Observation: Girdwood

Location: Milk Glacier

Route & General Observations

Toured to 5,000 ft ASL on the Milk via the Crow Pass trail to Barnes Mountain. Obviously along the Crow Pass trail avalanches have run to the ground and the valley floor from the recent avalanche cycle. Additional recent large avalanches occurred above the Milk both on and off of glaciated terrain. Turned around at the headwall of the Milk upon experiencing a collapse so loud that I thought it was an airplane flying overhead. Lead skier immediately dug a pit on the 30 degree slope with result of ECTP13. Second pit 40 meters away on 20 degree slope produced ECTP0. Both failures were clean and energetic and occurred on a layer of buried facets between two dense layers 25 cm down. Height of snow on ice ~ 70 cm. At this point determined it was likely that observed widespread avalanches were not solely due to recent warm weather and rain.

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

Powder, suncrust, raincrust, windslab, rocks, tundra, ice.

Photos & Video
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