Video: Snowboarder gets caught in Tuckerman Ravine avalanche, comes away uninjured

"No one was hurt, and we're glad for it."

A snowboarder at Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington was swept into an avalanche caused by a nearby skier Saturday afternoon, said Jeff Fongemie, director of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center. Luckily, the snowboarder was able to self-rescue and came out unscathed.

Hiker R.J. Phipps caught the moment on video and posted it to Facebook and YouTube. It shows a skier and a snowboarder coming down The Lip at Tuckerman Ravine. A small avalanche starts just below the skier and partially covers the snowboarder, who was able to dig himself out, he wrote.

MWAC logged the avalanche on its website and said it was triggered accidentally at 11:55 a.m. by the skier. It confirmed that neither party was injured.


Fongemie said he bumped into the two men after the avalanche and both seemed to be OK. He said the two had “dumb luck” and that the avalanche “easily could have buried somebody or killed somebody.”

“No one was hurt, and we’re glad for it,” he said.

Saturday’s forecast for Mount Washington showed a “considerable” chance for avalanches, according to MWAC. Fongemie said he wrote the advice on the page that day, which said to “avoid triggering an avalanche by choosing wind scoured slopes or hard snow surfaces.”

He added that this approach is particularly important for newer skiers. The point of the advice, Fongemie said, is not to tell people they can’t go out, but to inform them of the risks.

Of the hundreds of skiers out on Saturday on Mount Washington, Fongemie said only two triggered avalanches.

“If you go out and be careful about what you do and where you’re gonna go, it can be a fun day,” he said.

Phipps, who recorded the video, wrote that the more extreme weather conditions that day were why he went out in the first place.

“We were not sure what to expect,” he wrote on Facebook. “No matter, with this being a classic area for viewing as well as skiers, we were expecting something epic and were not disappointed.”


Still, Fongemie said that avalanches are dangerous and can have deadly consequences. There are also limited resources available for search and rescues, which can take a long time.

“People need to share the terrain and look out for each other,” he said.

MWAC also shared a video, taken by L. Parker.


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