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Mt. Washington warning: Spring a time of danger


MOUNT WASHINGTON — As skiers, snowboarders, hikers and spectators arrive on New England’s highest peak, spring dangers including falling ice, undermined snow, crevasses and possible avalanches abound, according to U.S. Forest Services snow rangers.

As April moves on, the rangers warn that the steep slopes and gullies of Tuckerman Ravine are getting more annual spring traffic. Each year at this time, visitors begin to show up in large numbers, drawn by the lure of warm sunny days, spring “corn snow,” and some of the steepest and most reliable spring ski terrain in the eastern United States.

But snow rangers are reminding visitors to check the daily avalanche advisory at: www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.com, as well as the Mount Washington Observatory summit forecast. They urge visitors to be flexible in their plans.

Though this season has seen cold weather and plenty of snow, the typical spring hazards they mentioned are emerging rapidly.

According to the rangers’ Jeff Lane, falling ice is one of the most dangerous hazards in Tuckerman each spring.

“We want people to understand that the blocks of ice that fall can be as large as a school bus, and can explode into thousands of pieces flying in every direction when they hit rocks.”

For more information about current conditions or springtime hazards, visit: www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org; or call the Androscoggin Ranger District at 603-466-2713.


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