Tuckerman’s Ravine Observations Going up Right Gully

By Eric Newton | Rensselaer Outing Club

Date of Observation: December 11, 2019  8:50 AM
Location of Observation: Right Gully, Tuckerman’s Ravine

Warm up and rain the last couple days condensed the snowpack considerably. Top firm alpine snow crust is about two to three inches thick. Beneath is dense snow of variable depth depending where you are. Lots of water still running underneath the snowpack when I was there this morning. I stayed to the side of the gully where the snow was not hollowed out underneath. Ice I got near in the ravine was also detached from the rock due to running water underneath. This will need at least a few more cold days to build back onto the rock surface and make climbable. Biggest hazards right now in my opinion are long falls on the frozen top surface, falling through the undercut snowpack, and ice fall.


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.