Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain

Route & General Observations

Toured up the cat track to the powder hut, then continued up the ridge before transitioning and skiing down.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect North Northwest
Elevation 2000ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown Depth 6inWidth 80ft
Vertical Run 50ft  
Avalanche Details

We triggered several sluffs in small sections of steep terrain, and one propagated into a small soft slab. The few inches of snow from last night slid on the old snow surface. The slide was not large enough to carry or bury a person but the snowpack was touchy and warrants caution in terrain traps.

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

Other than the avalanche we triggered, there was some cracking, but it did not shoot far from the tip of the ski. There was clear wind effect on the ridge, and throughout the Girdwood valley, but the upper layer of snow had yet to be compacted at all. Overall, the few feet of snow from this most recent storm seemed right-side-up and was pretty stable considering the amount of snow we've received, but the snowpack is not quite bomber.

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

Light snow through much of the day and intermittent clouds.

Snow surface

Light powder, no obvious crusts or layer changes could be found by probing with a pole or feeling by hand. However, the recent snow in this area has been much more than could be felt by such measurements. Ski quality was excellent.


No formal snowpack information was collected.

Photos & Video
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