Avalanche in Tuckerman Ravine, 1/6/20

By Kurt Niiler

Date of Observation: January 6, 2020  11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Tuckerman Ravine

A couple inches of new snow in the past 48 hrs were transported into Tuckerman Ravine yesterday, causing what appeared to be a natural avalanche this morning: HS-N-R3-D3. Crown line ran from below the center of the Icefall almost all the way over to Sluice, and could be upwards of 1.5 m at its thickest point (hard to tell from the floor of the ravine). Two distinct crown lines on the Lip – the surface is stripped down to the old icy rain layer underneath the lower crown. Lots of hangfire on the Lip still, and the whole top of the bowl looks pretty loaded…


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.