Skier Triggered Slide

By Ryan Gibbs

Date of Observation: March 10, 2019  10:40 AM
Location of Observation: Lincoln’s Throat

Slab was firm pencil to knife hardness first run at 930am . Snow intensified to 1”/hr. Roughly 2” accumulation + wind deposit. Sluffing off of the ice below crux resulted in 20-30cm pockets. Second hiker on third run triggered a small R2, D1 slide 25cm on windslab interface and ran 50 yards. 39 degree slope angle WNW @ 4600’. Nobody caught or carried.


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.


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