General Bulletin for Monday, May 22, 2017

This bulletin will expire at Midnight on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new advisory will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Low pressure swinging through New England will bring rain through Monday and into Tuesday morning. With warmer temperatures and sunshine on Tuesday, our snowpack will continue to dwindle without an overnight freeze. Another low pressure system should arrive to the region on Tuesday night, likely bringing more rain on Wednesday.

The summer Lion Head Trail is now open and is the preferred route to the Summit from Pinkham Notch. A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the Bowl is closed to all use. This section is from Lunch Rocks to the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail and is due to the severe consequences of a fall in this area. Only this section is closed. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of the closed trail, including the Lip, 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 be aware that snow and ice are still a concern on the summer Lion Head Trail and significant long-sliding falls have happened on the snowfield traverse near treeline. An ice axe and crampons and the ability to use them effectively are recommended. The following typical mountain hazards are also in play:

  • UNDERMINED SNOW: Meltwater running under the snow creates hollow spaces potentially bridged by thin snow that can easily break under the weight of a person. In places, this might mean a wet foot or a minor fall, while larger holes with significant flowing water can be of much greater consequence. Listen for flowing water and look for small holes in the snow surface. Forecast rain will accelerate this undermining as streams swell.
  • CREVASSES (GLIDE CRACKS), WATERFALL HOLES, AND MOATS: Many of the largest, deepest cracks continue to grow, particularly in Lip and Center Bowl. Give these plenty of space. These cracks are often wider than they appear or bridged by thin snow. A fall into one could be fatal. Moats around rocks are widespread through the terrain. Glide cracks are widespread from the Lip to Chute and are deep enough to fall into.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS: Even with rain creating sloppy snow, long falls should be taken into consideration. Be prepared for this with an ice axe and crampons for anything above tree line, and always consider the terrain below you and the associated consequences of a fall. Microspikes are very helpful in low angle terrain, but are no substitute for crampons if it’s steep.

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed at Hermit Lake. Please hike down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Pinkham Notch.

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 Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted at 6:00 am on Monday, May 22, 2017.  A new bulletin will be issued when conditions warrant.

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