Avalanches in and around Tuckerman Ravine

By Frank C

Date of Observation: January 11, 2019  12:00 PM
Location of Observation:

Signs of widespread avalanche activity some of which was large, following snow and wind during the past few days. Observed wind scoured debris in the following locations:
Lobster Claw – D2
Floor (from Headwall) D4
Left Gully D2
Duchess D2
Empress D1
Hillmans Highway D3/4

Low visibility obscured start zones so not able to look for crowns to determine size relative to path but Hillmans and Headwall avalanches were large. Debris from the Bowl ran down the trail to within 200’ of the rescue cache, it covered all vegetation and even Levee Rock, the 10’ high boulder that develops the wind drift that people often shelter behind. Hillman’s avalanche turned the corner and also jumped the bank of the gully, flowing down the approach trail and into the woods but not to maximum extent. Other paths not observed due to fog and blowing snow. Impressive cycle.


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.