Observation: Girdwood

Location: Gentoo-California Ridge

Route & General Observations

Hikes up Abes Trail to the ‘Spilt”

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Upon approaching the top of the ridge there was a load collapse where the snow was windloaded and thus marked the end of our tour

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

25 F in lower Elevations, 15 F on the ridge

Snow surface

No snow to a trace up to main treeline, roughly 1500'-2000' facets, 2000'-2500' settled powder, 2500' to ridge wind crust, top of ridge was wind blown and loaded


Lower elevations had little to no snow. Once Hiking out of the trees and into the alders(around 1500') there was about 4"-8" of facets, increasing in depth as we got higher. After the alders(roughly 2000'-2500') snow depth increased to about 10", with a small settled powder layer on top of facets. 2500' to the ridge the snow depth slowly began to increase to roughly 2' with a wind crust on top, a consolidated powder layer in the middle, and an inch or two of facets on bottom. Multiple column tests from roughly 2000'up every 400-500' to the ridge all proved reactive but stubborn all failing on the 3rd or 4th tap from the shoulder.