For those of you who have been watching, reading, and checking out our early season advisories over the years you’ll probably recognize these October words: “Well here we go again! Another winter is upon us!” And if you’re reading this before November 1st CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE A CERTIFIABLE AVALANCHE JUNKIE!
In mid October the mountain went through a brief shot of real winter as it usually does from year to year. This allowed the early season diehards to get out and swing the ice tools into a mixture of ice, water and rock as well as a make a few turns on the boards. But just as typical at this time of the year are the temperatures raising enough to melt the mountain back to terra firma. This is a likely scenario by November 1st as the mercury is forecasted to go well above freezing every day.
Consider this a “brush off the cobwebs and get ready because winter’s coming” reminder. (As if you really needed one). Take some time this early season to get out your avalanche safety tools and practice. Your beacon should get some fresh AA or AAA’s put into it, inspect your probe, shovel, avalung, air bag, and whatever else you use to give yourself a “little” better chance of survival. I say a little better chance because getting caught in an avalanche is always very bad and in New England it can be even worse because of our terrain and relatively low snowfall. Rocks, trees, terrain traps and cliffbands are typically in your runout paths so getting caught is not an option. Having the critical safety equipment is very important, but do not allow it to influence good decision making. Sharpen your mind by taking an avalanche course. It will help you make quality choices for you and your group during mountain trips this winter. Avalanche course providers are all listed on our website. Learning about avalanches is a lifelong pursuit; never stop seeking out more information.
A few big changes this season that you’ll being hearing more about over the next month on www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org are:
- A new 5 Scale Danger Rating System for North America for the 2010-2011 season.
- The addition of several forecasted gullies in the Tuckerman Ravine area being implemented this winter.
- RSS Feeds and Twitter on our new website.
- The White Mountain Avalanche Education Fund.
Keep coming back to our new website www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org for changes and updates on these topics and of course new avalanche advisories and pictures. Bookmark the new site as our old site tuckerman.org has been retired to make some more modern features available for you. We look forward to the winter season, talking to you every day, and feeling the Mount Washington wind shake us about. You’ll hear more from us soon. Chris