Observation: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain

Route & General Observations

Took the cat track into Notch. Skied west and north aspects. In favorable locations the rain crust was buried under 1 to 2 feet of snow making for enjoyable conditions. Blossoming surface hoar from the ridge line into the forest. We did spot some natural avalanches likely from the last storm cycle. There was one across the valley from Notch and another originating in the A1 area (the debris could be scene but a crown was hard to spot in the light conditions).

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

Clear skies. Calm winds down low, steady NE ~15 mph breeze on the ridge line. It was sufficient to knock down surface hoar and fill in the skin track.

Snow surface

Surface hoar, powder, and wind scoured snow in exposed locations.


Pit at 2,500' facing North West on a 20 degree slope. 262 cm total depth, apparently a favorable location to collect blown snow. Dug down to 130 cm. Pencil hard 130-135 cm, 1 finger 135-190 cm, rain crust 190-200 cm (~pencil), 4 finger 200-235 cm, fist 235 cm to surface. ECTN 15, failed at the 4 finger / fist transition near surface; no energy. Repeated the result with a compression test in the same pit. The ~2 feet of snow on the rain crust was of interest to us, we thought we might be able to get that to react. It did not, the slab appeared to be bonding pretty well to the crust.

Photos & Video
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