4th Avalanche Course of the Season

Another weekend, another avalanche course, but not the same conditions as the last course! Shallow snowpacks and prolonged cold led to some “Continental” type conditions during our Observational Outing on Day 2, and a blue bird day on our Ski Tour on Day 3 yielded a deep faceting snowpack with a lot of fellow backcountry travelers to watch and learn from.

Bluebird day in the ravine

Ho Jo’s porch

USFS Snow Ranger Jeff Lane discusses some of the current stability issues with the group

The Chute looks enticing

Recent wind loading was evident from the last weather event

Sluice and Right Gully seeing a lot of traffic

Kicking steps up towards the Chute

John’s first backcountry day (on skis)

Changing fall line

Another avalanche course poking in the snow near right gully

We conducted a quick Hand Shear test before crossing under the Chute:

John isolating a column to conduct a Compression Test

Descending from the near the mouth of the Chute

Clouds move in as we depart

Great conditions right now to take an avalanche course, so check out this link for details:


About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
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