Avalanche activity and snowpack structure

February 28, 2020
By Helon T Hoffer – MWAC

See snowpilot profile for snow structure. We observed cracking around our pit location, with clean interfaces 10-20cm deep, though all our test results (ECTP15 and ECTP21) failed on a sun crust (65cm down) we think formed sometime last weekend.
We . . .

Huntington Ravine, north side, Damnation Gully

February 26, 2020
By Matt Shove – Ragged Mountain Guides

We saw evidence of roller balls, and small wet loose avalanches from the previous days warm up (R.5 D.5) We encountered good snow conditions, however we did experience short sections of up to 10cm boot pen in the fan on the southernmost aspects in . . .

Boot Sour Snowpack evaluation

February 26, 2020
By Mark Toronto – Ski Mountaineer & Instructor

Found good snow above 4,000 feet.
Skinning up Hillman’s for a run Wednesday late afternoon encountered a firm and settled snowpack with 4+ inches of powder on top.
I observed a consolidated base and anticipate new snow on this surface/snowpack will . . .

Wet Loose Debris: Frankenstein

February 25, 2020
By Alexander Teixeira – Mooney Mountain Guides LLC

While on descent from the Standard Route area at Frankenstein at 1:30pm, with a temperature of 40F we observed a debris pile from a wet loose/point release below some rocks near where the climbers trail begins to head down rib between the north slabs . . .

Snowpit in Guly #2

February 23, 2020
By Nick Aiello-Popeo – Synnott Mountain Guides

Our avalanche course visited the lower part of Gully #2 in GoS today to escape the crowds. While practicing compression tests, we found sudden planar fractures during our easy taps. These fractures were on a thin layer of small facets 20cm down, . . .

Warming on south aspects at mid elevation

February 23, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

Bright sunshine, low wind. 35F tucked in sunny corner of the ravine. South facing aspects receiving the most direct sun warmed (moist snow) to about 10 cm down from surface. North facing aspects remained cold, dry.

2/22 west side view from Ammonoosuc

February 22, 2020
By Jake Tabor

Snow on the west side around ammonoosuc ravine was variable with lots of ice and rocks. West facing terrain was generally scoured except for pockets more sheltered from winds such as Monroe Brooke. Sasturgi all around the Lakes of the Clouds area.

Prior avalanche activity and firm wind slab

February 21, 2020
By Helon Hoffer – MWAC

We observed the following signs of natural avalanche activity, likely occurring this past Tuesday into Wednesday:
+Crown high in Dodge’s Drop with debris that ran into the dogleg of Hillman’s Highway
+Crown high in Left Gully
+Crown to looker’s right . . .

Macro Snowpack Obs Mt Washington West Side

February 21, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

Overall, not much of a developed snowpack in Burt or Ammonoosuc Ravines, limited to small pockets of snow and lots of rocks. Did not see into Monroe Brook. From a distance, the small snowfields looked wind textured.

Crawford’s Notch from a Distance

February 21, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

Recent snow last Tuesday-Wednesday has increased the depth of the snowpack in Crawford Notch, most notable on Cinema Gully on Mt Willard, Central Slab and Landslide on Mt Webster.


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.