Time to instruct, again. I actually learned a lot about snow when I did pit lectures outside in Pinkham Notch. We had a very strong class in many ways and they picked up a lot in a hurry and showed some good pitcraft later given their limited experience. Earlier in the day before the bulletin was put out by the USFS, I scribbled up a rose and deemed any S aspect - including Sluice, Lip, Right Gully and Lobster Claw - as having a Considerable danger while the USFS rated only Sluice with Considerable. So, whaddya know, there was a skier triggered slide from top of Right Gully at roughly 1:30PM that ran 800+ feet. Nobody got hurt.
That night, fellow instructor Chuck showed a slide show to the public at Pinkham Notch about skiing he has done around the World with "Linder".
For today, we had bluebird skies, a day so nice that even Stevie Wonder coulda' snapped great pictures. Our strong student body of 20 flew outta' Pinkham Notch leaving me behind. But these hares slowed down while me the tortoise caught up and shuffled past more than half of the class on the ascent. The ascent was enjoyable and where the trail crests by HoJos revealing The Bowl, I had to perform one of my most common tasks on the mountain - take a picture of someone. I enjoy this because I realize that for many, trips to The Rockpile are special. Up into the Bowl we went to do digging and terrain analysis. For my rose, I rated S, SW, SE aspects as Moderate and the rest Low which the USFS bulletin matched. We got an RB-5 on a Rutschblock test on a 25 degree slope when I heard Tuetonic yelling in my ear all the way from Revelstokve. I then announced
"Wait, since that RB-5 was on a slope less than 30 degrees, we have to handicap it 1 score and make it an RB-4". Descent down the Sherburne was outstanding. Teaching on the mountain the last 2 weekends has been easy in some ways due to a large amount of live material we have had to work with.
Mark P. Renson