Avalanche in the East Snow Fields
2014-03-30 15:49:17.000 – Beth WIlliams, Summit Volunteer
Today’s weather was a striking contrast from the previous 100+ mph wind, -45F windchill days with full sun, very little wind and warm temperatures in the 20s, but I must cut to the chase: Patty and I witnessed and took pictures of the avalanche on the southeast snowfields of the summit cone yesterday.
Here’s the story: We went out for a short hike along the Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head Trails to watch skiers climb then descend Tuckerman Ravine and the southeast snowfields of Mount Washington. The day was so gorgeous that we stayed on the Lion Head boulders for over an hour basking in the sun. Our return route took us along the Alpine Garden Trail where we heard a loud rumble then witnessed the avalanche and I was lucky enough to have my camera available to take several pictures of the avalanche in motion.
Mount Washington Observatory Volunteers carry radios when we leave the building so we were able to radio the event to the observers. Skiers began traversing the area looking for anyone who might be trapped. It wasn’t until we returned from our hike that we learned what a large magnitude avalanche this was and the news and rescue efforts it was generating. It appears that there are no casualties, fortunately. The pictures I took were used to help the Forest Service Snow Rangers understand the nature of this avalanche.
Beth WIlliams, Summit Volunteer