Mixed Bag of Stability – GG

By Ryan Gibbs

Date of Observation: December 16, 2018  9:30 AM
Location of Observation: 44.28566, -71.31196 , 4800’

In an isolated ENE terrain feature at 4800’ I dug a pit down to a firm layer. HS 185cm. I performed a CT which resulted in a CT12 at 115cm, Q2, on DF. There are several layers of facets between the observed crust layers. This failed BELOW a crust layer. The gut of most of the lines have avalanched and refilled, however careful terrain management in isolated terrain features still remains paramount. The treed areas are teetering on the edge of becoming triggers rather than anchors due to depth of snow.

Strong easterly winds resulted in 4cm of breakable 4f slab formations later in the day and will easily be masked by new snow coming 12/16


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.