Observation: Girdwood

Location: Girdwood Valley

Route & General Observations

Headed up the valley topping out at 2,500 feet. Some walking in boots is still mandatory down low.
While a great day out in the mountains with fresh snow, the ski quality left something to be desired. The new snow was quite heavy and moist yet still skied bottomless and had skiers hot and thirsty.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Possible small facet layer on top of the melt-freeze crust where the stability test results were (100cm down). This facet/crust combo has been observed on other slopes in Girdwood Valley at similar elevation. - AJB

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

Numerous large whumphs above 2100’.

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

Overcast with patchy fog.
Calm winds.
Temps above freezing with 34f midday at 2,400’.

Snow surface

New snow from overnight and the morning: 5” at 1000’ and 16” new at 2,400’.


HS ranged from 30-40cm at 1,000’ to 90-110’ at 2,400.

Ski pen: 50 cm. Boot pen: 90 cm. Wallow fest.

Snowpack was moist throughout and clung to the tops and bottoms of skis, and made epic snowballs on the dogs.

Dug one snow pit.
2,400’, NE, 26 degree slope. HS 110.
Right side up snow going from fist to 4 finger. Stout melt freeze crust down 100 cm approx 5cm thick sitting on top of basal facets.
CT 14 sc down 100 cm on melt freeze crust.
ECTP 14 down 100 cm on melt freeze crust.

Photos & Video
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