Lower Raymond Cataract Obs

By Nick Aiello-Popeo | Synnott Mountain Guides

Date of Observation: March 8, 2020  1:00 PM
Location of Observation: 44.2662, -71.2822 ~ 3,800 feet elevation ~ two hundred feet north of the Raymond ice bulge.

There were few signs of instability, crowds, or wind today in the lower reaches of Raymond Cataract. Large ice blocks had fallen thirty feet and impacted the 33-degree slope without triggering avalanches. The ice blocks appeared to have fallen days ago.

While practicing column tests on this eastern aspect, our avy students got a couple CTH RP’s down 20cm, and an ECTN28 down 20cm. None of these tests seemed nearly as informative as the craters from 4-cubic-foot ice blocks! We were then rewarded with a few great turns in warm pow (pic).


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.