Avalanche Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

Posted 8:20, Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines have Low avalanche danger. Natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely.  Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

I am excited about today.  Sunny skies, calm winds and relatively warm temperatures are forecasted, making it a great day to get out and enjoy the mountains.  Clouds gradually lifted yesterday and this morning I was treated with a spectacular display of alpenglow.  This has allowed us to get a handle on the distribution and size of new wind slabs that formed on Sunday from light snow accumulation and wind loading from NW winds.  Overall, new wind slab is not a significant issue but I will caution you that isolated areas of unstable snow may be found.  Surface conditions are a mix of an icy crust and new snow that is thin in many places but some deeper deposits can be found.  These deeper pockets are the ones I would watch out for today in terms of snow stability.  If you utilize good route finding skills you shouldn’t have any problem avoiding potentially unstable wind slab.  Hikers, climbers, skiers and snowboarders should all be able to find something fun to do today.  If you are planning on skiing or riding in the steeps, realize conditions are variable and the icy crust can be quite challenging to edge into.  Today’s sun and calm winds should result in a significant amount of solar gain on south aspects and this may soften the crusty layer.

Today is the pick of the litter for the week.  A couple of low pressure systems will bring a chance of precipitation to the mountains tomorrow through Saturday.  It seems hopeful that the mountains will receive mostly snow from tomorrow’s event with some light accumulation possible.  The next one could be on the warm side but neither of these events has a lot of moisture associated with them.  That being said, there may be enough to cause an increase in the avalanche danger so check tomorrow’s advisory before heading out.

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.

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

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