Natural avalanche, Center Bowl, Tuckerman Ravine

By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster

Date of Observation: January 7, 2019  8:00 AM
Location of Observation: Center Bowl, below headwall ice

Naturally triggered avalanche, suspected occurrence late Sunday 1/6 or early today. Crown partially refilled by wind loaded snow, debris heavily wind affected. As seen in the picture, a line just below the ice and above the prominent crown line may have been the initial crown, stepping down to the more obvious crown. Wind affect limits certainty.


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.