Observation: Girdwood

Location: Max's

Route & General Observations

Went out for a short afternoon tour and ended up following skin tracks heading onto 30 degree plus unsupported slopes. At this point, experienced some instability with cracking and hollow sounding snowpack. Things just didn’t feel right and headed back towards more protected terrain. Decided to dig a quick pit down 1 meter before continuing toward the summit. Had an immediate failure (CTV) on isolation in the top 9 inches of snow failing on a crust layer. However, subsequent extended column test had no result (ECTX). I didn’t have a snow saw to make cuts, therefore I used did a ski pole. Maybe the reason for such different results.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Overcast with light snow ( 1 cm / hr), No wind.

Snow surface

Settled and wind affected.


Multiple crust layers with active faceting. Instability in top 9 inches with CT column failure on isolation.

Photos & Video
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