Avalanches & Sintering on Mt. Washington

Today's avi report from tuckerman.org is pretty interesting. The report makes a few remarkable points:

  • All of the classic start zones have triggered, some repeatedly Mutha's Driveway Snowbank (Click To Zoom)
    in the last 48 hours.
  • Most of the runouts have been packed in with brush and trees removed - apparently making near record snow volumes. As a consequence, the runouts are so well developed with all obstacles removed & filled-in that they are expecting near record-breaking distances as the snow rides on smooth, well-packed surfaces.
  • Good snowfall amounts (about 2ft in the last 30 hrs) and snow in the forecast is filling in everywhere. Another storm is brewing for Saturday. Lack of substantial wind since last weekend is setting the stage for a tremendous amount of snow moving around once the winds pick up by Sunday.
That said, I personally will be waiting at least a week for everything to settle in before heading back up that mountain. They used the term "sintering", which I only use in the context of ceramics, molded plastics and metalurgy - but it's the perfect phrase. I've got snowbanks over 6ft in Danville that have been releasing slides as the new snow builds on the frozen layers below before sintering bonds it. My tallest snow wall (about 10ft) is too high for my snowblower to overshoot and I've been studying the bonding/slipping for lessons in avi safety. The pic at the ride is he 'small' bank at the top of the driveway, but it goes back about 8ft at that height. "Sintering"... now there's a good word.


  1. I think you should build a snow cave...

  2. Believe it or not, I do monthly sculpting - although it's usually geometric shapes. I'll probably work on one today.

  3. Nice how is Spank balls doing she in winter training?

  4. Spanky and I went out in the deep snow yesterday around 3:30. She sank down to the last crust layer, which left her neck-deep. She loves it. I climbed small hills and skied down and she bounded around like a kangaroo, diving head-first from time to time and coming up with a snow-beard. She's a good dog.

  5. never get enough of the stooges.