We Are White Again!

Looking towards Washington and Tucks at 9am
     It's a gorgeous morning here in the Notch with 9 new inches of snow and 24 inches at our snow stake!  There's 32 inches cumulative on the summit of Mt. Washington and a grand total of 70 inches for Tuckerman's Ravine!!!
     As I'm telling those of you who are calling in, this time of year is basically a lottery on whether you have good or bad conditions.  Last year in March we thought the season was over for backcountry skiing and then we received 33 inches of snow in April and the season ended up extending till the end of May!  I had folks skiing in Tucks in April who said they had their best day of skiing ever!!!  The point is that we couldn't have predicted it.  They were just lucky to be here on the precise day between snow fall and melting which was optimum!
    So I would keep your eyes closely on weather forecast for Gorham NH ( We watch NOAA here.)  and at www.mountwashington.org and be prepared to jump when it looks right!  What you are trying to catch is soon after snow fall but a day or two after for the snowfall to stabilize HOWEVER not too long so that it doesn't get too warm, melt, rain or all blow off!  You'll want to keep the avalanche conditions close on your spectrum as well.  You can find those at http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/ 
      So for today avalanche conditions in the Ravines are High so they are a no-go but just about ANYTHING backcountry down lower should be AMAZING!!!  Our temperature here in the Notch is 22 degrees F and our winds are variable.  They are only 5mph here right now but my understanding is that right down the road they are whipping pretty good.  The top of Washington has 50-70 mph winds and the Conway-North Conway area has 10-15 mph winds, so anyplace in between could be anyplace in between!  I think I would plan for 20-30 mph winds for a baseline here in the Notch but expect variations and gusts!
The Beginning of the John Sherburne, Gulf of Slides, and Avalanche Brook Ski Trails
     If you're interested in doing lower backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, basically you want to get in the car NOW!!!  Front country conditions for both nordic and alpine with the grooming should be just awesome too!  Just plan for possible wind exposure and cover up! 
     Ice climbing goes the way of Ravine skiing this morning...avalanche danger is too high in Huntington's.  I unfortunately have not caught any reports recently on what is hanging out ice wise beneath the snow!  You'll do much better to rely on your normal ice reports for conditions right now but if any of you haven't discovered them yet, go to http://neice.com/ or http://www.neclimbs.com/ for insider information!  There's usually plenty of good stuff elsewhere even when Huntington's is under snow!
Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch
     Heading to the top of Washington this morning is going to be relatively adventurous!  For the first time this winter we have over 2 feet of snow above treeline so with the proper experience you can actually camp legally above treeline tonight!  However who knows what's going to go on with the wind if it will bring it down below 24 inches by tomorrow!  Be prepared for the wind, exposure and low visibility if you are heading up today!  Check all your reports and be safe!
     If you just want to get up here and bask in winter wonderland for the night, be sure to give AMC Reservations a call (603-466-2727).  ALL of our open facilities received 4 to 9 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours!  Happy adventures!

Joyce Scott
Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,