Mount Washington Avalanche Center issues first General Advisory’s

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center issued it’s initial General Advisory for the 2014/15 season a few days ago on December 6th. The current Winter Storm Warning has prompted an update today. Monday also saw the first reported human triggered avalanche of the season;

“A climber was descending Yale Gully when he triggered a small avalanche below him. He later triggered another small pocket at the top of the fan which took him off his feet.” -MWAC

Here is a shot one of the USFS Rangers took last Friday of Yale:

Yale Gully- photo courtesy of MWAC

Yale Gully- photo courtesy of MWAC

Not much snow up there right? Early season snow packs can be deceiving. The final words of an avalanche bulletin, even a general advisory, can carry some important clues;

“Don’t let the lack of a danger rating lull you into complacency. Traveling through small snowfields can put you into or underneath unstable snow, and all of these pockets are going to be subjected to additional load over the course of the next few days.”- Jeff Lane, Snow Ranger

UPDATE 12/10/14: Please see additional information from this incident with a first hand account of what happened here.

Have you put fresh batteries in your beacon yet? Now is a great time to get outside with you partners and run through some rescue drills. Remember it’s the people you tour with that will give you the best chance of surviving a mistake!

Also, if you have procrastinated signing up for an avalanche course you might want to do so today. Out of 7 scheduled courses we are already sold out of seats for 4. That leaves only 3 courses to chose from and it is not even Christmas yet! Go here to find out more and sign up!

See you on the mountain,


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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