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 . . .

Main Gully GOS

January 7, 2020
By Josh

Snow profile in main gully, not completely positive on all grain identifications

Avalanche in Tuckerman Ravine, 1/6/20

January 6, 2020
By Kurt Niiler

A couple inches of new snow in the past 48 hrs were transported into Tuckerman Ravine yesterday, causing what appeared to be a natural avalanche this morning: HS-N-R3-D3. Crown line ran from below the center of the Icefall almost all the way over to . . .

Snow Observation

January 6, 2020
By Ben Allen – AMG

Light snow fall toward the end of the day. Light to calm winds all day.

CTM, Q2 and ECTN22 below Hillmans

January 5, 2020
By David Lottmann – Northeast Mountaineering

Somewhat reactive softer slab (F) found over 4F layer down to 1F around 50cm down, then a thin 4F layer of facets over a MFcr that produced multiple CTM, Q2 failures and one ECTN22 result.


January 5, 2020
By Michael Lackman – EMS CLIMBING SCHOOL

Old debris in the main gully extends down to about the 4100’ level, 100’ above where the gully chokes and goes skiers right. We ascended a few hundred feet on the high ground climbers left till the vegetation blocked upward progress. Snow in the . . .


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.