Observation: Girdwood

Location: Crow Creek

Route & General Observations

Nice day up Magpie. Broke through the fog around 2,000’ and enjoyed the beautiful winter light.

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

We saw a few new avalanches today.

1st- we saw a few new glide releases on the goat shoulder.

2nd- a 3-6’ deep crown below the goat shoulder around 3800’, west facing. It was not super wide, perhaps a 100-200’.

3rd- very large avalanche on a northwest facing slope at around 4,500’. I estimate the crown 3-5’ deep and the avalanche 2000’ wide.

4th- a deep crown on the north side of Hendrix (Mystery Mountain). I viewed this from a few miles away but guess the crown was a similar depth and 200-400’ wide. Northwest facing around 5000’.

I hypothesize that these avalanches released during the stormy weather earlier this week. These slides all happened on the leeward side of the prevailing storm winds which makes me think that wind loading was a contributing factor. Also, it is possible that these high elevation avalanches failed deep in the snowpack on facets that formed during the early season.

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

Cold, icy mustache and boogers all day.

Snow surface

High quality in wind protect areas. The alpine had a paper thin wind skin that made it feel slightly upside down.


No formal test. Probing around 3800’ snow height was 300 cm with a variety of hard wind layers throughout.

Photos & Video
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