Avalanche: Portage / Placer

Location: Portage Valley

Route & General Observations

We toured up to treeline in Portage on Sunday, stopping to dig one pit on a north aspect at around 1400′. The snowpack was moist with a few saturated layers in the upper 5′. Rain picked up Sunday afternoon, and by Monday morning there was a large wet slab avalanche just below the Explorer glacier, about a mile away from where we had dug our pit.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Wet SlabAspect Northwest
Elevation 1300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth6ftWidth 200ft
Vertical Run 1000ft  
Weather & Snow Characteristics
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1-1.5" rain up to 1500-2000' elevation in 24 hours in the Portage Valley, starting Sunday afternoon and continuing into Monday. It has been 5 days without a solid refreeze at mid and lower elevations now.

Snow surface

There was a weak refreeze Saturday night, but surfaces were softening quickly by late Sunday morning on all aspects up to our high point of 1400’.


The snowpack is undergoing a transition from a cold and dry snowpack to a warm springtime snowpack. The snow in the upper 5’ of the snowpack is moist to wet, with multiple layers of saturated snow observed in the upper 3’.

Photos & Video
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