Observation: Girdwood

Location: Notch Mountain

Route & General Observations

Toured up to the ridge at 2400′ near the Cabin on Notch Mountain.

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

Clearing skies throughout the day and dropping temperatures. Calm to light winds.

Snow surface

About 4" of new snow at 1000' on our way up. Closer to 6" new snow above 1500'. Trail breaking about 1-1.5' deep above 1500'. Snow surface was slightly firmer due to some wind affect at upper elevations near the ridgeline.


We dug two pits on the way up to get a better sense of the snowpack structure at different elevations. First pit at 1750' had a 20 cm thick melt freeze crust down 55 cm from the Christmas storm. This was pretty hard to cut through in our stability tests and is adding a lot of strength to the upper snowpack at lower elevations. The 6" of new snow failed easily in ECT and CT tests (3 taps) but did not have propagation in the ECT. I didn't see any surface hoar under the new snow, but forgot to look closely.

Our upper pit at 2300' had a 5 cm thick melt freeze crust from the Christmas storm that was 90 cm down. The Thanksgiving crust was 150 cm down and still had notable weak layer of 2-3 mm rounding facets on top. Due to the depth of the weak layer and time constraints we did not do any stability tests at this upper pit. Just dug to the ground to make sure we were correctly identifying the layers.

Photos & Video
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