Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Raggedbowl

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Raggedbowl to get a look at a recent large avalanche and to see how the snowpack is doing. The snowpack is thin and weak, and numerous persistent weak layers exist that are reactive in stability tests.

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 NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect Northeast
Elevation 3500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth3ftWidth 1000ft
Vertical Run 3000ft  
Avalanche Details

Natural avalanche in Ragged bowl. Ran past the moraine, ~1/2 mile. There is a section of snow in the middle that did not slide, so this is really 3 or 4 large avalanches that ran at the same time or sympathetically. Debris was very hard.

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)?No
Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.
Snow surface

~3" of faceted snow sits on a 1-2" melt freeze crust to about 2200', where the surface transitions to various wind affected surfaces: scoured to melt-freeze crust in some places, 6+" wind slab in other places, 2-3" breakable wind crust in lots of places.


Recent strong NE winds have left the snowpack highly variable above treeline. In some places it has been scoured down to tundra or basal ice, and several yards away the snowpack is 250 cm deep.

Dug a pit at 2000', SE aspect, 29 degree slope. HS = 140 cm. CT14 SP, ECTP24 down 65 cm on January 21 buried surface hoar and facets. The buried surface hoar was remarkably intact compared to what is found in Turnagain Pass. CT8 SC down 85 cm on moist 1-2 mm facets.

Photos & Video
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