This is the final bulletin issued by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center for the 2017-18 season. It will remain in effect until complete melt out. Travel in the backcountry requires careful snow evaluation and mountain sense. Hazards due to snow and ice will persist until both are all gone. Summer snowstorms on Mount Washington are uncommon, but not unheard of. If venturing into the mountains, be sure to use all available resources to help plan your trip and make safe travel decisions.
- Falling Ice and Rocks: While the largest pieces of ice have already fallen this spring, smaller areas of ice linger and will continue to present a threat until fully melted out. Rocks can also become dislodged and fall as melting ice and snow recedes. Overhead assessment and safe travel techniques will help to manage this hazard.
- Crevasses (glide cracks): Gravity slowly pulls our deep snowpack downhill as it melts, causing large cracks to open. These cracks present a significant fall hazard. Widespread in the Lip, they develop in much of our terrain and can be surprisingly large and deep.
- Holes and Undermined Snow: Flowing meltwater can melt the snowpack from beneath. As this hollowing takes place, unpredictable collapses will occur. Some are more obvious like the famous snow arch near Lunch Rocks but others are less so, like a sudden hole appearing in the floor of the Ravine.
- The summer Lion Head Trail is open and provides the most direct route to the summit of Mount Washington from Pinkham Notch.
- A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is closed. This section extends from Lunch Rocks in the ravine to the junction with the Alpine Garden Trail above the ravine. The closure is due to severe and possibly fatal consequences of a fall into deep crevasses and holes in the snow. Skiing or riding this area, which includes the Lip, is also not allowed. This section of trail will remain closed until the snow melts from the trail. Check with the visitor’s center or the caretaker at Hermit Lake for the current status.
- The John Sherburne Ski Trail is closed for the season. You will need to hike all the way from the Bowl or Hillman’s Highway back to Pinkham. The Sherburne Ski Trail is especially muddy this year and needs time to grow the grass and plants that will control erosion.
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.
Thank you to all of our partners and volunteers, including the Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol, the AMC and the caretakers at Hermit Lake and the Harvard Cabin, the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation, and many others. Thanks to all of you who have volunteered your time or your money to help with projects and rescues. Our mission is to serve the public and we count on support from the community to make that happen. Also, we look forward to seeing you on November 3rd at the Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop held again this year at the Performing Arts Center in Fryeburg, Maine. Stay tuned to our social media channels and this website for news, upcoming talks in your region and of course, for avalanche bulletins next fall.
- Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This bulletin is just one tool to help you make your own decisions. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
- For more information contact the Androscoggin Ranger District, the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
- Posted at 7:00 am on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Frank Carus, Ryan Matz, Helon Hoffer; Snow Rangers
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856