PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. — No one has been injured following a weekend avalanche on the Mount Washington summit in an area that rarely experiences them.

U.S. Forest service Snow Ranger Frank Carus tells WMWV-FM a party of eight skiers on the southeast snowfields of the summit cone felt a big collapse at about 1 p.m. Saturday. They turned around to see a slope fall, and then the avalanche.

Fortunately, no one was in the path of the avalanche. Carus said it happened at a popular area for skiers and there were dozens on the mountain Saturday enjoying one of the first warm days of spring.

He said it fell about 390 feet, affected about 10 acres, and was as deep as 20 feet. It carried down a boulder the size of a small car.

The Forest Service said it contacted a snow ranger who had worked in the area dating back to the early 1960s, who said the avalanche is “larger by far” and any other he was aware of in the area.

The Forest Service said several factors likely contribute to the lack of avalanche activity in the area, including a number of large boulders that serve as anchors, a snowpack “hammered into a hard wind slab” by strong winds, and few skiers and climbers in the mid-winter.

To learn more, click to the Mount Washington Avalanche Center’s website and the Mount Washington webcams.

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