Oakes Gulf snowpack

By Ryan Matz | MWAC

Date of Observation: March 25, 2019  1:00 PM
Location of Observation: Oakes Gulf

Widespread stubborn 3/23 wind slab throughout Oakes Gulf, varying from several feet thick to inches thick with minimal scouring to older ice crust. Newer wind slabs could also be found in terrain roughly lee of westerly wind that was more reactive though only thicker than a few inches in pockets and not more than a foot thick, where observed. Good bonding to the ice crust, with weak layers of concern generally between layers of snow deposited since Friday. Variable hardness of all wind slabs, generally 1F and areas of 4F on the surface.
A few crowns visible from avalanche activity Friday or Saturday, tough to pick out but visible in main photo.


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.