Observation: Girdwood

Location: Max's

Route & General Observations

We toured up Max’s and skied a couple runs on the front side. We dug a pit at 2500′ on our way up to take a look at the upper pack after the strong winds over the past week and did not get any alarming test results. We thought about skiing down into Virgin Creek but decided against it with clouds moving in and out during the day.

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

We were flirting with the upper end of a low-level cloud, with some periods of sun and other times of almost vertigo conditions. Winds were light out of the southeast, with light snow most of the time we were out.

Snow surface

3-5" soft snow on top of old wind slabs once we got above treeline. There was a thin crust just below the surface up to about 1800'. We were getting some small sluffs above 2500'.


We dug two quick test pits at 2500' before we ascended the last steep pitch and did not see any alarming results in the upper 3' of the snowpack. Total snow depth was 365 cm, with the New Year's crust buried 150 cm deep and the Halloween crust buried 225 cm deep. Translation in American numbers: Total depth 12', NY crust 5' deep, Halloween crust 7.5' deep. Quite a different story from the pit I dug in Summit yesterday.

ECTN21 on a layer of decomposing precip. particles buried below a 1F hard wind slab, about a foot below the surface.

Photos & Video
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