Latest avalanche advisory for Mount Washington’s Cutler River Drainage – Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

Look After One Another: Educate Yourself

Now winter is truly coming. In the winter, we must protect ourselves. Look after one another.

-Ned Stark, King of the North

 

Perhaps the phrase winter is coming has been played out. I’ll admit I’ve used it at least twice and probably even #hashtagged it more than that, but Ned Stark does have a point. Most of us ski and climb with a partner. There are days when I go alone, but I alert someone where I’m going. Most of the time it’s my wife. Sometimes I tell a friend as I’d like to not admit to her what I’m going to do until it’s been done… I digress.

Look after one another. When Frank, Ryan, and I go into the field for work, looking after each other is more important than any data we collect. If one of us fails to go home at the end of the day, we didn’t do our job. I try to instill this on my recreational partners as well. Look after each other, have fun, then get to the summit.

This is not intended to say don’t ski it. In fact, if the time is right, go for it! You and your partners’ (who are looking out for each other) job is to determine go or no go. Just be sure you’re protecting yourself the best you can. One great way to protect yourself is becoming more knowledgeable. The Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop is the perfect venue for this. Come spend the day with snow professionals and start your winter off on the right foot. This is a great event to come to with your ski partner and talk about how excited you are for propagation saw tests, capped columns, Norlun troughs, and rite in the rain notebooks.

We have a stellar line-up of presenters this year returning to the Performing Arts Center at Fryeburg Academy. The lobby will once again be filled with vendors showcasing the latest and greatest. Our friends at Saco River Brewing will be on hand in the evening. While the workshop is aimed at continuing education for snow professionals, all are encouraged to join as this event is a good way to kick of the coming winter.

Helon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#winteriscoming

 

General Bulletin for Tuckerman Ravine

This is the final bulletin issued by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center for the 2016-17 season. This will remain in effect until complete melt out. Travel in the backcountry requires careful snow evaluation and mountain sense. Hazards due to snow and ice will persist until it is all gone. Snowstorms on Mount Washington in June may be uncommon, but are not unheard of. If venturing into the mountains, be sure to use all available resources to help plan your trip and make safe travel decisions.

TRAIL CONDITIONS

  • The summer Lion Head Trail is open and provides the most direct route to the summit of Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch.
  • A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed through the Bowl. This section extends from Lunch Rocks to the junction with the Alpine Garden Trail. This closure is due to the severe and possibly fatal consequences of a fall in this area. This also means that skiing or riding the Lip is not allowed. This section of trail will remain closed until the snow disappears. Check in with one of the visitor centers or the caretaker at Hermit Lake for the current status.
  • The John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed for the season.

MOUNTAIN HAZARDS

  • Falling Ice and Rocks: While the most notorious pieces have already fallen down this spring, smaller pieces of ice linger and will continue to present a threat until the snow is gone. As the snow recedes this time of year, rocks are often dislodged. Overhead assessment and safe travel techniques will help to mitigate this hazard.
  • Crevasses: As the snow pulls away from cliffs, these glide cracks open and have swallowed many people over the years. These are best given a wide berth. The largest of these cracks are obvious while those smaller in size may be harder to see and therefore can often present more of a hazard.
  • Holes and Undermined Snow: The snowpack melts both on the surface and from beneath. As this hollowing takes place, unpredictable collapses will occur. Some are more obvious like the famous snow arch near Lunch Rocks but others are less so, like a sudden hole appearing in the floor of the Ravine.

This season was a time of significant change for our avalanche center. Thank you to everyone for lending a hand when needed. Frank Carus became the director and we were fortunate to add Ryan Matz to the team. We were also lucky to have part-time help from Joe Klementovich, Justin Preisendorfer, Brian Johnston, Dan Corn, and Alexa Siegel. Thank you all for donning a green jacket and spending time with us on the hill. A huge thank you goes to the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol for all the time they donate. Thank you also to the AMC caretakers at Hermit Lake and the Harvard Cabin caretakers for collecting daily weather data, providing SAR response, and being partners in the field. In addition to this, a thank you goes to all of you for reading our advisories, providing us with your observations, and coming to this special place. We look forward to seeing you in November at the Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This bulletin 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.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted at 7:00 am on Monday, May 29, 2017.

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

2017-05-29