Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Huntington Ravine and Tuckerman Ravines have LOW avalanche danger. Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: The melt and subsequent refreeze of our surface snow in the past 3 days has dramatically increased stability in our snowpack. You’ll find a mixed bag of surface conditions from breakable crust to dense and supportable refrozen snow. Most if not all of our snow in steep terrain will easily allow a long sliding fall. Rocks, vegetation, and other hazards could be in the path of such a fall. Our terrain does have better snow coverage than late January, but it’s still thin. Be on your game with crampons, ice axe, and alpine travel skills if you’re hoping to climb steep snow today.

 WEATHER: A return to below freezing conditions yesterday was accompanied by strong westerly wind, summit clouds, and no precipitation. It’s currently clear and cold, around -7F on the summit and 8F at Hermit Lake. The summit should see temperatures approach 10F as NW wind decreases to 30 mph. Minimal cloud cover will continue throughout the day and no precipitation is forecast. Tomorrow should bring warming through the day with few clouds. Summit temperatures could approach 32F and we will likely see the mercury rise above freezing in our terrain.

SNOWPACK: Current conditions have changed dramatically since the period of natural avalanche activity late last week. The weekend warming and liquid precipitation have been followed by cold temperatures since early yesterday. Our layers of stability concern of several days ago have been generally penetrated by moisture and subsequently refrozen, lending much greater stability to the snowpack. If you venture into the Ravines today you will find variable refrozen snow conditions that will be breakable under your boots in some areas and supportable in others. It might not be the best day to make turns, but skilled climbers will likely enjoy the good visibility and firm snow conditions. Remember that a sliding fall in steep terrain today could result in serious injury or worse. Use caution to avoid such a fall and be constantly aware of the consequences of the terrain you choose.

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 Harvard Cabin.
• Posted 7:35 a.m., Tuesday, February 13, 2018. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

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