Natural avalanche evidence, Tuckerman Ravine

By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster

Date of Observation: February 1, 2019  11:30 AM
Location of Observation: Tuckerman Ravine

Crown lines visible in Sluice, Lip, Center Bowl, Lower Snowfields below Duchess, hanging snowfield in Empress above lower snowfields. All suspected to have avalanched naturally some time between Wednesday night and early this morning. Active wind loading is filling in crowns, making crown height uncertain.
It looks possible that the Sluice, Lip, and Center Bowl avalanched as one large “bowlalanche”, including two step downs to deeper layers. The deepest bed surface, though now reloaded with wind deposited snow, seems to be the 1/25 rain crust. It also appears that the highest crown in the Lip was from a softer slab avalanching earlier in the storm/wind cycle, with other avalanches likely failing later and many in stuff piles below steeper terrain.


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.