Avalanche: Portage / Placer

Location: Placer Valley

Route & General Observations

Photos of several natural avalanches and one sled triggered slab that were passed along to the avalanche center. This is from the Squirrel Flats area that sits just above the Placer Valley. Photos all taken Thursday, January 4th, by Jeff Dennis. Thank you for getting us this info!

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect West
Elevation 2300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth2ftWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Many natural storm slab avalanches, likely occurred on Wednesday 1/3. Zoom in on the photos, most of the steeper rolls around 2,000-2,500' avalanched. They were on mostly south and west aspects. Slabs estimated at 2-3' deep and vary in width.

One smaller slab was triggered by a rider sidehilling, last photo.

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

Recent avalanches.

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

18" of new heavy snow was reported at 1,500' and around 3' around 2,500'. This area saw more snow than Turnagain during the 1/3 storm.
Surface crust from the rain earlier up to 1,500' ish.


We know that the old snow surface became weak and faceted during the cold clear spell, and even has some surface hoar on top in places. Both these layers can cause a poor bond with new snow and produce avalanches like this. Therefore, it's likely that the new snow (2-3') won't bond as quickly as we'd like. Triggering similar slab avalanches could be easy to do for several days.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.