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Warning: Dangerous Avalanche Conditions on Mount Washington

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The Mount Washington Avalanche Center issued a serious warning for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines Thursday morning.

Intrepid winter hikers and skiers are cautioned against braving the terrain, most of which has a high avalanche danger through the day. Eight inches of new snow fell overnight, increasing the likelihood of both natural and human-triggered avalanches.  As wind speeds increase over the course of the day, large avalanches in many areas are likely.

The Avalanche Center describes the current White Mountain avalanche terrain as having "near epic proportions." Thursday's snow adds to the twenty-plus inches deposited by the nor'easter earlier in the week. The extra snow, combined with high winds, means that both dry loose and wind slab avalanches are likely to occur. Wind slab avalanches are dense, often localized, and considered especially dangerous.

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Credit mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org
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Little Headwall at Tuckerman Ravine is the only part of this terrain without a high danger of avalanche. It has been rated moderate, and the Avalanche Center recommends that any travelers in this area evaluate the snow carefully. Even with a moderate advisory, human-triggered avalanches are considered possible. 

Hannah McCarthy first came to NHPR an intern in 2015, returned as a Fellow the following year and then bounced around as a reporter and producer before landing as co-host of Civics 101. She has reported on everything from the opioid epidemic to State House politics to haunted woods of New Hampshire.

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