Storm Slabs in Huntington Ravine

By Joseph Soccio | MWAC

Date of Observation: March 24, 2020  11:30 AM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine

We went into Huntington Ravine to see how the new snowfall impacted the terrain. We found ankle-deep storm slabs that were reactive to our skin track. We continued to the base of south gully and skied down. Ski cuts triggered small d1 avalanches that slide easily on the icy bed surface. There was little bonding between the old surface and the new snow. Calm wind and clear skies warmed the snow surface quickly and made for some heavy wet snow on our ski-out. Mid storm avalanches that occurred last night were easily visible at the base of Odell, Escape Hatch, and Yale. We made our way to Hermit Lake but low visibility limited observations in Hillman’s and Tuckerman’s


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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.

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