Observation: Girdwood

Location: Goat Mountain Ridge

Route & General Observations

Hiked/skied up Goat Mountain Ridge to Pt. 6060 on 1/19/18

1500′-2000′ has negligible snow coverage

2000-2500′ has a series of thin, unsupportive hard crusts over facets that would be very dangerous if loaded

2500′-6000′ has variable but good snowpack. Found over 300cm of snowpack at 2800′, dug a 110cm pit. CT30+ failure 20-30cm below the surface, Q2 shear with very low energy.

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

24'F @ 0845, Crow Pass TH, Girdwood. No wind, clear skies
17'F @ 0640, Crow Pass TH, Girdwood. Calm wind, dense fog below 1500' but clear skies above


2000-2500' two pencil/knife-hard unsupportive crusts separated by facets, over 2-15cm of basal facets. Annoying to boot through right now, but would be very dangerous if loaded with snow.

2500-3000' Saw some evidence of recent activity (snow snails, small slide in Glacier Gulch) from the last storm cycle, but no red flags during the day. Overall way better snow than expected.

Dug a pit at 61° 1'28.53"N, 149° 4'23.79"W, 2800' elev, heading 280°, slope angle approx. 35° (measured later from GPS, not inclinometer)
Really surprised to find over 300cm of snow column. We were slightly on lee side of the ridge, but not in a gully. Pit was 110 cm, CT30+ (banging on the shovel) failure between P and 1F layers dipping 20-30cm. Q2 shear with very low energy, upper block did not slide off the column.

Above 3000' generally scoured to ground level on windward side of the ridge and ice or very hard snowpack on leeward side of the ridge.

Photos & Video
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