GOS Wind buff cracked under a ski edge

February 19, 2020
By Robert Means

General comment: Swirling winds, snowing and wind blown snow. I had thought to dig a pit partway up #1. When my edge cracked a wind-buffed section just 40 yards from the upper cache, I turned tail immediately. On the way in, just above 3800′, on a . . .

Avalanche cycle on north, northeast aspects

February 19, 2020
By Frank Carus – MWAC

Wind spread avalanche cycle during wind loading event Tuesday night or very early Wednesday. The Bowl and Headwall area likely avalanched early and reloaded since it’s debris looked the oldest.
Also see https://www.instagram.com/p/B81_0kfFZdY/ for . . .

Gulf of Slides

February 16, 2020
By Frank Carus – MWAC

Widely variable surface conditions top to bottom and side to side. Snow structure was as it’s been four the past few days with multiple layers due to wind speed changes and recent snowfall. No slabs exhibited signs of propagation potential despite . . .

Weather and Snow Observation

February 16, 2020
By Stu Johnson – East Coast Avalanche Education

Strong Westerly winds 60-70 mph deminished to 40-50s in the afternoon above the rim of Huntington’s. Down in the gullies it was calm and ~20°F at 5000 ft. Huntington Ravine remained in the clouds most of the day.
We ascended and descended north, . . .

Snowpack Obs

February 15, 2020
By Helon Hoffer – MWAC

+ Our overall impression of the snowpack today was it has grown significantly in the past week.
+ The rain crust that formed Feb 6/7 is intact almost everywhere, with wind effected snow on top. The new snow seems bonded to this crust. An upside down . . .

Stubborn windslab and graupel, North side – Huntington

February 12, 2020
By Pat Scanlan – CVA, EMS Climbing School

Spacial Variability in Lobster Claw

February 11, 2020
By Joseph Soccio – MWAC

31F @ Hermit Lake.
Blowing snow and clouds made for low visibility in Tuckerman Ravine today. We traveled up into lobster claw and found wind slab resting on the crust. Some areas had dense unreactive wind slabs and other areas had 1F slabs resting . . .

Soft slab release

February 10, 2020
By Ben Allen – Acadia mountain guides

Soft slab avalanche off of the ice bulge in the top of the line. The trigger was intentional. The snow ran 200-400 vertical feet. After side steeping the breakable crust the debris pile skied quite well. The photo is looking back up the slope that we . . .

Avalanches in Huntington Ravine

February 9, 2020
By Helon Hoffer – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Main photo: Standing in the debris of Odell looking up into Odell
Second Photo: Standing under Odell looking at the Fan with debris having come out of Pinnacle
Third Photo: Looking at South Gully from the floor of the ravine
It appears an avalanche . . .

Wind slabs, upside down snow structure in Huntington Ravine

February 9, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

First clear day after snow event Thursday and Friday. Overall, snow surface is a mix of finger to pencil wind slabs up to 50cm thick, and also to a much lesser extent exposed melt freeze crust that formed during the February 6-7 storm. This 1cm . . .


Snowpack observations are one part of the complex puzzle which is your decision to enter avalanche terrain. Some observations may include stability tests. It’s important to understand that the results of a stability tests are seldom conclusive anywhere, but particularly in snow climates and terrain like ours where the primary driver of instabilities is wind drifted snow. Many stability tests exist and each works best with specific avalanche problem types. Stability test results should never be used alone as an indication that a slope or conditions are safe particularly when more obvious red flags are present. Please use this page as part of your information gathering process, but don’t make decisions based on a single piece of information. A good article that summarizes some of the issues associated with snow and avalanche observations can be found here.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center cannot verify the quality or accuracy of any observations that come from the general public.


See an avalanche or evidence of previous avalanche activity?  Near-miss? Snowpack observations?

Your observations are valuable to an accurate forecast! We welcome observations from everyone. You don’t need to be an avalanche professional to submit helpful observations, just be as detailed and accurate as you can.