20200227 Escape Hatch Avalanche viewed from Damnation Buttress

March 9, 2020
By Matt Shove – Ragged Mountain Guides

Photo submitted to view the extent of debris and path from the 20200227 D3 avalanche. We descend the Escape Hatch and witnessed 8″ diameter spruce krumholtz broken clean. Impressive.
Photo taken Monday March 9, 2020.

Pits near Right Gulley, Tuckerman Ravine

March 8, 2020
By Tony Jewell – Northeast Mountaineering

Today (3/8) on our AIARE Level 1 course we dug pits on the climbers left side of the Right Gulley in Tuckerman Ravine at the 4,650 foot level. We found 30cm pencil hard snow on top of the crust layer. We had one CT 26 Q2/RP at this interface and had . . .

Lower Raymond Cataract Obs

March 8, 2020
By Nick Aiello-Popeo – Synnott Mountain Guides

There were few signs of instability, crowds, or wind today in the lower reaches of Raymond Cataract. Large ice blocks had fallen thirty feet and impacted the 33-degree slope without triggering avalanches. The ice blocks appeared to have fallen days . . .

Second pit – below hillman’s

March 8, 2020
By John Sidik – Synnott Mountain Guides

Similar location to earlier this week. Results show propagation on a 1cm later of facets between two ice crusts. The upper ice crust is becoming less evident and easier to break.
ECTP 22 down 50cm
Confirmed with a second ECT (same pit) showing the . . .

Pits – Base of Hillman

March 5, 2020
By John Sidik – Synnott Mountain Guides

We preformed a number of compression tests, one extended column test and one propagation saw test on a small east facing hill, sheltered by trees, near the avalanche devastation below Hillman’s Highway. While the nature of the terrain may not . . .

Snow Pit in Huntington

March 5, 2020
By Austen Bernier/Pete Grzesik

No observed natural avalanche activity. Lots of loading in South, Central, and the Fan.
We performed a number of tests in a pit on a 26deg slope on a SE aspect, finding 60cm or so of upside down wind slab on a crust. A second crust, (perhaps two . . .

Oaks gulf

March 3, 2020
By Ben Allen – Acadia Mountain Guided

We encountered an up right slab varying from 10cm to 40cm it was well bonded to the old ice crust. Under the ice crust was a 2-4cm layer of 4F .5mm grains. They were dry, but easy stuck together to create a snow ball. Pole probing showed a pretty . . .

NNE & SSE Aspects on Boot Spur

March 2, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

We climbed a long snow gully left of Dodges Drop in Tuckerman Ravine to the Boott Spur ridge, looking for wind slab formation out of curiosity as this slope has a similar aspect as Escape Hatch in Huntington Ravine, which avalanched naturally during . . .

Willey’s Slide Unstable Snow

March 1, 2020
By Alex Fischer

Partway up Willey’s Slide, we saw a large shooting crack (approx. 50ft long) form where we were standing in the snow below an ice bulge, so we decided to bail. The snowpack was variable and included sections of firm scoured snow, sections of soft . . .

Avalanche Activity 2/27 Storm

February 29, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

The 9.5″ of 17″ snow on 2/27/2020 with wind from the ESE then W produced a number of natural avalanches.
-Escape Hatch in Huntington Ravine. Large avalanche D3 cleared trees to within 15 feet of the Huntington Ravine Trail. Debris measured over 10 . . .


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.