Spacial Variability in Lobster Claw

By Joseph Soccio | MWAC

Date of Observation: February 11, 2020  12:00 PM
Location of Observation: Lobster Claw

31F @ Hermit Lake.
Blowing snow and clouds made for low visibility in Tuckerman Ravine today. We traveled up into lobster claw and found wind slab resting on the crust. Some areas had dense unreactive wind slabs and other areas had 1F slabs resting on 4f soft snow with the crust below. The snow was soft, boot pen reached up to calf-deep.
Photo= Low vis conditions in the bottom of the bowl
Video= Hand shear that failed on isolation


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.


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