Observation: Girdwood

Location: Crow Creek

Route & General Observations

Crow Creek above Glacier Gulch, within view of the homes at the end of the road. Stated goal was to practice pits and observations. Hiked to about 1260ft to a protected spot to dig a hole. Warm moist surface conditions with new snow falling.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No avalanches, shooting cracks or collapses. Rapid warming event with snow falling and above freezing temps.

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

34degF at the car, winds constant moderate with pulses to strong, winds up valley generally southerly. Overcast skies, visibility coming in and out with falling snow and blowing snow obscuring the ridge tops at times.

Snow surface

Moist melt forms on the surface in the lower terrain, in the upper paths blowing snow and scoured ridges. Roller balls evident above the pit location in the warm and wet surface snow, see photos.


Dug one pit with a total depth of about 105cms. About 10 cm of facets on top of the Thanksgiving crust, the facets immediately above the Thanksgiving crust are 0.5 to 1mm rounding facets, and they get larger near the top of the layer getting closer to 1.5mm rounding facets. The facet layer appeared capped by a ~1cm thin, crumbly melt-freeze crust, and the layer of concern is the facets just under that crumbly melt-freeze. Stability tests were fairly reactive on that layer of concern, ECTP5 and CT6 SP both 55cm up from the ground. See photo for more details.

Near the top of the pack, the moist new storm snow appears to have a mid storm interface where the temps increased, the top couple of cm's being much warmer and wetter, looking more like melt forms. Rounds between the crusts and the surface new snow.
Boot penetration about to the knee, ski pen to boot top.

Photos & Video
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