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View Full Version : Avalanches on Lowes Path?



AndyF
02-27-2009, 07:27 PM
In checking the RMC weather conditions page (http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/sheltersinfo/weatherconditions.html), it says under Conditions on Lowes Path

"...avalanche danger will be high; avoid or proceed with extreme caution ravines & slopes; avalanche beacons recommended for travel"

Lowe's Path is not that steep that I would think it a candidate for avalanches, though I make no claim to be an expert. The ravines on either side (Kings & Castle), there I believe avalanches. I am not sure if they are actually referring to the ravines and not Lowes Path as it is titled "Conditions on Lowes Path", not "Conditons around Lowe's Path". Are avalanches really possible on Lowe's Path?

The warning was enough to sway my choice for tomorrow's hike, but I plan on getting up there soon.

rocksnrolls
02-27-2009, 08:09 PM
The warning was enough to sway my choice for tomorrow's hike, but I plan on getting up there soon.


Yeah, me too. Doug and I were going to head up Adams until he found that warning. Now we're going to Moriah

sardog1
02-27-2009, 10:18 PM
A few years back I played around with Google Earth to locate possible avalanche dog training sites. So, tonight it's raining, I'm supposed to lead a tracking seminar in the slush tomorrow, and playing with the computer sounds like fun.

Here's a very rough approximation of Lowe's Path. (Fer Gawd's sake, Metsky, et al., I did say it was rough. ;) ) I put a thumbtack at a place where i suspect there "might" be the start of some hazard, from there and downhill on the path. Remember, we're looking from the NNW here. Check out that mini-cirque to the SW of the thumbtack. What say you Northern Presis folks?

http://home.metrocast.net/~charlesek/Lowe's Path.jpg

DougPaul
02-27-2009, 10:50 PM
My guess is that the warning is for the ravines. In general heavy trees are fairly safe* unless you are in a runout zone** from above. Ridges also tend to be safe.

* Rule of thumb: if there is enough space between the trees to ski, there is enough for an avalanche.

** avalanche paths and runout zones are often obvious paths of younger trees than the surround.

According to the topo, the steepest spot on Loews Path is ~25 degrees just above the junction with the Randolf Path (in the trees).

My guess (from far away) is that Lowes Path is reasonably safe, but keep your eyes open.

Doug

DougPaul
02-27-2009, 10:54 PM
Check out that mini-cirque to the SW of the thumbtack.

Do you mean King Ravine?

Doug

TDawg
02-27-2009, 11:22 PM
Do you mean King Ravine?

Doug

SW of the tack, Doug. I guess Israel Ridge would separate the said "mini-cirque" and Castle Ravine. The Perch would sit near the top of it.

DougPaul
02-27-2009, 11:31 PM
SW of the tack, Doug. I guess Israel Ridge would separate the said "mini-cirque" and Castle Ravine. The Perch would sit near the top of it.
Oops. I always hold my maps north up...

Looks like the valley of Cascade Brook. Probably a good place to avoid until the snow melts.

Doug

blacknblue
02-28-2009, 03:49 PM
I have a hard time believing there would be an avalanche on Lowes Path below treeline. After living in Colorado a while, my internal avalanche awareness is pretty acute and I've never passed through Lowes Path thinking that there was any avy danger below treeline. The only place on Lowes I could even imagine an avy is between Tstorm Jct and Adams 4, and that seems pretty far-fetched.

I could imagine, however, a slide on the Spur Trail (which connects Crag Camp and Mt Adams) between Tshort Jct and treeline. It basically traverses the upper sidewall of King Ravine and gets some huge snowfields thanks to its easterly position below Adams 4.