THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY FOR THE SEASON. HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST UNTIL COMPLETE MELTOUT SO PLEASE READ THIS FINAL ADVISORY BEFORE HEADING INTO THE RAVINES OR TO THE SUMMIT OF MT. WASHINGTON.
This General Advisory will be in effect until complete melt out later this summer. The snow coverage that is left has settled out, been skier compacted, and is going through the late season melt-freeze process. However, the remaining large snowfields may make for a good sliding surface for late season avalanches. A June snowstorm is not an unheard of occurrence on Mt. Washington. Be prepared for the possibility of new snow instability if this occurs.
A SECTION OF THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL USE. This section extends from Lunch Rocks at the floor of the Ravine to the top of the Headwall where it meets the Alpine Garden Trail. This includes no skiing or riding through the Lip area. Only this section of the trail is closed. This annual closure is due to the magnitude of the crevasses and undermining, and the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The trail will reopen after the last snow has melted off. Check in with one of the local visitor centers to determine the status of the clousure before starting up. If you use motorized access to the summit of Mount Washington it is NOT recommended that you descend any route through the Ravines. You will not be aware of the hazards below you. Many have attempted this over the years, often resulting in severe accidents.
BE AWARE OF FALLING ICE. Each year over 1000 tons of ice form on the steep slopes of Tuckerman Ravine. In the spring it all falls down, often in pieces larger than cars, and often over popular locations like Lunch Rocks and the Tuckerman Ravine trail in the bottom of the ravine. This hazard will persist until complete melt out. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to avoid spending time in the potential path of falling ice. CREVASSES AND UNDERMINED SNOW appear as the snow pack melts and separates from the ledges on the Headwall. These openings vary tremendously in size and include the many waterfalls on the Headwall. Skiers and climbers need to pay attention to what is below at all times and constantly evaluate the potential outcome of a fall or slide.
We sincerely thank all the groups and individuals that helped us make it through the season successfully. We couldn’t do the job without the many volunteer hours spent carrying injured people down the mountain, giving out good information to visitors, and giving us financial support. Thanks for a great season and we’ll see you next winter. Joe, Jeff, Frank, and Chris.
- 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.
- For more information contact the Forest Service Androscoggin Ranger District, the AMC at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters. This is the last advisory of the 2013-2014 season.
Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger USDA Forest Service White Mountain National Forest (603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856