Avalanche Debris North End of Gulf of Slides

By Jeff Fongemie | Mount Washington Avalanche Center

Date of Observation: March 24, 2019  1:30 PM
Location of Observation: Gulf of Slides “First Finger” @ 44.25003, -71.28913

Soft slab avalanche debris from this past storm cycle. 2/22-3/23. Debris pile wind effected and partially buried by new snow drifts. From Main Gully north, the gully tops were scoured or very heavily wind effected. Below this we found smooth slabs mostly varied thickness 1F over a thin 2cm layer of soft 4F snow. The thickness of the 1F slab ranged from 10 cm up to 60 cm. No obvious crown lines.


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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.

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