Observation: Girdwood

Location: Meadow run

Route & General Observations

On Feb. 6th a powder cloud was observed in the Surprise Bowl area of Goat mountain. My partner and I considered investigating the avalanche, but due to concerns within the snowpack and building northwesterly winds, we decided to remain out of the terrain trap drainage.
Instead, we ascended the Meadow run in hopes to get a view of the crown and flanks of the Surprise Bowl avalanche.

Avalanche Details
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Avalanche Details

We estimated that 6-10" of snow fell in the area since the powder cloud of this avalanche in Surprise bowl was observed on 2.6.2020.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

The northwesterly winds were building so rapidly that we decided to return to the trailhead.

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

Winds - Calm in Treeline. At the beginning of the tour we watched intermittent gusts plume snow from a few peaks and ridges in the Alpine. By 1:00p, northwesterly winds were steady and moderate in the Alpine, sending plumes.
Temperatures ranged from teens to low 20's F.

Snow surface

6" of powder with hints of graupel in small depressions.


Meadow Run
South aspect

Testpit #1 at 2070' (See snowpilot image for details)

Testpit #2 at 2040'
HS 145cm
31 degree slope
Ski/Boot Pen. 15cm (6") / 80cm (31")
ECTP26SP ↓95cm (X2) on 2-3mm chained facets beneath a crust (Dec. 9)
We found the NYE crust in this pit ↓50cm

Photos & Video
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