Observation: Summit

Location: North Gilpatrick

Route & General Observations

Toured up to approx. 2,700’ and found ample evidence of strong winds during the past few days.



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

There were some small pockets of wind effected surface snow that broke a couple inches deep around our skis, but we did not see any cracks that shot away from us. We also saw two very small naturally released wind slabs from some time in the past several days. Maximum crown depth was maybe a foot, and they occurred in places which were just steep enough to break and begin to separate into pieces of slab, but didn’t travel more than a few feet downhill.

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

Overcast, mid-20s F, mostly calm to light winds through 2:30p. Started to snow at 2:00p, but not enough to accumulate.

Snow surface

All the different flavors of wind effects, from soft tender wind skins a few inches thick to very firm slab that you could barely kick an edge into for a skintrack.


No pit or formal instability tests performed.
We took lots of opportunities to kick and stomp on the various wind pockets. Generally found that the more exposed areas at higher elevation held firmer and thicker wind slab that was completely unreactive. The more protected areas harbored softer and thinner wind slabs that would break under our skis but not further.

Photos & Video
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