Playing the waiting game

Don’t get overly excited, there isn’t much of any snow on the mountain yet, this is simply an early season check-in. We’ve not yet begun issuing advisories, either General Advisories or 5-scale forecasts. If you’re heading into the mountains in the coming days or weeks, you’ll be on your own for assessing the conditions. We’ll be keeping an eye on conditions, and are patiently waiting for snow to fall. We know that it’s only  a matter of time before we issue our first General Advisory. As the snowfields in the ravines grow, we’ll eventually move into using the 5-scale rating system. Keep an eye on our website in the coming weeks for these events, plus new photos and some other small changes currently in the works.

In the meantime, take advantage of the extra time to sharpen your ice tools and crampons, wax your skis or boards, and go through your winter gear to make sure it’s ready for the upcoming season. For me, that means putting fresh alkaline batteries into my beacons and running them through their annual inspection ritual. I’d also recommend deploying your probe a few times to make sure it still works the way it should and to check your shovel for signs of wear or fatigue. Remember, these are the tools that need to be 100% reliable when it’s time to use them. Don’t put it off until the morning you first head up into the ravines!

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. 

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