Observation: Girdwood

Location: Kern Creek

Route & General Observations

Group of four, standard approach, skiied North facing trees and meadows up to 2300′. No formal stability tests. Pole probe and hand pits revealed a mostly right side up snowpack with the exception of a thin rain/melt freeze/crust of unknown source roughly 18″ down. This layer was mostly nonreactive in our handpits. First run in treed meadows went by without any notable issues, although a firmer wind crust layer was noted by all in more open meadows that was not present in skin track hand pits, likely due to the skin tracks proximity to trees.

Third skier on second lap set off VERY large whumph/settle that was estimated by fourth skiier standing above to have settled a 600+ foot area and stepped down at least 18 inches into snowpack. Fourth skiier descended without incident.

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Widespread point release avalanches on South facing slopes and isolated point releases on North aspects.