Avalanche Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

Posted 8:15a.m., Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuckerman Ravine has Low avalanche danger today. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. WE ARE DONE ISSUING AVALANCHE FORECASTS FOR HUNTINGTON RAVINE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS SEASON. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when using avalanche terrain in Huntington Ravine. A danger of falling ice exists and will persist until it all comes down.

The mountain has finally succumbed to the inevitable spring melt out.  Rain and warm temperatures have worked together to melt snow and force water channels open.  A notable amount of our precious snowpack has made its annual journey to the Atlantic.  While snow cover is still great for this time of the year, the past 24 hours have created two notable changes in Tuckerman Ravine.  The first is the waterfall hole has opened up in the Center Bowl, near the Lip. This is one of the major drainages in Tuckerman Ravine and it usually rears its head this time of year.  It is notable because you really don’t want to fall into this subterranean chasm and it is difficult to see from above.  If you head into the Ravine, make sure you take the time to identify this and other hazards so you can make a good plan for your climb and descent.  The other notable change that has occurred is the Little Headwall is history for this season.  The increased volume of water in the Cutler River has taken out the snowpack that allows skiers and snowboarders to exit Tuckerman Ravine and get to the Shurburne with ease.  There may still be some options but they will be riddled with undermined snow, open water and bushes.  We’ll take a closer look at this soon, but it may be best to just hike out of the Bowl back to Hermit Lake at this point.   If you plan on being up here today, you can expect decreasing clouds and diminishing winds which may make for a pleasant afternoon.  Low pressure will invade again tomorrow with the passing of a cold front.  This will bring rain, mixed precipitation and snow to the mountains.  At this time it doesn’t appear that we should expect significant amounts of new snow but we are keeping an eye on it.  Check tomorrow’s advisory before heading out to see if there are any avalanche related concerns to worry about associated with new snow.

Keep a close eye and ear out for icefall as the mountain is getting ready to shed its winter coat.  Crevasses will begin to open up soon.  It is important to hike up what you plan on coming down so you can identify hazards.  The Sherburne Ski Trail is still open all the way to Pinkham with good coverage. Soft spring moguls can be found on most of the trail with some patches of earth popping up here and there.

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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