Thursday, February 3, 2011

2-3-11 Let It Snow!

The following four photos were taken from the USFS link on the Mt. Washington Weather Observatory's (referred to as "The Obs") website. The photos were taken on 12-28-11 (by either Brian, Justin or Chris). I'm using the photos primarily to show the rate and the means by which the ravines on the east side of Mt. Washington fill with snow. In the above photo you can see a lone climber, descending from Right Gully (right center of photo) and traversing across the Sluice; a tiny speck in the upper center of the photo. If you compare this photo with the photos I took 12-26-11 you can see increases in accumulation but mainly from the blizzard of 12-27-10. You can see the remnants of an avalanche in the bottom right of the photo. There has been no appreciable snow accumulation in the past two weeks as reported by the snow rangers. This is being written on 2-2-11 during yet another blizzard and Mt. Washington is expecting a foot, or more, snow in this storm. So stay tuned.

Looking across the "bowl" towards the lip and the Summit. There's appreciably more snow, maybe a foot, on the lower slopes than a month ago. Avalanche advisories are "High" on all trails and surfaces with the fresh snow from the storms of 2-1-11 and 2-2-11. The lone exception is the Little Headwall of Tuckerman's Ravine which is listed as "Moderate." Rangers are advising that, for the next few days, it's not safe even if you are only going up to look around. Meanwhile, the Obs is forecasting another storm which will bring more snow beginning late Saturday afternoon (2-5-11).

Huntington Ravine. Compared to photos I took 12-26-10 there has been little accumulation of snow to date. Odells Gully is in the center with Central Gully on the right.

A great shot of Pinnacle Gully (on the right with Odells Gully in the center of the photo). The talus slope below Pinnacle/Central Gullies is the main measuring stick for snow accumulation in Huntington and it shows, compared to photos from 12-26-10, only a small amount has been added during the past month. We'll have to wait for the photos from this week's storms to track significant changes.

Closer to home, the Holyoke Range got a total of about 2 feet of snow in recent storms up to 1-30-11 when this photo was taken. It's been such a wonderful winter thus far. I know there are some who probably get tired of the snow after back to back storms but I think it's really, really exciting.....

and I'm not the only one that thinks it's the best winter in ages. Snow boarders, a rare site on the Holyoke Range, were everywhere this past weekend.

Snow board tracks in the woods on Mt. Skinner.

Close up of Beech Bark Disease on a 12" dbh Beech on Mt. Skinner.

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