Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Big League

Route & General Observations

Toured from Virgin creek, up the SW face of Max’s and then up the north couloir of Big League.


Avalanche Details
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Trigger CorniceRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Cornice FallAspect Northwest
Elevation 4000ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 25ft
Vertical Run 1500ft  
Avalanche Details

After approaching up the north couloir of Big League, we traveled along the ridgeline to look at the NW face. While traveling on the ridge, we had a SUV sized cornice break ~25 ft back from the edge. The rest of the cornice cracked ~25-30 feet back (shown in red in the photo taken on the ridgeline) but didn't fall. The entire cornice is cracked, give this a WIIIIIIIDDDDE berth. The cornice fall entrained quite a bit of snow and left a large debris pile at the bottom of the face; it would have been a very bad ride. We were lucky, and everyone is fine, but it was a good reminder that cornices can fail a lot farther back than you'd think.

Before and after photos show the location of the cornice fall and the run out.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Sunny, and in the mid-twenties.

Snow surface

Shaded aspects had dry snow. Solar aspects were firm in the morning and starting to soften up later in the afternoon.

Photos & Video
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