Avalanche: Other Regions

Location: Burns Glacier

Route & General Observations

Normal “waterfall” uptrack from Whittier, across Whittier glacier to Burns Glacier. Winds were gusting in the 50mph range tons of snow transport, we didn’t stay long as conditions were pretty miserable. Many small to large windslabs forming and very reactive.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SnowmachinerRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Southwest
Elevation 1500ftSlope Angle 35deg
Crown Depth2ftWidth 250ft
Vertical Run 800ft  
Avalanche Details

Another group behind us triggered a large wind slab. I had looked at the slope on the way in and made a mental note of how loaded it looked. We had turned around before dropping into the Blackstone glacier area because of deteriorating conditions of high winds and blowing snow. I noticed the large fresh avalanche on the way back, it had multiple snowmachine tracks underneath the toe of the debris pile, including our groups tracks below the slope up the glacier and one defined set of the person who climbed/triggered it. A quick beacon search and communication with another group verified nobody had been caught.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Wind slabs easily triggered on small terrain features. Incredible amount of wind transport happening.

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

Sustained 40mph wind with higher gusts temps in the mid 20's. Mosty sunny

Snow surface

New snow wind affected but still soft.


No formal pits were dug, stability tests on isolated small features and the rapid snow transport told us what we needed to know.