General Bulletin for Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This bulletin will expire at Midnight on Friday, May 26, 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.

The high pressure that provided generally clear skies yesterday is forecast to hold through much of today, but a wet low pressure system will approach late today or tomorrow. Temperatures will trend slightly lower through Friday but should remain above freezing in our terrain. Rainfall is forecast to begin in light amounts late today and continue into Thursday, with intensity increasing into Friday when we could see heavy rain. This morning is likely the most pleasant opportunity to play in Tuckerman Ravine in this bulletin period.

The summer Lion Head Trail is open and remains the preferred route to the Summit from Pinkham Notch. A section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail within 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 high consequence fall hazard presented by many large glide cracks in the snow. Hiking or skiing in the vicinity of this closed section, including the Lip, is not permitted. The rest of this trail remains open. 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 travel is still required on the summer Lion Head Trail and significant long-sliding falls are possible on the snowfield traverse near treeline. An ice axe, crampons, and the ability to use them effectively are recommended. The following typical mountain hazards are also in play:

  • UNDERMINED SNOW: Rainfall later this week will increase meltwater running under the snow which creates hollow spaces. Potentially bridged by thin snow which can easily break under your weight, this could result in as little as a wet foot or minor fall, but 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, realizing that these hazards can be tricky to identify.
  • CREVASSES (GLIDE CRACKS), WATERFALL HOLES, AND MOATS: Many of the largest, deepest cracks continue to grow, particularly in Lip and Center Bowl. These cracks are often wider than they appear or bridged by thin snow. A fall into one could be fatal, give these plenty of space. Glide cracks are widespread from the Lip to Chute, as well as isolated locations elsewhere. Moats around rocks can be found throughout the terrain.
  • 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 7:45 am on Wednesday, May 24, 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