Ammonoosuc Ravine – 2/19/2017

First tracks today! I descended Central Ammonoosuc Ravine, on the Westside of Mount Washington. Although there were low to moderate avalanche hazards, and great spatial variability in snow conditions on various aspects and elevations, the route I skied was stable. I encountered everything from hard icy crust, to “Graham cracker” crust, to “chocolate-chip cookie dough”, and pockets of dry sugar snow – a veritable dessert menu of skiing surfaces. Gusty W-NW winds above treeline, in the 40-45 mph range, made the approach challenging, and required a cautious transition out of climbing skins to prevent skis or gear blowing away – not safe for dogs or inexperienced mountaineers.

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