Avalanche Activity 2/27 Storm

By Jeff Fongemie | MWAC

Date of Observation: February 29, 2020  10:00 AM
Location of Observation: Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines

The 9.5″ of 17″ snow on 2/27/2020 with wind from the ESE then W produced a number of natural avalanches.

-Escape Hatch in Huntington Ravine. Large avalanche D3 cleared trees to within 15 feet of the Huntington Ravine Trail. Debris measured over 10 feet deep and contained chunks of ice from the broken up bed surface. See main picture included.

-Debris was also found below South and Odell Gully in Huntington Ravine.
-Reported debris in Hillman’s Highway, though obscured by drifting/blowing snow by the 29th.

Overall, it appears that the avalanche cycle likely occurred late in the afternoon or evening of the 27th and favored north facing aspects. Hourly weather records from the summit on the 27th show most of the snow falling on the ESE wind.


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.