Test Pit Below Little Headwall

January 28, 2020
By Corey Fitzgerald – Northeast Mountaineering

ECTN27 down 30cm on 1mm rounds.
CT18 SC down 75cm on 2mm facets.
HS 135cm
14cm of fist density on the surface.
Observed snow being transported by winds at ridgeline.
Running water on the Little Headwall.
Lower part of Hillmans was cross loaded. Rain . . .

Spatial Variability in Huntington

January 23, 2020
By Jake Risch – Friends Of Tuckerman Ravine

Observed full the full spectrum of old wind slab on our tour ranging from 2″ – 24″+ deep. And stiffness from just edgeable skinning to Boot Top cream cheese ski turns.

Wind loading above Hillmans Highway

January 21, 2020
By Patrick – Wildcat Mtn

Significant wind loading above Hillmans this morning.

Wind Slab in Tuckerman Ravine

January 20, 2020
By Joe Soccio – MWAC

Sunny skies and strong NW wind made wind loading easily identifiable in the ravine. Scoured start zones and wind loaded mid slopes were a result of a strong northwest wind that had new snowfall from Sunday (01/19) available for transport. Within the . . .

Gulf of Slides

January 20, 2020
By Mark Renson – AIARE

We took an AIARE 1 class up to Gulf of Slides. Some minor wind affected snow found above Graham Trail. A skier on the descent mentioned reactive wind slabs higher up, fwiw. Dug pits at roughly 4000 feet. Some moderate failures were found in the storm . . .

Cutler River Drainage: soft snow, hard wind slab, sastrugi, and refrozen crust.

January 18, 2020
By Helon Hoffer – MWAC

Touring around the Cutler River Drainage, we found the full gamut of soft snow, hard wind slab, sastrugi, and refrozen crust. Generally, north facing slopes saw significant scouring from Friday’s wind, with isolated pockets of sastrugi. East and SE . . .

Crown in Hillman’s

January 13, 2020
By Ben Mirkin – Northern Vermont University / Mooney Mountain Guides

Crown line observed low in the lower construction of Hillman’s and a related debris pile.

Natural Avalanche Tuckerman Ravine

January 9, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – MWAC

Likely happened Jan 8 during the afternoon or night.
1/8/2020 – 5.2 inches of snow recorded on the summit on WNW(290) wind 43.5 to 95 mph.
1/7/2020 – 1.6 inches of snow recorded on the summit on W(270) wind 41.8 to 90 mph.
1/6/2020 – 2.2 inches of . . .

Natural Avalanche Diagonal Gully

January 9, 2020
By Jeff Fongemie – Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Many consecutive days of snow on a W-NW wind. No further details.

Blowing snow and low visibility in Tux

January 7, 2020
By Joe Soccio – MWAC

Fresh low-density snow from the afternoon of 1/6 was being transported by strong west winds. New snow was undisturbed below tree line. Near treeline, winds began to scour and load some areas of the terrain. Visibility was minimal at higher . . .


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.