A quick round-up of the best online resources. Weather does whatever it wants in the Whites, so it’s essential to have a good sense of current conditions before heading out on your next outdoor adventure. Here are the sites I look to for evaluating current weather, snowpack, and trail conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
The NERFC Snow Depth Map is updated daily in season. During the spring, this helps provide an excellent and quick snapshot of where snow has (and has not) melted. As the map from April 16 shows, the Whites still have plenty of snow, with the largest amounts in the Presidentials.
AMC provides current Backcountry Weather and Trail Conditions for each of its New Hampshire lodges and actively staffed backcountry huts. The current trail conditions information is particularly valuable, especially in spring when trail conditions—snow, ice, mud, water—are so variable.
The Mount Washington Avalanche Center publishes a daily Avalanche Advisory for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines in season. A must-read for backcountry skiers and anybody heading into potential avalanche terrain!
The Higher Summits Forecast is tailored to exposed above-treeline locations, where hikers are exposed to the full brunt of the elements. A useful benchmark for the upper limit of potential weather intensity.
The Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) produces the higher summits forecast. It also offers the Mount Washington Valley Regional Forecast, which indicates likely conditions at more sheltered, lower elevation locations. Also check out the nice dashboard display that shows Current Summit Conditions atop Mount Washington.
|Mount Washington from Wildcat Mountain;|
April 17, 2013 7:07am
MWO also offers free access to multiple web cams on the summit and at other locations in the nearby mountains.
Web cams cover all sides of the Presidential Range, including views from Bretton Woods, Wildcat Mountain, Attitash Ski Area, and Jackson. Summit web cams capture views north, views west, and across the observatory’s observation deck. You can find them all together on the Mount Washington Observatory Webcam Network. (MWO members receive access to nearly 20 more web cam views; membership starts at $45.)
Two other good resources are the Mount Washington view from www.hazecam.net, which details the amount of air pollution and haze present; and this Franconia Notch webcam that looks eastward toward Mount Lafayette and Cannon Mountain.
If I have a specific destination in mind, I will often quickly check the latest updates and alerts from the U.S. Forest Service, including Forest Roads Status and any recent Alerts and Warnings about trail closures or damage.
This is not a comprehensive round-up of useful resources—they’re just my go-to list. I’m sure there are many more excellent sources for evaluating current conditions in the Whites, including bulletin boards, online forums, and other resources.
Are there any you particularly recommend? Let us know!
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.