Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Magpie

Route & General Observations

Cruised up the road to the Crow Pass trailhead, negotiated the creek and made our way up to the top of the alders in the Magpie bowl. Descended without incident, ski cutting a small test slope with productive results.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Northwest
Elevation 2700ftSlope Angle 38deg
Crown Depth 20inWidth 20ft
Vertical Run 10ft  
Avalanche Details

Ski cut a small test slope on the way down, broke at my skis and propagated 20 feet forward down the slope

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

Shooting cracks, rapid warming, strong winds, moderate snow transport, and recent natural avalanches were all observed.

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

The approaching storm was ramping up throughout the tour, increasing winds and deteriorating visibility.

Snow surface

Wind textured soft snow with 1F breakable layer of wind hardened snow below 15cm below the surface.


Dug a pit just above the last group of alders at 3100'. Slope angle was 24°, HS of only 138 cm, but a mostly similar structure reflecting the widespread set up around the region. 30 cm of soft but progressively stiffer F, 4F and 1F snow sitting on an impressive 20 cm band of facets and the stout P halloween crust with 1F snow to the ground below. CT 13 and ECTP 13, sudden collapse at the facets/crust interface 50 cm down.