give a wide berth to holes in the snowpack!

The Little Headwall has fully collapsed and is unskiable. Many people try to find their way toward the Lower Snowfields in hopes of keeping their skis on as long as possible. While it may be possible to do this, it is not easy nor without hazards. We recommend walking down the trail to Hermit Lake from the floor of the Ravine. From there, the Sherburne Ski Trail is open for skiing to the uppermost crossover. There you will need to walk the Tuckerman Ravine Trail back down to Pinkham Notch.

WEATHER: Summit temperatures will push into the high 40’s again today with some high clouds to break up the monotony. Winds may be blustery to start the day, especially above treeline, but will diminish later. Looks like the spell of nice weather will continue through tomorrow with a threat of thunderstorms over the weekend as unsettled weather develops in the wake of the departing high.

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 7:00 a.m., Thursday, May 7, 2015. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

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

2015-05-07 print friendly