General Bulletin for Saturday, April 29, 2017

Unless updated this bulletin expires at Midnight, Monday, May 1.

A General Bulletin is in effect for Tuckerman Ravine. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments. A new bulletin will be issued when conditions warrant or within 72 hours. A general bulletin for Tuckerman will be in effect until complete melt out later this spring/summer. We are no longer monitoring conditions in Huntington Ravine.

Due to open glide cracks and undermined snow, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is now closed in the Ravine between Lunch Rocks and its junction with the Alpine Garden Trail. This closure includes the Lip area, which presents numerous hazards to the recreating public and potential rescuers alike.

The past 3 days have been quite warm on the mountain, with summit temperatures remaining above 40F. This theme will remain through much of today, with freezing temperatures returning briefly tonight. A warmer and wetter system will approach Sunday afternoon and into Monday. Loose, wet sluffs remain a key issue for skiers and snowboarders. The potential refreeze tonight could improve riding conditions and slightly lessen this sluff issue for tomorrow, but spring hazards continue to demand your respect:

  • CREVASSES AND WATERFALL HOLES. These are growing larger in many locations. The most dangerous locations are in the Lip and Center Bowl. They are often larger beneath the surface than what you can see from above and can be much deeper than you might expect. Breaking through weak snow into one of these could be fatal for you or someone in your group. Give these hazards a wide berth when hiking up or skiing down.
  • UNDERMINED SNOW. As the snowpack continues to get thinner, this problem gets worse. It is most prominent in places where there is flowing water beneath the snowpack, which includes most of the gullies. While the snow may appear thick and strong on top beware that the snow may be bridging a thin area over a significant drop. When in doubt probe aggressively with a ski pole or ice axe. If you see small holes in the snow or near large rocks, realize there may be large open spaces under the surface.
  • 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. Avoid spending time in the fall line of the ice in these areas.
  • LONG SLIDING FALLS. A potential refreeze tonight could provide ideal conditions for a long sliding fall that is difficult to arrest on Sunday morning. Crampons, ice axe, and your ability to use them should not be left at home if you plan to travel in the Ravines.

The John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed at the #7 crossover. Beware of construction debris at this crossover. Plan to hike over to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail at the rope and hike to Pinkham Notch. Please do not ski or ride on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail.

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 7:40am on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  A new bulletin will be issued when conditions warrant.

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