Natural Avalanche / Reloading

By Ryan Gibbs

Date of Observation: December 15, 2018  12:00 AM
Location of Observation: Center bowl

Lip/ center bowl slid on Friday evening from the new 1.5” snow transported on high winds and reloaded. Debris in runout soft. Sluice has not run and has fresh suspect windslab.

Right gully is variable snow with both bulletproof and soft patches.

Chicken rock gully is soft edgeable stable windbuff, but caution need be taken with the hangfire in sluice. A slide from sluice currently could easily bury a skier in chicken rock.

New windslab in sheltered areas below lobster claw was highly reactive on the RC. Moderate probability low consequence due to the variable and small nature of the slab formation and prevalence in the area-however again raises high concern for sluice. Sluice would have been considerable danger today.


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.