Happy Valentine's Day! We're past Winter's mid-point and the snow in the ravines on Mt. Washington is blissfully piling up. The excellent photo above and the four that follow were all taken by the US Forest Service snow rangers after the large storms ten days ago and were purloined from the USFS Avalanche Information website. Above is that great view from the Huntington Ravine Trail looking back at Boott Spur. Hillmans Highway and Dodges Drop have yet to collect much snow. Snow Ranger Jeff Lane of the Forest Service posted "Moderate" avalanche danger on the Center Bowl, The Lip, The Sluice, and Hillmans Highway. "Low" avalanche danger was posted for Right Gully, the Chute, Left Gully, the lower snowfields and little headwall this morning (2-14-11).
Pinnacle Gully in Huntington Ravine showing avalanche debris at the bottom and a small section of the talus "fan" coming out of Pinnacle and Central gullies that is finally getting covered with snow. For 2-14-11 the avalanche danger in all climbing areas of Huntington Ravine are "Low" except Central Gully which is "Moderate".
Looking up at the Lip (center) and the Sluice (center right) and if you look closely you can see a skier hiking up the sluice and some tracks coming down from the top of the gully.
Right Gully looks very appealing. So there's still 6-8 weeks of snow accumulation to come and snow depth is building steadily by all accounts this morning from Lonesome Lake (35"), Zealand Hut (48"), Carter Notch (43") and Tucks (52"), making a rough average of 4 feet of snow on the ground across the range between 3200- 3800 feet (Zealand's snow stake is at 2700 feet).
I've been sequestered here, in western Massachusetts, the past three weekends with work related stuff going on. It's been more than a month since I've been North which I find frustrating. I've done a bit of work on the blog. I finished the Moat Mountain-White Mountain Alkaline Batholith piece from 5-1-10. It's a good article and probably could use more tightening up but the story of the Batholith is really interesting and Marland Billing's role in the Batholith's coming to light is also fascinating. If you have some time you should go back and read it simply because it explains so much of what you see when you're on top of, say, South Twin or Carrigain, and you look around at the wide arc of the surrounding mountains. Being able to superimpose the Batholith (from 200-300 million years ago) over that image gives an enormously edifying picture of White Mountain history. Even the photo here of Pinnacle Gully relates directly to the Batholith.