Observation: Summit

Location: Tenderfoot/ Fresno area

Route & General Observations

Alaska Avalanche School Level 1 Refresher course did three separate tours in Tenderfoot/Fresno area to seek out the persistent weak layers and drier weather. The highest elevations reached by the groups were 2400′, just around the treeline. HS ranged from 80cm-115cm. Another great day of learning on the Kenai mountains!

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

We observed a very prominent whoomph at 2100' on east facing small meadow, when 6 people regrouped on the slope.

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

Light rain at the parking lot at the beginning of the tour, but this diminished quickly and we were able to stay dry the whole day. Skies were mostly overcast with a few periods of blue skies poking through. Visibility stayed good most of the day. In the afternoon, there were some instability snow showers (with some rimed particles) with light easterly winds. Most of the day winds were calm to light.

Snow surface

Crust from the road level all the way up to the treeline was making skiing quite educational on all of the tours.
We did not reach the higher elevations to observe wind effects.


We found the two layers of buried surface hoar at ~45cm & ~70cm from the top in the more protected areas. There were many interesting layers within this shallow snowpack, but it was not very reactive. Only sign of the persistent slab problem was very prominent whoomph observed by one of the groups.

Photos & Video
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