Reactive windslab in Gulf Of Slides

By Ryan

Date of Observation: December 8, 2018  12:30 AM
Location of Observation: Gulf Of Slides

Bushwhacked up Slide #2 for our first run, as we were hiking up we noticed a couple chunks of windslab break away. If you were standing on anything other than ice, the snow was very reactive. We decided to call it about a third of the way up, since the wind loading appeared to get worse the higher you went. We ventured over to Gully #1, which had a mostly supportable crust the majority of the way up. The last 200 feet or so appeared to be pretty wind loaded, so we stopped there. Some cornices appeared to be forming above the “Sandbox” snowfields as well.


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.