Avalanche Activity, Tuckerman, 12/8

By Sarah Goodnow | AMC- Hermit Lake Caretaker

Date of Observation: December 8, 2019  10:00 AM
Location of Observation:

New avalanche debris from Center Bowl, Lip, and Sluice were present in the bowl this morning (Sunday 12/8), with crown lines visible in the Lip and Sluice. A period of 50-70 mph WNW winds recorded by the summit last night built soft (4F) wind slab on top of the loose unconsolidated snow that fell on relatively lighter winds Friday night and Saturday.
Pictures attached show:
a) Debris piled up in Chicken Rock Gully that originated from areas of the Lip and Sluice. Debris pile larger than pictured; easily D2. (What’s chicken rock gully? The ice flow in the picture is the “Open Book;” Chicken Rock is the snow gully you trace from the base of that ice flow up to looker’s right, ending in a rock buttress).
b) Debris and crown line in the Sluice. The slide initiated up much higher to looker’s left, above the rocks and bushes (I think) and brought the slope in the foreground of the picture down with it.
c) South-ish aspects in Tucks. If you zoom in you might see what I think is the original crown line from the Sluice avalanche.


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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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