Observation: Other Regions

Location: Juneau - North Douglas Island - Mt Troy & Ben Stewart

Route & General Observations

Alaska Avalanche School Level 2 General observations from Sunday. One group toured around Mt Ben Stewart, another group to Mt Troy.
Note: Juneau does not have a public observations platform, but the course was looking at CNFAIC observation format as a template, so we wanted to submit obs here as a one time deal.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

No avalanches observed.
No red flags observed - some localized cracking in small pockets of wind slab formed during Fri-Sun winds.

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

Temps in high 20s.
Winds light to moderate from NE, stronger above 2500'.
No new precipitation.

Snow surface

.5-2cm surface hoar at most elevations, but flattened out by wind on many places.
Variable surface conditions included:
5cm of soft faceted snow on bullet proof base;
5-15cm wind slabs;
breakable boilerplate crust
fully scoured rock and/or ice hard rain/rime crust. Strongest wind effects above 2000'.

Ski quality was poor to mediocre - but views were amazing. It is always worthwhile to get out on a tour!


Average snow depth 150-200cm, but were able to find thinner spots for testing.
Most prominent snowpack feature crust/facet combos from Jan 14-15 & Jan 24-19 thaw/rain events. Stout and locked in snowpack.

Mt Troy:
Super varied snowpack depending on aspect to wind.
Most interesting observation was finding reactive chained depth hoar at 3000' on south facing ridge top pocket (HS 90cm). It failed while isolating columns on both CT and ECT tests (CTV, ECTPV).
Windslabs that were sitting on faceted soft old snow were very discontinued and not as touchy as we would have thought displaying moderate strength and moderate propagation propensity despite the poor structure.

Mt Ben Stewart:
Varied and very scoured on N/NW slopes and windscoured with isolated wind slabs on E slopes. Windslabs were more reactive on this tour, with ECTV result.

Photos & Video
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