Observation: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain and Sunnyside

Route & General Observations

Took the unmaintained snowcat trail through thin snow past the CPG hut to a rock band at 2500′ on the ridge to Notch Mountain. Skied the ridge back to the saddle, then up and down the ridge to Sunnyside.

Several hundred foot wide crown I saw in the steep valley to the north of Sunnyside.


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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Large collapses accompanied by shooting cracks were ubiquitous, particularly in shallow or wind-loaded areas.

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

Strongly inverted, no wind, sunny.

Snow surface

Smooth wind buffed ridges and pockets of wind deposited powder.


I didn't dig a pit. In shallow areas, the snow seemed to be collapsing on depth hoar, and the failures were occurring over distances of 40-50 feet. In wind loaded areas, a distinct wind slab of approx. 10" depth was also failing and producing shooting cracks, but didn't seem to be running very easily.

Photos & Video
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