Observation: Portage / Placer

Location: Squirrel flats

Route & General Observations

Placer River valley to common squirrel uptrack (north). Overnight at Spencer Bench Cabin.

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
Observer Comments

Extreme wet loose on south aspects Wednesday evening under bright sun. Several large older crowns/ debris piles from last week that have been blown in and snowed over.
One large cornice fall/ slab seen from the Placer parking lot, up the Skookum Valley (lookers right).

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

Warm, Sunny and calm winds on Wednesday night. Woke up to greybird and light winds Thursday morning at the Cabin. Winds increased with elevation as we made our way out.

Snow surface

Supportable crust up to ~800’. Breakable crust up to ~2K. We found cold, dry snow above 2K in the shade. Anything solar was softening up real nice Wednesday evening but breakable crust by the morning.
Surface hoar and near surface facets on shady aspects above about 2500’. Quite large at our pit location at 3800’.


This last week plus of storm snow is settling into a 1F slab. We did see 2 layers of BSH in our pit wall, but they were hard to pick out of what’s a very homogenous slab.
ECTN18,23 on 3/23 BSH. HS > 400cm.

Photos & Video
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