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Observation: Girdwood

Location: Crow Creek Road

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Field Observations
Feb.3, 2015

Route
Crow Creek Road to 4700′

Weather
Temps: Low 20’sF
Wind: Calm
Sky: Sunny
Precip: None

Obvious Signs Of Instability
Recent Avalanches- No Slabs, loose snow ‘sluffs’ were triggered from our ski tracks. (See picture)
Shooting Cracks- NO
Collapsing – NO

Glide Avalanches/Cracks- No new activity observed

Surface Obs –
1000′: 2-3″of low density snow on ground
2500′: 2-3″ of low density snow on stout Melt/freeze crust below
3500′: Pockets of 1-3″ (1F hard) wind affected snow with areas of 4-6″ of low density faceting snow on an
ice crust interface.
4100′-4700′: 3″ of low density snow on denser older snow.

Snow Below the Surface:
2-6″ of low density snow with pockets of wind affected snow was found on top of a firm ice crust until
about 3800′. Above 3800′ the ice crust was not found and a denser older snow interface sits below 2-6″ of
surface snow.

Pit at 4100′ on a NW aspect, HS≈100cm, Results: ECTP13 and ECTP14, 30cm from surface. Failure was on
facet layer sandwiched between a 2cm Melt/freeze crust above and pencil hard stout layer below. Facets
were 1mm in size. These test results do show propagation potential for this structure.The pit was dug 300′
below the ridge near a rocky outcropping, 30 away. It is likely that this was a thinner area of the slope, but
it is hard to say how widespread this structure is on other slopes. It is good information to keep in mind
when venturing into higher elevation terrain, especially in areas where the snowpack is thin. No previous
avalanches have been noted on this layer in this particular area. Several older small(D1) damp loose snow
avalanches were visible on Southern and Western aspects, all below 3500′. The surface snow (top 3-6″) is
also very week, and could be a problem layer in the future with a new load of snow.

Photos & Video
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