Ammonoosuc Ravine drainage, shallow snowpack

By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster

Date of Observation: February 2, 2019  1:00 PM
Location of Observation: Northernmost fork of upper Ammonoosuc drainage

Shallow snowpack and soft snow in lower Ammo terrain, with wind slab, wind textured snow, and scouring observed above 4000’. Pockets of softer and less stubborn wind slab can be found, but the recent storm snow is variable in regards to recent wind affect that increases with elevation, as does scouring. Also around the 3500-4000’ elevation, there are plenty of hazards in the form of rocks, broken trees, and open water… In other words, a nasty place to get avalanched. It’s probably worth keeping these essentially early season type of hazards in mind in the Ammo until the snowpack gets a bit deeper.


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?

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