Observation: Girdwood

Location: Girdwood Valley

Route & General Observations

We set out for a tour in the Girdwood Valley to look for a similar set up (reactive facets over a crust) that observers have been finding in the Turnagain Pass region. In the locations we dug, we did not find this set-up. We found a rather boring, fairly homogenous snowpack.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No recent avalanches, shooting cracks or whumpfing. North winds did pick up mid day on ridge lines and was actively blowing/ transporting snow into shallow wind slabs.

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

Trace of new snow in the morning. N/NW winds building throughout the day and gusting 10-15mph on exposed ridges. Temps dropping throughout the day (high 20's down to mid to lower 20's F at 1200') as colder, dry air moved in from the north.

Snow surface

1300': Dust on breakable crust over ground.
1700': 5cm dry snow on semi-supportable crust.
2300 - 2700': 10-40cm dry snow depending on wind deposits.


1700': 5cm dry snow over semi-supportable crust over moist facets.

Pit at 2700': N aspect, 30 degree slope, HS: 55cm
10-40cm (4F) dry snow over moist facets/ rounds (1mm) at the ground.
ECTN13, CT11,13,15 all failed on moist facets/ rounds at the ground.

We jumped on a handful of small wind features but could not get any cracking to initiate.

Snowpack tests didn't show a super strong snowpack but the snow felt sluggish and without much energy to propagate. I'd expect that to change with more wind in the forecast.

Photos & Video
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