Avalanche in South Gully, Huntington Ravine

December 8, 2018
By Ryan Matz (submitting for third party) – MWAC Forecaster

Unintentional skier triggered avalanche, time approximate (Saturday afternoon), no one caught or carried. Third skier on slope, a party of 3 traveling one at a time, triggered this relatively small pocket of recently formed wind slab.
Failure . . .

Pit and Observations at the bottom of Right Gully, Tuckerman Ravine

December 8, 2018
By Ian Peterson

Crowns observed across the right side of the Headwall, with fresh debris at the bottom of the bowl. Clear skies, no precipitation, air temp was in the negatives with wind chill. No precipitation. Strong NW wind actively transporting snow. Loading was . . .

Reactive windslab in Gulf Of Slides

December 8, 2018
By Ryan

Bushwhacked up Slide #2 for our first run, as we were hiking up we noticed a couple chunks of windslab break away. If you were standing on anything other than ice, the snow was very reactive. We decided to call it about a third of the way up, since . . .

Red flags, east side, 4000-4200’ elev.

December 7, 2018
By Ryan Matz – MWAC

Shooting cracks in the areas of rapidly developing wind slab.
Hand shears failing on isolation with Q1 shear quality (clean shear).
Newest/top layer of wind deposited snow, likely formed early this morning (12/7), was the reactive layer, appearing to . . .

GOS Gully #1

December 6, 2018
By Helon Hoffer – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

What follows is a description of the snowpack found in Gully #1, starting in the snowpack at the Melt/Freeze crust that was supportable everywhere except in the bushes.
+The MF crust has a layer of decomposing graupel on top of it. This was found at . . .

Debris on South Aspect After Nor’Easter

November 30, 2018
By Frank Carus – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

D1 pile after wind loading event that followed 16” new snow over four days.

Stability tests in Monroe Brook

November 30, 2018
By Ryan Matz – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

CT11 Q1 35 cm down x2
ECTN12 35 cm down x2
HS 60

West side snow coverage 11/30

November 30, 2018
By Ryan Matz – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Consistent weak layer ~5 cm above late November crust, identified via hand shears on aspects S-W-N at elevations 3000-5500’.
4F-F surface snow, with isolated firmer pockets of 1F-4F above 4500’

Avalanche in the Lip

November 15, 2018
By Helon Hoffer – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

R3D3 Avalanche in The Lip of Tuckerman Ravine, also took out Chicken Rock Gully. Maximum depth of crown appears to be 1 meter.


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.