Avalanche Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

Posted 8:30a.m., Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Tuckerman Ravine has Considerable avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely. The only exception to this rating is the Little Headwall, which has Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible in this area.

Huntington Ravine has Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible.

Whether your just heading up to the summit via Lion Head or looking to get into one of the ravines, blowing snow is going to be your greatest adversary today. Currently from Hermit Lake the view is obscured by a cloud of airborne snow; above treeline this snow is moving along at a quick pace being blown on steady 60-70mph (97-113kph) summit winds. Yesterday’s snowfall measured in at close to 6″ (15cm) of 10% density snow at the Summit and 8.5″ (22cm) of 10.5% density snow at Hermit Lake. Today’s avalanche concerns are directly related to recent snowfall and strong W and NW winds. In Tuckerman Ravine, the rate of active wind loading equates to naturally triggered avalanches being possible and human triggered avalanches being likely. This holds true for all forecast areas of Tuckerman except for the Little Headwall. This area is generally pretty small for avalanche terrain, but if you’re one of the first to test this steep slope you should know that human triggered avalanches are possible.

Huntington Ravine sits solidly at a Moderate rating today. In the recent storm a couple avalanche paths ran farther than they had yet this season, including Odell and another from either Yale, the fan, or a combination of both which ran to the stream bed in the floor of the ravine.  Most areas currently have new windslab that you’ll want to watch out for, the exception being Odell which was scoured clean but is now being reloaded. Of course, windloading should be on your mind for all areas of Huntington, though it’s not quite as intense as in neighboring Tuckerman Ravine.

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is thankful for some fresh snow. Expect some sections to be scoured out by winds and other sections to be pretty well drifted in. Remember, it is a backcountry ski trail so be prepared for the conditions.

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.
  • This advisory expires at midnight. 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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