Observation: Girdwood

Location: Max's Mountain

Route & General Observations

Standard route up Max’s West Ridge to 2450′.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

None observed

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

30F at car and mid-20F's at 2450'
Thick mid-elevation fog w/ ice fog sticking to alders and trees
Light NW wind above 2000'

Snow surface

300' - 1300' -mostly supportable melt freeze crust in the understory of the hemlock
1300': 1" loose on a 1" breakable crust with F hard snow below crust and a second 4" crust below that. See photo
1600': the upper crust disappears with 5" of loose snow on lower crust
2000'- 2450': 6-8" of loose surface snow. The lower crust is not noticeable with pole probing in this elevation band


Test pit at 2450', West aspect, 30* slope, HS=146cm - Dug to the ground and our only layer of concern was (.5mm) facets mixed w decomposing fragments under a 2cm melt freeze crust. This layer was 4F hard and 4cm thick. Compression Tests failed with strong force (CT22, CT23 Q2) Extended Column tests were mixed (ECTX, ECTP29 PC) The second extended column progressively propagated between 26 and 29 taps. There was a pencil hard (+/_) melt freeze crust in the bottom 25cm of the snowpack. The ground interface had some moist melt forms and rounding facets.

We also dug a pit at 2400', but found chunks of debris within the top 50cm above the same m/f crust.

Photos & Video
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