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We are through using the U.S. 5 scale danger rating system for the remainder of the season. The 5 scale (low through extreme) system will be reinstated next season when needed. This GENERAL ADVISORY will be in effect until complete melt out later this summer. The snow coverage that is left has settled out, been skier compacted, and is going thru the late season melt-freeze process. However, the numerous large snowfields may make for a good sliding surface for late season snow. A June or early July snowstorm is not an unheard of occurrence on Mt. Washington. Be prepared for the possibility of new snow instability if this occurs. Also watch for the possibility of sustained warm weather and/or heavy rain to blow out running water from beneath the snow. This has caused wet slush avalanches in Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines in the past. YOU WILL NEED TO PUT YOUR AVALANCHE SKILLS TO WORK FOR THESE LATE SEASON HAZARDS. BE PREPARED TO DO YOUR OWN SNOW STABILITY ASSESSMENTS IF ENTERING AVALANCHE TERRAIN ON MT. WASHINGTON.
THE LIP AND THE TUCKERMAN RAVINE TRAIL THROUGH THE RAVINE FROM LUNCH ROCKS, ON THE FLOOR OF THE BOWL, TO THE JUNCTION WITH THE ALPINE GARDEN TRAIL JUST ABOVE THE HEADWALL ARE CLOSED TO ALL USE. Only this section of the trail is closed. This section is closed annually due to the magnitude of crevasses and undermining that develop in this area during the spring meltout. A fall in this area would have severe consequences. This trail section will be reopened when the tread melts out. Until then, be prepared to use an alternate route. Check in with one of the local visitor centers to determine the status of the closure before starting up. If you use motorized access to the summit of Mt. Washington it is NOT recommended that you descend any route through the Ravines. You will not be aware of the hazards below you. Many have attempted this over the years, often resulting in severe accidents.
BE AWARE OF FALLING ICE. Each year over 1000 tons of ice form on the Headwall and in other areas in Tuckerman Ravine as well as the gullies of Huntington Ravine. In the spring it all comes down, often in pieces larger than cars. This hazard will persist until complete melt out. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to avoid spending time in the potential path of falling ice. If you are going to enter one of these paths, formulate a plan in advance for what you'll do when ice falls. CREVASSES AND UNDERMINED SNOW appear as the snow pack slowly creeps downhill and separates from the ledges on the Headwall. These openings vary tremendously in size and include the many waterfalls on the Headwall. Hiking up what you plan on skiing is recommended so you can see what you're in for on the way down. This includes analyzing your run out which will become more limited as the season progresses. Skiers and climbers need to pay attention to what is below at all times and constantly evaluate the potential outcome of a fall or slide. As the water runs and melts out the snow from beneath, undermining will continue to occur, collapsing the snow above. Be extremely cautious in these areas.THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY FOR THE SEASON. HOWEVER, CERTAIN HAZARDS WILL PERSIST UNTIL MELTOUT SO PLEASE READ THIS FINAL ADVISORY BEFORE HEADING INTO THE RAVINES OR TO THE SUMMIT OF MT. WASHINGTON. WE'VE ENJOYED SEEING ALL OF YOU IN THE MOUNTAINS AND LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WINTER.