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Thread: Extreme Avalanche Conditions 3/1-3/2

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  1. #1
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    Default Extreme Avalanche Conditions 3/1-3/2

    I noticed the Mount Washington Avalanche center has issued an extreme avalanche warning. It should be interesting to see what occurred when the weather clears. There is a potential of some long and destructive slides running into places that haven't had activity in decades.

    The snow rangers had an interesting discussion about how the Lion Head Winter Route is becoming increasingly exposed to avalanches as the snow pack deepens.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    Default Avalanche conditions

    We turned back on the Osceolas today. Although there were folks ahead of us packing out the trail, there were copious amounts of unconsolidated snow which made the steep sections extremely hard to negotiate. Gain 10 feet, slide back 20 in a huge pile of powder. Of course, we should have had crampons instead of snowshoes, but it didn't occur to us, or several others, that this might be necessary. The wind howled the whole time, blowing snow into the freshly broken trail in a matter of minutes. We could see blowing snow on the top of about everything we could see. When I got home I checked the webcams and sure enough Tuckerman looked like it was in a blizzard and the north slope around the Cog track and the Auto Road was scoured clean. All this loose stuff is now hanging precariously on the eastern slopes, waiting for some trigger to send it sliding down. I'd venture a guess there may be a cornice or two in some places after todays wind.

    KDT

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    Check the Connection Cache off the safe list. It was hit by an avalanche sometime over the weekend. The first time since 1969 ( I remember they had some snow on Mount Washington that year). The rangers said the slide was only a few hundred yards from running over the Little Headwall.

    Image borrowed below from the copyright free federal government.

    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
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    Default Wow!

    Can't say I've ever seen it like that! It's amazing to look at that, then read Ryan's comment today that they're 30" under average snowfall on the summit. I can't imagine what 500+" looked like in '69.

    KDT

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot
    Can't say I've ever seen it like that! It's amazing to look at that, then read Ryan's comment today that they're 30" under average snowfall on the summit. I can't imagine what 500+" looked like in '69.

    KDT
    I wonder what the season totals are like at Hermit Lake or Pinkham?

    Of all the data they measure on the summit it seems like snow, not wind, is the most difficult variable to accurately record. The current system has been tested, but its not perfect. Who's to say that the 68-69 system was even less perfect.
    Bill
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    I wonder if those slides came straight off the headwall. Its incredible if they did because avalanches and rock slides aren't known for carrying long distances across flat terrain.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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