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Author Topic: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.  (Read 3193 times)

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Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« on: December 16, 2011, 11:29:53 PM »

It's been cold up on the mountain, but there hasn't been much snow over the past couple of days. although there is some ice, it is fairly suspect, so be aware.  :P
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 10:22:12 PM »

Plenty of people out today in Huntington. Pinnacle had a line of what by the looks of those approaching planned on climbing protected. Central also looked to be getting climbed by a group of two, at least they where heading that way when i hung a  left for Odell's. A group of two had climbed Odell's taking the middle lone prior to myself. A group of three was climbing roped and with what looked like good protection on the right side. Just as i was setting out to climb myself a couple boy/girl arrived i think also roping up to climb the center and or left?

If you wanna climb there is ice that is for sure. How good that ice is and how safe well i will leave that to you to decide. I def kicked through and put my axe through a couple places. I also down climbed to choose another line once or twice as what looked solid was not! I returned the Tuckerman Ravine trail. I stopped about half way down to chat with a nice guy heading up. Not 5 minutes later i had gotten to the bottom and was chatting up a couple that had just bailed off some lower ice bulges when i turned to hear a good crash of ice followed by a slide. Nothing major but enough that you would not have wanted to be under it. Crazy part is it was exactly where i had just been talking with that nice old guy.

That's what i got! I would say the next week of cold should do some real good. Def need some snow to fill some stuff in though. The approaches are not horrible but lets just say it is not the normal mid December approach or decent.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:26:47 PM by apbt1976 »
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 06:14:49 AM »

This was posted a few days ago,  but I posted it in the wrong section:

10 hours on the rock pile yesterday and froze my a*#s off! winds were unrelenting and the temps were single digits. I had heard that it dipped somewhere around -20-25F with the wind chill. We climbed all day in Tucks and conditions are coming along. Probably 6-8" of fresh powder as we hiked in past the hut to the head of the bowl. Open Book was climbable and there were a number of parties climbing that route (as did we). Some stuff forming and climbable in the center of the headwall and left of left is coming in very nicely. We would have gone over there as both that and left gully looked nice, but the approach was boney and heinous!
Despite the cold temps, water was running pretty freely under all of the routes and the ice is still fairly undermined. Once we get more snow, conditions should firm up. Wear the micro spikes at the Tucks trail is a nightmare without them!

Grammy
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 06:16:27 AM by old_school »
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 12:56:43 PM »

Here's the latest from Rich, the caretaker at the Harvard Cabin up by Huntington. If anyone should know what's up in the Ravines, it's Rich.

------------------

Seasons Greetings,

Just a quick holiday greeting as Marcia and I are about to head back up the
trail with our annual Christmas Ham. Cabin visitors over the next few days
may get to enjoy some left-overs! Sorry, no guarantees!

*General Conditions*

Conditions are improving ever so slightly. Weather is still extremely
variable. For example, I enjoyed the my first frosty beard in O'Dells last
Friday while climbing with HMC President Peter McCarthy. Then on Wednesday,
it was a glove-less day in Pinnacle Gully. Even still, it was about the
best ice I've climbed this season!

So, without getting into too much detail, it is slowly but surely starting
to look and feel like winter on the Rockpile. Hermit Lake Caretaker Dave
Weston and I were able to make about 30 linked turns on a powdery summit
cone on Sunday, December 17th. As is normal, South-Easterly aspects make
for nice catch, even when snow-fall is minimal. Of course, not too long
after that we saw temperatures rise again along with the return of mixed
and liquid precipitation.

Of course, the precipitation and relatively thin snow-pack,  is making for
some interesting conditions on higher-angle terrain, thus prompting the
season's first General Advisory to be posted for Tuckerman Ravine. You can
read the Advisory and see recent photos taken in the Ravines at
http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org.

*Traction Required*

As you've probably guessed, the unstable weather has made for some
interesting trail conditions. Just short of needing to pitch-out the
Tuckerman Ravine Trail, for now traction is REQUIRED!  Of course, crampons
will work but lighter forms of traction like Micro-spikes, Yak-Traks,
Stabilicers, etc would be ideal. To be clear, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is
locked in Ice from Pinkham to Hermit Lake, so please be careful, especially
with heavy packs. Exercise extra caution if you are using your crampons
while traveling on hiking trails.

*Harvard Cabin Registration*

Just a reminder, if you are planning on staying at Harvard Cabin,
registration is first come, first serve. The Harvard Cabin Register can be
found at the Front-Desk at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center from 6:30 AM - 9:00
PM. After hours, 9:00 PM - 6:30 AM, you'll find the register downstairs in
the Pack-up room. Please take time to read all instructions and information
and to complete the registration process. This will ensure everyone's stay
at Harvard Cabin is comfortable and enjoyable!

I'm hoping for a busy holiday week. If you're coming up for New
Years.....bring a tent, just in case it gets a little too "hot" in the
cabin!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and Happy Climbing!

Time to get this pig up the trail. See you soon,


*Rich Palatino
*Harvard Cabin Caretaker

[image:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_FiBYJhu0fKA/SVUGwOAD6HI/AAAAAAAAPPk/ZSuo2hFXbs0/s400/Santa%27s%20FA.jpg]


*NOTE - Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the
general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by
the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a
first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and April 1st each year.
Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at **
http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org*<http://www.harvardmountaineering.org/>
*.*
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 02:25:33 PM »

hmmm... might not be the day to do Shoestring as planned!  :P
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 03:11:11 PM »

I drove through Crawford notch last evening around 5:00PM...It was a mix of snow and freezing rain. We received about an inch of snow and then got freezing rain on top of that last night (Hurricane Mt. Road). Needless to say, the driveway is a sheet of ice! Colder temps this evening on through the rest of the week should help. Not sure the damage was as bad as we all anticipated. Hopefully the temps today don't affect those areas in the higher elevations. We will see...going out tomorrow to climb!
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 08:37:23 PM »

Conditions Report from Harvard Cabin Caretaker

Greetings Climber and Mountaineers,

Happy New Year! It's been a while since I've been able to get my hands on
the keyboard for any length of time. Holiday week was quieter then
anticipated, New Years Eve was rocking, and the first week of 2012 was
unexpectedly jam packed - inside and out - despite the persistent talus!

*Snow, Snow, Snow - Finally!!!*

So far this season, an extra value point should be added to commitment
ratings attached to climbable ice routes in New England! Thankfully, (*
hopefully*) getting to the cabin and into Huntington Ravine will be a wee
bit easier after our first major winter storm system of the season is done
gifting us with much needed snow! It's been dumping all day.....it would
seem that winter has FINALLY arrived! Here in the White Mountains anyway.
As with most of the country, I'm sure you are still dealing with persistent
warm temps and rain! It seems you now have an opportunity to escape to a
bit of winter! Come on up!

As much fun as it was skiing the 6+ inches of low-density, super dry, east
coast POW, as I headed down the Sherburne Ski Trail this afternoon, this
storm is going to be hard-pressed to provide the snow-totals we could
really use. The water-bars on the Sherb are far from full. However, I'm not
complaining, it now looks and feels like winter! The turns were soft and
velvety and, for now, the trails are *pleasantly *skinnable. It was surely
dumping on the Rock Pile today. Arriving at Pinkham, I was even tempted to
throw down some dinero for some lift service this afternoon but was
curtailed by "early season" hours of operations at the local ski hill. Oh
well, it can only get better from here on out! Keep your fingers crossed!

*Reminders and Close Calls*

Even before the new snow fell, the extended early season had yielded a few
turns here and there. I've had a couple of great days skiing in Tuckerman
Ravine. Of course, it's quality over quantity. From lower angle aspects in
the bowl to top-bottom runs in Left Gully, powder stashes to frozen debris,
it's all been there. In all honesty, however, there  haven't been many
skiers on the mountain so far this season and for good reason. Mainly, the
approach and egress. Furthermore, snow pack conditions have been variable
and testy, even before 5-Scale Forecasting began for the season. If you
haven't already, you can read about a few significant early season
incidents that have occurred over the last couple of weeks. Definitely
worth the read and to serve as a reminder of the dangers that exist in the
playground we all know and love! Click
Here<http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/search-rescue/2011-2012-summaries/>to
read the summaries for incidents so far this season. If we take time
now
to prepare ourselves mentally, perhaps we can prevent the need for further
entries this season.

*5 Scale Avalanche Danger Rating in Effect*

Speaking of which, if you haven't heard, the 5-Scale avalanche rating
system was implemented for the season on January 5th, 2012. It was a long
time coming, but conditions finally warranted to move from General
Advisory. We can now expected daily updates on Avalanche Conditions in
Tuckerman and Huntington Ravine along with a the other normally forecast
areas like Hillman's Highway and the lower snow fields. But, you already
knew this because you visit
http://www.MountwashingtonAvalancheCenter.orgeveryday or are otherwise
informed through the variety of Social Media
Outlets that the center uses to get the word out! There is no excuse not to
know before you go. If you are unfamilar with the system, you can learn
more by Clicking
Here<http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/avalanche-safety/5-scale-danger-scale/>.
and, if crossing paths, be sure to thank the hard-working and super
dedicated Snow Rangers we are fortunate to have here in New Hampshire!

*Harvard Cabin Trail Sign*

Finally, a much needed and very much appreciated sign pointing mountain
travelers towards Harvard Cabin, as been posted at the intersection of the
Tuckerman Ravine Trail and the Fire Road. Since I've been caretaker, and
certainly with the delayed opening of the Lion Head Winter Route, many
guests have arrived at the cabin via an unintended visit to Hermit Lake.
Always a thrill for the Tux Caretaker, especially around midnight on a
Friday night. It may be the smallest sign in the White Mountain National
Forest, but it sure is appreciated! As I've been told all of my life, "Good
things come in small packages!". Once again, Thanks to the Forest Service
Snow Rangers for making this happen! I should mention, that until the thick
of winter, taking the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Fireroad is the
preferred and most efficient approach to the cabin. Even with a full winter
snowpack, the well-travelled Tuckerman Ravine Trail is the fast and easiest
means to getting to and from the cabin, especially at night.

*Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest - Febuary 3-5, 2012*

As the weekend approaches, details of the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest
2012 are emerging daily! New guest guides are being announced, more
sponsors, and promotions, oh and don't forget, Harvard Mountaineering Club
will be part of the fun this year! So, get signed up for your clinics and
get ready to have a blast picking your way trough the valley!!! It is *
w-IN-ter*!

*Weekend Update - Winter is here!*

Well, it's about time for me to head back up-hill. I'm happy to have
finally had the time for another update. This weekend is looking
extra-wintry. While Sunday is looking bluebird, the temps will be frigid
and winds fierce and shifting. This is going to make the alpine extra
challenging. Included in this challenge will be dynamic snow and avalanche
conditions. You should look forward to tomorrows Weekend Update from the
Mount Washington Avalanche Center, posted at *
http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org*<http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org>.


If we are forced to stay low this weekend, stay postive! The season has
already been quite delayed already and, as I tell guests every week, if you
are patient this mountain will reward you. This weekend maybe what the
mountains needs to finally complete it's transition to winter, making
mountain travel safer and easier. Give The Rock Pile the time it needs and
you are sure to enjoy a long and productive season.

Be Safe, Be Conservative, and Be at Harvard Cabin,

*Rich Palatino
*Harvard Cabin Caretaker

*NOTE - Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the
general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by
the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a
first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and April 1st each year.
Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at **
http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org*<http://www.harvardmountaineering.org/>
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Admin Al

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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 06:35:18 PM »

I was in Huntington today, Wednesday. everything looks good up  there, in spite of the fact that there is much less snow than usual. I think it's time to get high.... [grin]
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perswig

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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 07:08:37 PM »

Bostwick here on NEClimbs let me know he picked up the rope I left and sent me a link to his beauty of a bluebird day in Damnation on 2/20. 

Very jealous.
Dale
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 06:51:59 AM »

Lots and lots of snow on the Mountain on Thursday and probably more on Friday. WMUR even had a not on the evening news about how avalanche conditions in the Ravines were HIGH and asking people not to even go there. I would advise extreme caution anywhere there is a possibility of loading.
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 10:53:17 PM »

From the MW Avalanche Center:

The snowpack is going to be deteriorating rapidly. So far, we’ve already swapped to the Lion Head summer trail, begun issuing General Advisories for Huntington, and parked our snow cat for the season. Currently there is good coverage in a lot of areas, especially Hillman’s, Left Gully, and the Chute. The quality of the snow will be going downhill though. The lack of freezing temperatures at night and the intense heat create wet slushy snow. This carves deep runnels as the sluff skiers kick off flows downhill. These get progressively deeper, and negotiating these troughs is challenging. Overall, we are well ahead of where we normally are at this time of year. This means the annual springtime hazards have emerged and you need to be aware of them.

Falling Ice. Through the years, there have been many significant injuries and even fatalities from falling ice. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid spending time in the potential path of icefall, which can happen almost anywhere right now. In Tuckerman, the most dangerous ice can be found in the Center Bowl as well as directly above Lunch Rocks in the Sluice. If ice falls from the Sluice, it can send shrapnel into every nook and cranny of Lunch Rocks. For this reason, Lunch Rocks is not a safe place to sit! You’re better off parking yourself down low in the floor or on the climber’s left side of the Bowl.
Undermined Snow. Currently, this hazard looms largest for those who want to exit the bowl via the Little Headwall. The Little Headwall itself has already collapsed and is an open waterfall. The streambed above is a series of open water holes and weak snow bridges. I strongly recommend taking off your skis and hiking the trail back to Hermit Lake.
Crevasses. This hazard forms as the wintertime snowpack creeps slowly downhill, pulling away from cliffs, rocks, and in places, from itself. These are just beginning to open up, but over the next few days I think we’ll start to see them become more and more problematic. We recommend hiking up the route you plan to descend so you can assess the hazards in advance.
The Sherburne Ski Trail has taken some abuse this past week. Bare spots, rocks, and water ice have all made their appearance, and with the current weather they’re only going to get worse.

We have transitioned to the Lion Head Summer Trail. The winter Lion Head route is now closed. Please avoid using this route to avoid damaging the soil on the steep section of trail. The Summer Trail does have a lot of snow on it. Plan for wet snow and postholing over the next several days.
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Re: Mount Washington: tuckerman: left of left
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2012, 07:40:35 PM »

For you ice junkies, Left of Left has come back in, and is in excellent, fat, sticky conditions.  I expect it'll be good for a bit as it is shaded and has been cold at night.  The right side is 3ish, the left 3+ish.
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2012, 09:57:51 PM »

Pinnacle Gully was climbable.  The first pitch is a bit hollow. 
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 05:48:09 PM »

Thinking about Mt Washington this weekend, think again... Read this first:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/02/08/weekend-update-for-friday-february-8-2013/
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Re: Mount Washington: Huntington, Tuckerman, Kings Ravine, etc.
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2013, 09:10:04 AM »

We've had some little bit of ice, but as always it's and ephemeral thing. The hard rain we had early in the week, plus another drizzly day on Thursday, more or less killed what was there and it really hasn't been cold enough to reform things.

We're really watching the state-o-the-ice so stay tuned for the latest conditions going forward.
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