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NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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2 hours ago, powderfreak said:

Where are you located over there?  Radar looks great.  Grooming department on Mansfield estimating bursts over 1”/hr.  We’ve even got some making it to town but given the radar it seems the heavy stuff is staying tight to the ski area and then westward.

Light to moderate at times here.  We just did a 35 mile ride through Washington and Williamstown. I was actually thinking bye flow was becoming unblocked. 

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42 minutes ago, mreaves said:

I can tell already, that pile is way too close to the garage. You’ll have to have your guy come with the bucket loader and push it back. 

Yep, the pile is even bigger now (that pic was from before they plowed the second time after this storm). The pile by the barn is probably 5-7 feet higher than that already.

They are coming up next week with the heavy equipment to several of the houses up here that they plow.

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3 hours ago, powderfreak said:

Where are you located over there?  Radar looks great.  Grooming department on Mansfield estimating bursts over 1”/hr.  We’ve even got some making it to town but given the radar it seems the heavy stuff is staying tight to the ski area and then westward.

I'm at 500' in Fairfax. Nice view of the mountains from here, but too away to cash in on most upslope setups.

 

And btw, my name is Nate... you'd recognize me better on the hill with a video camera in hand, haha. Unfortunately not up there this winter with everything covid.

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7 hours ago, Froude said:

I'm at 500' in Fairfax. Nice view of the mountains from here, but too away to cash in on most upslope setups.

And btw, my name is Nate... you'd recognize me better on the hill with a video camera in hand, haha. Unfortunately not up there this winter with everything covid.

Awesome man, that clears it up.  Still the only person I've ever shot photos with out of a helicopter, haha.

Looks like 3-4" on Mansfield past 24 hours, getting some decent freezing mist again now though in the base area.  Enough that you needed to use your wipers driving in.  Snow doesn't seem affected yet but if it keeps up it's going to crust up.

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RIP

 

Backcountry Skier Killed in Avalanche in Ammonoosuc Ravine
Sargent’s Purchase – Members of NH Fish & Game’s Advanced Search & Rescue Team along with US Forest Service personnel and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) located the body of a missing backcountry skier in Ammonoosuc Ravine at approximately 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night. The rescue crew had been searching for the skier since early afternoon.
The skier, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was reported missing by his friends Tuesday night after failing to return home or answer repeated calls. Initial reports indicated that the skier had planned to ski either Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage or Monroe Brook drainage on Monday.
After the missing person’s report was initiated, a search of multiple trailhead parking lots Tuesday night was conducted in an attempt to locate the skier’s vehicle to confirm he was still in the backcountry. The search that night failed to locate his vehicle. His vehicle was ultimately discovered Wednesday morning in the snow filled Ammonoosuc Ravine parking lot.
When his vehicle was located a search effort was initiated and rescue personnel hiked up into both the Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage and the Monroe Brook drainage despite potential avalanche danger in an effort to locate the skier. The searchers spent several hours scouring both drainages, until an avalanche beacon signal was detected at approximately 4:30 p.m. The crew had to dig down approximately 13 feet of packed snow and debris before ultimately discovering the body of the missing skier. Several more hours ensued extracting the body. The search party made it down to the Base Station parking lot at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Backcountry skiing is a risky venture that should only be attempted by the most prepared and experienced skiers. This skier did have years of experience and was prepared, which was evident by his use of an avalanche transceiver, but skiing in avalanche conditions is never recommended and can be extremely dangerous. Without the transceiver, it is possible the skier’s body most likely would not have been located until the snow completely melted in the spring

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2 hours ago, MBRI said:

RIP

 

Backcountry Skier Killed in Avalanche in Ammonoosuc Ravine
Sargent’s Purchase – Members of NH Fish & Game’s Advanced Search & Rescue Team along with US Forest Service personnel and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) located the body of a missing backcountry skier in Ammonoosuc Ravine at approximately 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night. The rescue crew had been searching for the skier since early afternoon.
The skier, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was reported missing by his friends Tuesday night after failing to return home or answer repeated calls. Initial reports indicated that the skier had planned to ski either Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage or Monroe Brook drainage on Monday.
After the missing person’s report was initiated, a search of multiple trailhead parking lots Tuesday night was conducted in an attempt to locate the skier’s vehicle to confirm he was still in the backcountry. The search that night failed to locate his vehicle. His vehicle was ultimately discovered Wednesday morning in the snow filled Ammonoosuc Ravine parking lot.
When his vehicle was located a search effort was initiated and rescue personnel hiked up into both the Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage and the Monroe Brook drainage despite potential avalanche danger in an effort to locate the skier. The searchers spent several hours scouring both drainages, until an avalanche beacon signal was detected at approximately 4:30 p.m. The crew had to dig down approximately 13 feet of packed snow and debris before ultimately discovering the body of the missing skier. Several more hours ensued extracting the body. The search party made it down to the Base Station parking lot at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Backcountry skiing is a risky venture that should only be attempted by the most prepared and experienced skiers. This skier did have years of experience and was prepared, which was evident by his use of an avalanche transceiver, but skiing in avalanche conditions is never recommended and can be extremely dangerous. Without the transceiver, it is possible the skier’s body most likely would not have been located until the snow completely melted in the spring

RIP A similar event occurred last year in Raymond Cataract. In both cases a solo skier released a slab avalanche that carried into a major terrain trap. Ravines on the west side of Washington do not get the attention that east facing ravines do in the avalanche forecasts. The rating was low on the day this occurred. I'm occasionally tempted by a solo tour in avalanche terrain and then I see reports like this and am reminded why a good partner(s) are often the most important piece of safety equipment you can have. That and avoiding terrain traps at all costs until the snow pack has fully transitioned to isothermal in the spring. 

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2 hours ago, MBRI said:

RIP

 

Backcountry Skier Killed in Avalanche in Ammonoosuc Ravine
Sargent’s Purchase – Members of NH Fish & Game’s Advanced Search & Rescue Team along with US Forest Service personnel and volunteers from Mountain Rescue Services (MRS) located the body of a missing backcountry skier in Ammonoosuc Ravine at approximately 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night. The rescue crew had been searching for the skier since early afternoon.
The skier, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was reported missing by his friends Tuesday night after failing to return home or answer repeated calls. Initial reports indicated that the skier had planned to ski either Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage or Monroe Brook drainage on Monday.
After the missing person’s report was initiated, a search of multiple trailhead parking lots Tuesday night was conducted in an attempt to locate the skier’s vehicle to confirm he was still in the backcountry. The search that night failed to locate his vehicle. His vehicle was ultimately discovered Wednesday morning in the snow filled Ammonoosuc Ravine parking lot.
When his vehicle was located a search effort was initiated and rescue personnel hiked up into both the Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage and the Monroe Brook drainage despite potential avalanche danger in an effort to locate the skier. The searchers spent several hours scouring both drainages, until an avalanche beacon signal was detected at approximately 4:30 p.m. The crew had to dig down approximately 13 feet of packed snow and debris before ultimately discovering the body of the missing skier. Several more hours ensued extracting the body. The search party made it down to the Base Station parking lot at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Backcountry skiing is a risky venture that should only be attempted by the most prepared and experienced skiers. This skier did have years of experience and was prepared, which was evident by his use of an avalanche transceiver, but skiing in avalanche conditions is never recommended and can be extremely dangerous. Without the transceiver, it is possible the skier’s body most likely would not have been located until the snow completely melted in the spring

Very sad, but pretty sure the avalanche warning was active on Tuesday evening. Not really very smart to ski during an active avalanche warning. Hopefully his buddies take the wake up call. Tragic situation.

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

Very sad, but pretty sure the avalanche warning was active on Tuesday evening. Not really very smart to ski during an active avalanche warning. Hopefully his buddies take the wake up call. Tragic situation.

skier was buried on Monday according to reports. As always, forecasts should never just be accepted verbatim. 

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1 minute ago, NW_of_GYX said:

skier was buried on Monday according to reports. 

OK, I see that now, he was reported missing Tuesday night after skiing Monday. That delay didn't help him obviously.

Sounds like he was skiing solo and no one knew exactly where he was or when he was due back, hence the delays checking parking lots.

Definitely need to respect these mountains around here, especially in winter. Many folks I talk to down south have no idea multiple people die up here skiing or hiking. They are picturing the rolling hills more typical down there.

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Event totals: 10.2” Snow/0.60” L.E.

 

We picked up 0.7” of snow through midnight, and then an additional 0.3” this morning, and I suspect that’s the end of the snow from Winter Storm Orlena.  The NWS forecast for our area was 7-14” of snow, so the 10.2” we picked up fits right in there.

Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations:

New Snow: 0.3 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 30.0

Snow Density: 3.3% H2O

Temperature: 27.9 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 19.0 inches

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2 hours ago, PhineasC said:

OK, I see that now, he was reported missing Tuesday night after skiing Monday. That delay didn't help him obviously.

Sounds like he was skiing solo and no one knew exactly where he was or when he was due back, hence the delays checking parking lots.

Definitely need to respect these mountains around here, especially in winter. Many folks I talk to down south have no idea multiple people die up here skiing or hiking. They are picturing the rolling hills more typical down there.

I know who he is.  He is an extremely educated and long time expert skier in NNE.  He's been in countless magazine photos and covers over the years like Powder, Skiing and Ski.  A Mad River Glen local.  A central member of the Eastern ski community.  Crushing news. 

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Just now, powderfreak said:

I know who he is.  He is an extremely educated and long time expert skier in NNE.  He's been in countless magazine photos and covers over the years like Powder, Skiing and Ski.  A Mad River Glen local.  That community is crushed.  

Yeah I was real bummed to hear about it. Didn't know him well at all but the definition of a local legend. 

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5 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I know who he is.  He is an extremely educated and long time expert skier in NNE.  He's been in countless magazine photos and covers over the years like Powder, Skiing and Ski.  A Mad River Glen local.  A central member of the Eastern ski community.  Crushing news. 

Damn, just wrong place at the wrong time, I guess. I had bet on it being a newb from Mass or someplace. Hope his friends and family are doing OK. 

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6 minutes ago, MRVexpat said:

Yeah I was real bummed to hear about it. Didn't know him well at all but the definition of a local legend. 

The Lincoln Lynx.  The ski community will feel this for a long time.  This dude has more descents under his belt of every major peak than most.

He was the poster child for Eastern Skiing.

48383265_10157774951346037_3023955223208

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30 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I know who he is.  He is an extremely educated and long time expert skier in NNE.  He's been in countless magazine photos and covers over the years like Powder, Skiing and Ski.  A Mad River Glen local.  A central member of the Eastern ski community.  Crushing news. 

Oh God Scott. So sorry, fuk

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1 hour ago, Ginx snewx said:

Oh God Scott. So sorry, fuk

I've only met him in passing once with another photographer, but it really hits home when it's someone who is at the top of the experienced scale.  It can happen to literally anyone.  You can tell he was experienced because he had an avalanche beacon on transmit, even though he was traveling alone.  I've seen a lot of people questioning wearing a beacon if solo...  That's the move of an experienced skier to 1) be able to help another party if you come across an incident and can lend a hand or 2) so people can find you and return your body to your loved ones if you get caught as in this case.

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On a much lighter note... some good turning conditions out there.  The freezing mist didn't affect the snow surface in the woods at all (the supercooled droplets get snagged by the trees) and the trails only had a slight zipper crust that was easily handled by 100mm underfoot skis.

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I found 3" at the High Road Stake from overnight. Was hoping for more, but the density made it ski deeper.  This had some moisture in it and skied like a third of an inch of QPF overnight, which is a good resurface level... overnight reset.

146453912_10104450868026660_357944943027

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And then after taking laps in the pea soup fog this morning, it rapidly cleared around midday and left us with the first view of the upper mountain in at least 4 days.

Turned into a postcard afternoon... brochure style views.

146239573_10104451135934770_321561372210

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Been dealing with strep throat (hey, better than COVID) but I did venture out on the mountain today though my body did not feel ready. Completely different conditions than before the storm, but not in a bad way. The snow that fell is extremely dense - pretty much like sleet. It skied really fast! Nice resurfacing in the glades, since this stuff doesn’t get skied off nearly as easily 

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31 minutes ago, alex said:

Been dealing with strep throat (hey, better than COVID) but I did venture out on the mountain today though my body did not feel ready. Completely different conditions than before the storm, but not in a bad way. The snow that fell is extremely dense - pretty much like sleet. It skied really fast! Nice resurfacing in the glades, since this stuff doesn’t get skied off nearly as easily 

Hmm, I've had a nagging sore throat all week too.

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Bailed on work yesterday and skied the Crescent Ridge Glades in Randolph. I was quite surprised at the density of the snow, even up there...and there was even a slight crust from freezing drizzle. Not exactly the powder turns I had envisioned, but man...what a bomber base now!! Skied the Sherbie on Mount Washington this morning, and there wasn't a rock to be found in spite of a lot of skier traffic this week. The woods/backcountry are fully open.

Absolutely tragic news out of Ammonoosuc Ravine. I tried venturing into Ammo last March before the shutdown, but was turned around by thin snow conditions. Having been there, I can envision how the snow would pile up so deeply in the event of a large slide - it truly is a classic terrain trap. I think full burial scenarios are rather uncommon in the White Mountains compared to the western mountain ranges, but this makes two fatalities in three years now so it can definitely happen...especially as folks are pushing deeper and deeper into the more remote nooks and crannies of the range. This is definitely a moment for many of us to pause and think about the decisions we are making out there.

In other news...looks like a little bit of a refresher incoming for tomorrow. Hoping to pick up a couple to maybe 3" with the little system moving in. 

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On 2/3/2021 at 5:42 PM, powderfreak said:

Some great skiing out there this afternoon despite the freezing mist and tough visibility.  Need to get into the woods.

 

13 hours ago, powderfreak said:

Looks like 3-4" on Mansfield past 24 hours, getting some decent freezing mist again now though in the base area.  Enough that you needed to use your wipers driving in.  Snow doesn't seem affected yet but if it keeps up it's going to crust up.

 

1 hour ago, powderfreak said:

Some good turning conditions out there.  The freezing mist didn't affect the snow surface in the woods at all (the supercooled droplets get snagged by the trees) and the trails only had a slight zipper crust that was easily handled by 100mm underfoot skis.

I found 3" at the High Road Stake from overnight. Was hoping for more, but the density made it ski deeper.  This had some moisture in it and skied like a third of an inch of QPF overnight, which is a good resurface level... overnight reset.

With that period of 2”/hr snows we had on Tuesday afternoon, I stopped in at Bolton for some runs yesterday morning to see how the powder was skiing.  When I got there about 30 minutes after the opening of Timberline, it seemed surprisingly busy for Bolton on a weekday morning, but I must have caught part of the initial burst of skiers, because it was back to walk-on by my second run.

I was surprised to run into freezing mist and drizzle as I was heading through Bolton Flats, and that was the main precipitation type right on up to the mountain.  My experience was similar to yours, in that it was pretty inconsequential with respect to the overall snow quality.  It was irrelevant on the groomed terrain, and in the powder out in the open, while you could tell the layer was there, it was so thin that it just didn’t make a difference with respect to turns.  The powder overall was denser than I thought it would be with my evening snow analyses coming in roughly 5 to 6% H2O, but perhaps the freezing drizzle had its effects there in terms of compacting things a bit.  As you mentioned, in the trees it was even better because they catch most of the mist/drizzle.

While the snow was relatively unaffected, the biggest hassle I found with the freezing drizzle was visibility.  My goggles would glaze up pretty nicely during a lift ride.  The great solution I found was to simply pop out my lens for the lift ride (another nice benefit of magnetic lenses), stick it in my coat, and by the time I reached the top, it was thawed and clear to start another run.

At the Timberline Base I found about 5” of new snow, and depth checks I did around the mountain in the 1,500’ – 2,500’ range revealed roughly 5-8” of accumulation.  I think was a bit more than what they mentioned in the snow report, but I’m currently seeing a report of 9” in the past 48 hours, so I’d say that’s pretty similar overall.

The precipitation was changing back over to snow as I was heading out, and then later in the day that next round of backside upslope finally came through to finish off the storm.

Even with that bit of freezing drizzle, we really haven’t had too much weather to specifically knock down the fluff or push the snow off objects, so it just continues to stack up on various surfaces.  I’ve added a couple of shots I got of the snow while I was at the mountain:

03FEB21A.jpg

03FEB21B.jpg

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

Hmm, I've had a nagging sore throat all week too.

Apparently there’s a bit of a strep outbreak. Didn’t even know that was a thing. I don’t recall ever having a confirmed case of strep. If needed, ConvenientMD in Littleton can have you tested for strep COVID and flu and give you a prescription in about 15’, it’s pretty great. 

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