Avalanche, Tuckerman Ravine Headwall

By Ryan Matz | MWAC

Date of Observation: March 24, 2019  11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Tuckerman Ravine Headwall

Natural large hard slab avalanche that likely occurred late Saturday. HS-N-R4-D3-S. A true “Bowlalanche”, this crown is connected from Lower Sluice through Center Bowl and all the way to Chute. We think a soft or wind storm slab avalanched on Friday prior to this avalanche, running into the top of the Little Headwall. This hard slab avalanche doesn’t appear to have run as far, with chunky debris high in the runout, but did nearly fill the floor of Tuckerman Ravine with a massive amount of avalanche debris. An excellent reminder of what our terrain can produce when the two red flags of wind loading and heavy snow join forces.


ABOUT THESE OBSERVATIONS

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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