Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Raven Headwall

Route & General Observations

Skied down Raven headwall, raven glacier, out crow creek.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect South Southwest
Elevation 5800ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown Depth 6inWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

1st skier triggered hard slab at top of headwall on first turn, fracturing 15-20 feet above, entire width of headwall, 4 to 12 inches deep. Skier was carried and tumbled down 2/3 of slope. No injuries, not buried and no lost gear.

Before the avalanche everyone was fighting the cold weather. We had discussed a belay over the rollover and had the resources for it, but cold wind and a sick group member pushed our decision the faster way.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Skiing out of crow pass to Girdwood multiple cracking wind slabs were observed.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Previous night winds were very strong. Snow was still being actively transported when group was about to ski.

Snow surface

Hard wind slab


1 member of group dug a pit at top of rollover into the headwall. Top layer of very wind effected storm slab was about 4" deep and gave ECTN 17 result on old crust. Below crust consistent 4F, ECTN 25+ 1.5' down.

Photos & Video
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