General Avalanche Advisory, Sunday 12-08-2013

Expires at 12:00 midnight Tuesday 12-10-2013.

This is an early season General Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington ravines.

General Advisories are issued when isolated instabilities may exist within the forecast areas. Forecasts using the 5-scale danger rating system will begin when snowfields and bed surfaces become more developed. Please remember that avalanche activity may occur before the issuance of a 5-scale danger rating forecast. You need to make your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain.

Potential instability problems are currently limited to the isolated snowfields in each ravine. Although these areas are relatively small compared to midwinter conditions, this does not mean avalanche activity cannot occur. Unstable snow can develop in any location where new snow can be loaded onto a potential bed surface. The largest of these bed surfaces can currently be found in Left Gully, the Chute, and the Lip area of Tuckerman and Central and Odell Gullies in Huntington. Other smaller snowfields can also be found in various locations throughout both ravines. Spatial variability is incredibly strong in these early season conditions. Be on your toes since conditions may change as you move within or between snowfields.

Recent weather has not been as kind to snow-lovers as we like to see. Thursday December 5 was a warm rainy day on the mountain, which brought about a half inch of rain and very little snow. Since then, we’ve seen cold temperatures but still very little snow. Hopefully this will change in the next day or two. We expect a few inches or more of snow on Monday followed by high pressure and clearing skies later in the week. As tomorrow’s low pressure system swings the winds around from the S to the NW, expect the ravines to be on the receiving end of some wind loading. Remember that windblown snow has a difficult time bonding to icy crusts, and can’t bond at all to water ice.

Check frequently as we move through December for the latest avalanche advisory before heading into avalanche terrain. We’re excited to be back at it and look forward to seeing you in the mountains!

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 the Harvard Cabin.
  • Posted 7:45a.m., Sunday December 8, 2013. 


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

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