General Bulletin for Sunday, May 29, 2016

This is the last Bulletin for the 2015-2016 season.  Some snow and ice related hazards will persist until complete melt out.  

This General Bulletin will be in effect until complete melt out later this summer. The snow coverage that is left has settled, been skier compacted, and is going through the late season melting process. The Tuckerman Ravine Trail through the Ravine is now open, but expect some minor patches of snow to remain into early June.

The remaining snowfields all have a degree of holes, crevasses and undermining that may collapse as they weaken into the summer. Based on the rapid changes to snow strength in the late season, snowfields should be avoided or approached with a high degree of caution. Expect age-hardened, dense alpine ice surfaces in some places even on warmer days. Mountaineering experience, good judgement, and proper equipment, like an ice axe, crampons, and a helmet are critical if venturing onto existing snowfields.

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. After writing avalanche and safety advisories for the last 22 seasons this is the last one from me as one of your U.S. Forest Service Snow Rangers.  It’s time for me to move on to other life adventures. Thanks for listening, reading, heeding, and saying hello as you passed through Hermit Lake. Thanks also to all the Snow Rangers, NH Fish and Game Officers, and volunteers I have worked with to make the mountains a safer place for all of you. Chris.

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted Sunday, May 29, 2016. A new bulletin/advisory will be issued at the beginning of the 2016-2017 winter season.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-29 FINAL GENERAL

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 28, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. We will post the last Bulletin/Advisory of the season tomorrow.

Early summer heat has hit snow coverage hard this week with notable daily changes.  Skiing/riding opportunities have fallen apart quickly and have begun to move into the novelty variety to say you did it.  Expect poor runouts with rocks and brush in your path and a lot of undermining and weak snow bridges.  This rapid melting trend will continue through the next few days with high temperatures and thunderstorm potential.  Although the chance is slight, thunderstorms are forecasted for this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow.  Plan ahead and avoid being above treeline if thunder and lightning move into the mountains.  Muggy humidity will be memorable today triggering the NHDES to issue unhealthy air pollution levels above 3000ft. If someone in your group has health issues consider other alternatives today. On Sunday night and Monday heavy rain is expected to bring flash flooding to the region.

We are opening the Tuckerman Ravine Trail through the Ravine today.  This is unusually early due to the low snow winter for 2015-2016, but some snow still exists on the trail in a few places.  The snow that remains is either easy to negotiate or is low angle enough that the difficulties are minor.  Expect wet feet and many people will find ski poles or microspikes helpful for additional confidence.

Late Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl and under the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Falling into one has been the cause of numerous injuries and past fatalities.  Based on the rapid changes to snow strength in the late season, these snowfields should be avoided.
  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. Although we are through the vast majority of Icefall season lingering pieces may still come down so continue to respect this threat.  The most probable location for additional icefall would be from the Center Bowl.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Mountaineering experience, good judgement and proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense if venturing onto existing snowfields in the Ravine. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 6:50a.m., Saturday, May 28, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued tomorrow.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-28 GENERAL

 

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

For Wednesday afternoon expect thunderstorms in the mountains with hail and lightning.  Being below treeline during periods of thunder is always a good plan. Thursday’s weather looks nice before clouds and rain enter the picture again for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If you are thinking of hiking above treeline, realize there are no options to hike through Tuckerman, only into it, and then backtracking down again.  Obviously, if you get above treeline through a variety of other options there is also no way down through Tuckerman.

With late season heat and rain dominating the recent weather trends skiing and riding conditions are falling apart and are becoming more limited.  Left gully continues to be the longest line although a bit difficult to get in and out of due to brush and rocks. Falling ice is the greatest objective hazard whether you are down on the floor, at the base of Icefall Rocks (Lunch Rocks), or up on the slope.  We expect this threat to continue through the holiday weekend. Recently, very large icefall occurred from the Center Bowl, which had two people literally running for their lives.  Stay alert as we are still in icefall season. We are wrapping up our season over the next 5 days so you can expect the last Bulletin to be issued this weekend.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations currently are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, Lip, and Center Bowl.   Being low in Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”, is still not recommended.  Being up high in Icefall Rocks has become more reasonable due to the Sluice ice, which typically looms above, has already crashed through Icefall Rocks.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Falling into one has been the cause of numerous injuries and past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect the recent snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Mountaineering experience, good judgement and proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:50a.m., Wednesday, May 25, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-25 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Sunday, May 22, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Rain has been slower to materialize than expected for Sunday, but is expected to pick up through the day with some thunderstorm potential in the afternoon.  Being below treeline during periods of thunder is always a good plan.  If you are thinking of hiking above treeline, realize there are no options to hike through Tuckerman, only into it, and then backtracking down again.  Obviously, if you get above treeline through a variety of other options there is also no way down through Tuckerman.  Expect water ice to exist on many of the area’s higher elevation trails.  This is particularly true on those just below the alpine zone where tree coverage has shaded them from the sun.  Microspikes continue to be a smart thing to have with you if you explore trails with limited condition reports.

Skiing and riding lines are slowly becoming more limited, but they still exist.  Left gully continues to be the longest line with the Chute being the steepest, though it has a poor run out with bushes and rocks. Because the ice has cleared high in the Sluice, a ski run to the down to Icefall/Lunch Rocks is an option, but as you reach the bottom portions the icefall threat from the Center bowl increases.  Very large icefall occurred in this area on Saturday, which had two people literally running for their lives.  Stay alert as we are still in icefall season. The Center Bowl and under the Lip looks pretty ugly and their icefall and open hole hazards are generally obvious.  It may not be as obvious if in the fog with rain so planning to stay clear of these areas is a smart idea.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations currently are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, Lip, and Center Bowl.   Being low in Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”, is still not recommended.  Being up high in Icefall Rocks has become more reasonable due to the Sluice ice, which typically looms above, has already crashed through Icefall Rocks.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Falling into one has been the cause of numerous injuries and past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect the recent snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Mountaineering experience, good judgement and proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:40a.m., Sunday, May 22, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-22 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 21, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Clouds will thicken on Saturday with a possible late day rain shower.  This probability will increase tonight, along with mixed precipitation as temperatures fall.  Rain is expected on Sunday as the mercury climbs back into the 40’sF.  So, it’s a nice start to the Queen’s weekend, albeit brief, before turning wet with thick clouds. If you are thinking of hiking above treeline, realize there are no options to hike through Tuckerman, only into it, and then backtracking down again.  Obviously, if you get above treeline through a variety of other options there is also no way down through Tuckerman. Although it was a poor winter the cold spring has allowed snow and ice to linger in the Ravine later than initially expected. At this point we’re not too far away from average coverage for the date.  Expect water ice to exist on many of the area’s higher elevation trails.  This is particularly true on those just below the alpine zone where tree coverage has shaded them from the sun.  Microspikes continue to be a smart thing to have with you if you explore trails with limited condition reports.

Skiing and riding lines are slowly becoming more limited, but they still exist.  Left gully continues to be the longest line with the Chute being the steepest, though it has a poor run out with bushes and rocks. Because the ice has cleared high in the Sluice, a ski run to the down to Lunch Rocks is an option, but as you reach the bottom portions the icefall threat from the Center bowl increases.  The Center Bowl and the under the Lip looks pretty ugly and their icefall and open hole hazards are obvious.  It may not be as obvious if in the fog and clouds so planning to stay clear of these areas is a smart idea.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations currently are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, Lip, and Center Bowl.   Being low in Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”, is still not recommended.  Being up high in Icefall Rocks has become more reasonable due to the Sluice ice, which typically looms above, has already crashed through Icefall Rocks.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Falling into one has been the cause of numerous injuries and past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect the recent snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Mountaineering experience, good judgement and proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:45a.m., Saturday, May 21, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-21 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Snow returned earlier this week, producing 5.5″ of accumulation over 3 days, and a record low temperature for May 16th on the Washington summit.  These winter conditions will slide back giving way to more seasonal conditions with forecasts expecting rain on the summits tomorrow.  High pressure with nicer weather returns for Friday and Saturday before rain threatens again on Sunday.  Last week we noted a clear shift in traffic patterns from skiers/riders to hikers as we head into our last two weekends of the spring season.  If you are thinking of hiking soon and getting above treeline, realize there are no options to hike through Tuckerman, only into it and then backtracking down again.  Obviously, if you get above treeline through a variety of other options there is also no way down through Tuckerman. Although it was a poor winter the cold spring has allowed snow and ice to linger in the Ravine later than initially expected. At this point we’re not too far away from average coverage for the date.  Expect water ice to exist on many of the region’s higher elevation trails.  This is particularly true on those just below the alpine zone where tree coverage has shaded them from the sun.  Microspikes continue to be a smart thing to have with you if you explore trails with limited condition reports.

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below; travel in this area is not recommended.  Some large chunks of ice are still clinging to the Headwall and Center Bowl area.  In addition to being in the bulls-eye for icefall, the center and right side of the Bowl should be avoided because it’s also “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations currently are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Falling into one has been the cause of numerous injuries and past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect the recent snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:50a.m., Wednesday, May 18, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-18 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Sunday, May 15, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Wintry conditions are returning to the higher summits once again with new snow and freezing conditions expected on Sunday and Monday. High winds and low visibility during that period will also hamper your ability to navigate above tree-line. Though forecast snow totals are unlikely to create significant avalanche problems, the new snow may obscure the various crevasses, moats around boulders and thin snow bridges over the stream in the floor of Tuckerman.  Below freezing temperatures overnight tonight will drop further on Monday, eventually reaching the mid-teens on Monday night. As a result, trails above tree-line will become icy again so don’t forget your micro-spikes. Snowfields and slopes will refreeze at some point today and likely remain rock solid Monday and Tuesday making crampons and an ice axe essential tools as the refreeze occurs.

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below; travel in this area is not recommended.  Sluice ice has fallen but other large chunks of ice are still clinging to the Headwall and Center Bowl area.  In addition to being in the bulls-eye for icefall, the center and right side of the Bowl should be avoided because it’s also “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years, many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:15 a.m., Sunday, May 15, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-15

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 14th, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

On Saturday morning, drizzle at upper elevations will clear for a brief period today giving us some sun to enjoy.  This will likely not last long as clouds return, slowly consuming the majority of the sky into the afternoon, creating a chance of showers by late in the day.  Overnight, rain will pick up with a chance of thunderstorms and then transition to a wintry mix.  For the Ravine level elevations, rain showers are likely Sunday morning before transitioning back to snow showers as temperatures fall. Generally it will be a reasonable day on Saturday, if you time it right, with Sunday’s weather being a bit more difficult to enjoy. We continue to recommend the left (south) side, such as Left gully, over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is hanging in there and has the best snow coverage and longest run in Tuckerman. This side, in addition to other snowfields, continues to melt uphill so it will be difficult to ski through bushes to connect to the Ravine floor (see our online pictures). Although general mountain risks should be considered on the left side, the objective hazards are dramatically less than the rest of the Ravine.

Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below; travel in this area is not recommended.  Ice issues continue to be a problem in all the traditional locations, albeit less than a week ago as it continues to be shed off of the rock cliffs. So it’s still the Icefall mean season!  In addition to still being in the bulls-eye for icefall, the center and right side of the Bowl should be avoided because it’s also “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the looker’s right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into crevasses and holes has been the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Freezing temperatures makes hard icy conditions more likely, but many people fail to understand how hard, and quick, soft snow can become when it goes into the shade on sunny afternoons. Planning ahead for the flash freeze shadow line is smart. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted  6:20 a.m., Saturday, May 14, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2716

2016-05-14 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

High pressure and around the clock warmth has been the main driver for changing conditions this week.  The warm weather that will continue over the next few days will be comfortable to be in, but expect rapid melting of both snow and ice in the Ravine.  Icefall and weakening of snow bridges over holes are the main issues we are concerned about right now.  Icefall over the next 72 hours is almost a guarantee, but the exact timing is impossible to predict so stay away from the main runouts in the Center Bowl and the right (north) side.  A chance of showers will begin on Friday afternoon and then unfortunately will be in the forecast through the weekend.  Between icefall and melting snow over the next five days, anticipate a rapid change in over conditions as the Ravine starts to put its summer face on.

We continue to recommend the left (south) side, such as Left gully, over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is hanging in there and has the best snow coverage and longest run in Tuckerman. Although general mountain risks should be considered on the left side, the objective hazards are dramatically less than the rest of the Ravine. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below; travel in this area is not recommended.  In addition to being the bulls-eye for icefall, it should be avoided because it’s “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into crevasses and holes has been the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Freezing temperatures makes hard icy conditions more likely, but many people fail to understand how hard, and quick, soft snow can become when it goes into the shade on sunny afternoons. Planning ahead for the flash freeze shadow line is smart. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:25 a.m., Wednesday, May 11, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-05-11 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Sunday, May 8, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Rain that began overnight on Saturday will continue through Sunday, changing to sleet and snow as temperatures begin to drop around midday. By the end of the day, accumulations may reach 4″ in certain isolated areas. Winds will dramatically increase through the day, reaching 90mph by dark, then gradually diminishing overnight. Temperatures will bottom out Sunday night in the lower teens, rebounding slightly on Monday, but still not reaching the freezing mark. High pressure will move in Monday night and linger for the duration of the week, creating clear skies, sunshine, and good corn snow.

We continue to recommend the left (south) side, such as Left gully and the Chute, over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Remarkably, Left Gully is hanging in there pretty well and can still be skied into the floor of the Bowl. The Chute has good coverage from the top of the hourglass down. Above the hourglass has melted out and is now at the point where it’s more steep bushwhacking than skiing. Although general mountain risks should be considered on the left side, the objective hazards are dramatically less than the rest of the Ravine. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below; travel in this area is not recommended.  In addition to being the bulls-eye for icefall, it should be avoided because it’s “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into crevasses and holes has been the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Freezing temperatures makes hard icy conditions more likely, but many people fail to understand how hard, and quick, soft snow can become when it goes into the shade on sunny afternoons. Planning ahead for the flash freeze shadow line is smart. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:45 a.m., Sunday, May 8, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

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

05-08-2016 General

General Bulletin for Saturday, May 7, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

We are starting Saturday with thick overcast skies and a chance of showers in the afternoon.  Summit temperatures will get into the 40’s before falling slowly overnight and through Sunday.  Sunday will get nasty with some early rain, changing to a “wintry mix”, then to snow later as winds rage towards 90mph.  3″ to 5″ inches of total snow are expected for the higher terrain.  This will make alpine travel a hypothermia event for those unprepared with the best gear.  Rain soaking your gear, changing to snow with heat sucking wind, is never ideal for a pleasurable mountain experience.  Generally, not a great weekend weather wise, but you won’t have a lot of competition for your favorite rock to sit on, or gully to ski/ride.  So if you have the right gear with an adventurous, yet cautious spirit, maybe we’ll see you over the next couple of days. The icy trail from the parking lot to Hermit Lake has improved a lot, and although traction like microspikes might still be handy, most will find ski poles enough.  Of course if you get into steep terrain in the Ravine we always recommend crampons and an ice axe.

We continue to recommend the left (south) side, such as Left gully, over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Remarkably Left Gully is hanging in there pretty well, and while it has been changing, it’s been melting slower than other locations. Although general mountain risks should be considered on the left side the objective hazards are dramatically less than the rest of the Ravine. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below so travel in this area is not recommended.  In addition to being the bulls-eye for icefall, it should be avoided because it’s “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – The most dangerous of these are in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into crevasses and holes has been the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Freezing temperatures makes hard icy conditions more likely, but many people fail to understand how hard, and quick, soft snow can become when it goes into the shade on sunny afternoons. Planning ahead for the flash freeze shadow line is smart. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:20 a.m., Saturday, May 7, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-05-07 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. 

Mixed precipitation on Wednesday and Thursday, changing to rain at all elevations, will continue to dominate the mountains.  At the ravine level you can expect mostly rain and fog.  Looking at the extended forecast, we expect a brief moisture reprieve on Friday, but then rain returning for the weekend.  Rain will exacerbate the typical spring hazards listed below more rapidly than we have seen recently. Anticipate falling ice to be the most significant threat in the near term due to this moisture and fog.  Fog will cloak falling ice from your view until the last second, making it very difficult to mitigate.  Kind of like skate boarding back and forth on a Los Angles ten lane highway in thick Pacific murk.  The bottom line is when fog is in play your risk goes up substantially.

We continue to recommend the left (south) side, such as Left gully, over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Although general mountain risks should be considered on the left side the objective hazards are remarkably less than the rest of the Ravine. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed “Lip” area on the right side have all of the hazards listed below so travel in this area is not recommended.  In addition to being the bulls-eye for icefall, it should be avoided because it’s “no fall terrain” due to holes, rocks, and crevasses. The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent. Realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted.

 (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:10 a.m., Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-05-04 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Sunday, May 1, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Temperatures remained above freezing Saturday night at Ravine elevations. Rain will begin to fall later Sunday morning at all elevations with a transition to snow in the afternoon above the freeze line, which is expected to be around 5,000’. Snow will continue through Sunday night on S and SW winds with snow and rain continuing through the day Monday as the Low sits off the Maine coast. Expect around ¾” of rain at lower elevations through Monday with the liquid equivalent in snow at higher elevations. Wet, new snow in our avalanche terrain will likely bond pretty well initially to the current surface but wind slabs may develop as winds ramp up and shift west and precipitation grows in intensity and the freeze line drops in elevation as forecasted for Monday. New snow may also cover and hide crevasses. Be sure to evaluate the avalanche hazard Monday and Tuesday, especially if snow fall totals in our start zones reach those forecast by the Observatory for the summit. Hollow sounding slabs or large smooth pillows in steep terrain should be given some time to settle after spring temps return.

If you are visiting Sunday morning, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list below so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided. Rainfall and runoff will continue undermining snow and loosening frozen waterfalls so be sure to consider these and other spring hazards. This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted.

 (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 8:00 a.m., Sunday, May 1, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-05-01

General Bulletin for Saturday, April 30, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

The 4-6” of snow that fell earlier in the week has been affected by multiple days of sunshine and is currently quite different based on aspect.  Slopes facing directly into the sun have been moving towards corn while shaded locales, or facing NE or N have been slower to change. This has made surface conditions variable so expect a firm start on many slopes.  With this said, the forecasted low wind speeds and sunshine on Saturday should allow most locations to soften eventually.  As this occurs anticipate the potential for skier induced wet sluffing in the warmest pockets of the most recent snow. In the afternoon expect slopes to firm up again as they go into the shade so plan your timing carefully.  On Sunday afternoon snow will begin in alpine terrain and is expected to deliver 2-4”, with another 1-3” Sunday night.  This may translate into rain down lower at the Ravine elevation based on the current temperature outlook.  We will publish another Bulletin Sunday as the weather forecast matures.

If you are visiting this weekend, we recommend the left, or south, side over traveling in the center or right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list below so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.  This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted.

 (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 6:50 a.m., Saturday, April 30, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Frank Carus/Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-04-30 GENERAL

General Bulletin for Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. A new General Bulletin will be issued within 72 hours or when conditions warrant. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine. Remember that avalanche activity may occur under a General Bulletin so always make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Winter keeps hanging in there by delivering 5.7″ of new snow to the Washington summit and 3.9″ to Hermit Lake at 3800ft on Tuesday.   This precipitation came in on W winds from 35-50 mph.  This requires you to anticipate isolated instabilities in the Ravine until proven otherwise by your stability assessments.  The irregular bare alpine terrain of Bigelow Lawn above Tuckerman, on the south side of the summit cone, will absorb an amount of snow being transported as winds increase.  Also, the highly variable terrain of the Ravine consisting of ski bumps, recent melting, rocks, and breaks in the terrain’s continuity with brush and cliffs will all help reduce the overall avalanche concern of this new snow. But, some isolated instabilities may develop as winds pick up over the next 48hours so assure you have the skill and avalanche experience to make good stability assessments before deciding to enter, or be under, areas of new snow.  Cold air between 5-15F and stiff winds on the summit over the next couple of days will allow any isolated wind slab issues to linger.

Aside from the general snow concerns discussed above requiring caution, the southern side of the Ravine, or lookers left, has dramatically lower objective hazards and risk than the north or right side. Therefore, we recommend the left side over traveling in the center and right side of the Ravine. Left Gully is the longest run and is still connected to the Bowl proper. Areas immediately adjacent to and under the closed Lip area have all of the hazards in the list below so travel in this area is not recommended and should be avoided.  This terrain is “no fall terrain.” The consequences of a slip or fall here could lead to the worst possible outcome.

Spring Hazards in Tuckerman Ravine:

  • FALLING ICE – Over the years many people have been severely injured or killed by falling ice in Tuckerman. The most hazardous locations are in the center and right side of the ravine, including Lunch Rocks, the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl. Warm weather and rain increase the potential for icefall to occur. Avoid spending time in high risk areas such as under the Headwall or at Lunch Rocks, more aptly known as “Icefall Rocks”.
  • CREVASSES, HOLES, AND UNDERMINED SNOW – Collectively these are growing larger in many locations; the most dangerous in the Center Bowl over to the Lip on the lookers right side of the Ravine. Breaking through weak snow into one of has been the cause of numerous past fatalities. Generally, climbing up what you plan to descend will allow you to see most of these hazards for your descent and realize there may be large open spaces under the surface near these holes. Expect new snow to hide some of these threats.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS – Temperatures often fall below freezing even late into spring. Additionally, age hardening can create very dense alpine ice that remains very slick even on warmer days. Very hard and icy surfaces make, a slip, trip, or fall a very serious situation so good terrain choices and judgement as well as proper equipment, like an ice axe and crampons, are your best defense. The bottom sections of popular runs are also melting uphill making it possible to fall into rocks and terrain features while still in steep terrain.

Tuckerman Ravine Trail Closure

A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed to all use. This is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. The closed section extends from the top of Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail is not permitted. (ATTENTION AUX RANDONNEURS! Une section du sentier du Tuckerman Ravine est présentement fermé à toutes les activités.  Cette section est située entre Lunch Rocks et le sommet du Headwall jusqu’où ce dernier rejoint le sentier du Alpine Garden. Cette fermeture inclut également toute activité de descente dans le secteur du Lip. Seulement cette section du sentier est fermé. Cette fermeture annuelle est due à l’ampleur des crevasses et à la gravité qu’occasionnerait une chute dans ce secteur.)

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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, or the AMC at Pinkham Notch or Hermit Lake.
  • Posted 7:50 a.m., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. A new bulletin will be issued when warranted.

Christopher Joosen, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2713

2016-04-27 GENERAL