Observation: Girdwood

Location: Maxes SW Face

Route & General Observations

Standard route to the top of the trees topping out at 2550′ where the terrain becomes steeper. Descended the shoulder and down through the trees without incident.

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

A handful of recent avalanches observed around the valley.

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

Clear, calm winds, super cold.

Snow surface

Low desity fluff, new stellars mixed with some surface crystals, light wind texture near the ridge above the trees.


Hand pits found no slab characteristics in the top 20 cm, only red flag observed on the way up was the recent natural avalanches around the valley. Dug a pit on the SW facing 30° slope the top of the trees at 2550', finding 60cm of progressively stiffer F, to 4F to 1F snow sitting on the the 10 cm band of fist-hardness snow with some stiffer 1F snow and then the knife hardness halloween crust below. Two compression tests found CT 20, sudden collapse, on a smooth planar bed surface 70 cm below the surface.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.