Observation: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain

Route & General Observations

Up the cat track, short tour in the trees, and then up to the cabin. It seemed like a good idea but the cat track had minimal snow (~6”) so hard going; logs, bushes, and occasional water on the trail. Pole tips were frozen balls of ice at times. Once out of the trees, snow cover was better but still fairly rough going. The trip down was…interesting.

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

Clear and cold. Minus 3 F at parking lot around 10 am and 3 degrees F above zero at our high point above the cabin around 2 pm. Very little to no wind all day.

Snow surface

About 6-10 inches of soft, sugary snow at the surface that was sitting on top of a rock hard layer that did not yield to pole handle jabs. Didn’t observe any wind effect or slabs but we were mostly in the trees.


No formal pits dug but several hand pits along the way were all very similar. A very hard layer just under the sugary snow that was very hard to dig through by hand. We could see the potential for dry loose slides but couldn’t get these to really get going on some of the steeper pillows we tested. The peak just above the cabin still has many rock outcrops that are not completely covered by snow.

Photos & Video
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