avalanche

Mount Washington Avalanche Center

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center will close for the season Monday, officials say, so as not to encourage ill-advised outdoor recreation by continuing to issue their usual daily forecasts. 

“At this time, the need to reduce exposure of workers and forest visitors to the novel coronavirus outweighs the value of providing avalanche safety information to backcountry travelers,” the center says in a statement.

Avalanche Awareness in Mt. Washington's Backcountry

Feb 17, 2020
Frank Carus/MWAC

New Hampshire is seeing a boom in backcountry skiing and mountaineering, and that means more people are venturing into avalanche territory in mid-winter.  We talk with the director of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center about this trend, and how to explore safely. 

This program will be broadcast on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. It was originally broadcast on  Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

MountWashingtonAvalanchecenter.org

Avalanche danger was listed as “considerable” on Mount Washington Thursday.

With back country snow sports on the rise in the Whites, and a recent rash of avalanches in ski areas out West, the Mount Washington Avalanche Center is reminding people to be cautious. Center director Frank Carus says the White Mountains haven't seen as unusual an avalanche rate as places like Colorado have this season.

 

Authorities warn that the possibility of further avalanches is increasing a day after a skier died on Mount Washington.

 

A spokesman for the White Mountain National Forest says a man skiing alone in an area called Raymond Cataract was buried under about 5 feet of snow for about an hour Thursday afternoon before rescuers dug him out.

 

The man was pronounced dead several hours later.

 

Sean Hurley

With 9 inches of new snow and strong winds expected throughout the day, the Snow Rangers at the Mount Washington Avalanche Center have raised the avalanche threat level to "Considerable" across the Presidential Range and "High" in places like Tuckerman Ravine. "Human-triggered avalanches are likely,” the forecast reads, “and will be large enough to bury and kill a person on open slopes and gullies." As NHPR’s Sean Hurley discovered during a recent visit to Mount Washington, the Snow Rangers don’t mess around - and they don't want you to either.

 

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.

mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center says there will be “considerable danger” for avalanches in the areas around the mountain as today’s winter storm moves in.

"Avalanche danger will rapidly increase through the afternoon and evening hours," the advisory reads. "Travel in avalanche terrain near and after dark is not recommended."

 This weekend, two Canadians in Tuckerman Ravine triggered an avalanche, which swept them and two others 500 feet down to the bottom of the bowl. None of those affected suffered serious injuries, but it highlights a growing trend in the White Mountains: more skiers getting themselves into avalanche terrain earlier in the year.

Photo Courtesy of USSA

  A member of the US Alpine Ski Team from New Hampshire has been killed in an avalanche in Austria.

Ronnie Berlack of Franconia was one of two skiers who perished in the accident. Twenty-year-old Berlack was one of seven skiers named to the US ski team’s development squad last spring. He had finished in the top twenty in two events in last year’s US championships in Squaw Valley.

New York Man Dies In Avalanche

Mar 2, 2013

A 24-year-old New York man was killed in an avalanche Friday in the Huntington Ravine, according to a news release from the White Mountain National Forest.

The victim was identifed as James Watts, 24.  No hometown was given.

Officials said he was ice climbing alone and was apparently caught by an avalanche and swept about 1,000 feet down the mountain.

A hiker found the body about 3:00 pm.