Avalanche Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

Posted 7:30am, Sunday, April 24, 2011

All forecast areas of Tuckerman Ravine have 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 using avalanche terrain in Huntington Ravine. A danger of falling ice exists and will persist until it all comes down.

Every year brings something different. This year it has been cool spring temperatures helping to preserve the snowpack up on the slopes. Coverage for late April has been quite good with top to bottom runs possible in just about all areas, including the Sherburne Trail. It’s been a good run, but I expect conditions to start rapidly changing with the upcoming weather. For the next several days, the ravines will be subjected to warmth and moisture around the clock. These weather patterns can erode a snowpack in an unbelievable way. Unfortunately, we’re going to start to see the emergence of the annual springtime dangers such as crevasses, undermined snow, falling ice, and open waterfalls. Stay tuned as we start to emphasize these more in the coming days and weeks.

Yesterday’s weather brought us a few inches of snow blown in with strong southerly winds. At around 6pm last night, temperatures at Hermit Lake crept above the freezing mark have stayed up there since. It’s currently 41F (5C) and temperatures are expected to rise a little more during the day. I expect the new snow to have lost most of its elastic energy already, so our concerns about wet slabs in the new snow isn’t great. However, you will want to watch out for wet sluffing. These slow-moving beasts have the ability to whisk even the strongest skier off his or her feet. This could end painfully if there are obstacles or other people in the runout path.

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is still open all the way to Pinkham Notch. Moguls are abrupt and abundant, and some rocks have already begun to poke through in thin sections. We’ll be monitoring the rate of decay and start closing off the bottom sections of trail when it becomes necessary.

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 MWVSP, or the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center or Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • 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