Field observations in Huntington Ravine

By Frank Carus | MWAC

Date of Observation: December 13, 2018  11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine, North Gully

Found limited amounts of 2.4″ new snow loaded into Huntington Ravine. New snow was only found in isolated areas. Surface conditions to the right of the Fan and beneath Damnation, Yale and North varied from finger to pencil hardness wind board, breakable wind crust over 4-6″ softer snow, and refrozen sleet/ZR crust. Strong solar gain on direct, south facing aspects though the day. New soft wind slab settled. Observed faceted, sugary crystals around buried crusts in places. Boot penetration varied from crampons mandatory to knee-deep postholing through breakable crust. Looked like all aspects were strongly wind affected with pockets of softer snow remaining only in strongly sheltered pockets.


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.