Observation: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain

Route & General Observations

Our group of four ascended the CPG Cat track to the base of Notch and Sunnyside, where we skied from our high point of 2,300ft on both ridgelines. Though the skies deteriorated from 2-4pm, visibility was great within the bowls with consistent snowfall after 3pm, on track with the Fx. My intentions were to get a good picture of the complexity and depth of the seasonal persistent layers within Girdwood Valley.
Great surface conditions, but height of snow was significantly sporadic due to wind scouring, loading and the unique terrain. Great day!

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Rapid Loading could be a factor if the snowfall continues as projected.

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

Broken Skies to Overcast by 11am. Alpine, 3,000ft was obscured by 2pm.
Temps ranged from -12°C in AM to -4°C by 4pm.
Calm to Light winds from the NE by 2pm.

Snow surface

Surface Hoar feathers, up to 8mm in size, were present up to 1,000ft.
Sun Crusts were present in isolated, south facing drainages.
Ski/Boot Pen: 30cm /60cm
4-6cm dry, fresh stellars from 3pm +


In general, my focus was to assess a new zone within Girdwood and the depth and reactivity of seasonal persistent layers( NYE,1/20, New Storm Snow.)
The NYE layer was visually distinct with the P Hard MF Crust split with possibly advancing facets in the center, versus one distinct MF Crust layer. No 1/20 BSH was observed, but intrigued to identify an elevation or aspect that would. Small column Instability tests produced results, but no propagation for large column.
*See SnowPilot for Details*

Photos & Video
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