Observation: Portage / Placer

Location: Skookum G.

Route & General Observations

Placer River Valley to Skookum Glacier. Travelled up the Skookum and hooked a right toward Spencer Lake then gained the ridge into Squirrel Flats. Played in Squirrel and descended North route back to the Placer River Valley

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

A few D1-1.5 natural wind slabs on steep terrain above the Skookum G. A couple D1 snowmo triggered wind slabs in the Squirrel Flats area as well. Crowns were already blown back in. Significant downsloping winds coming off Byron Peak into Skookum Valley. Impressive wind transport off Carpathian mid-day!

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

Temps in the teens in the shade. Beginning to feel some solar warmth in the face if stopped in the sun! High clouds, no precip. Winds were the main weather input again today. Downsloping in Skookum Valley, and flagging (from SW) off high peaks.

Snow surface

Thick, breakable crust in Placer Valley. 4-6" soft snow in Skookum Valley on 1F wind slab. Also found a thin wind skin on the Surface in Skookum Valley up to 3800'. Wind skin was not present in the Squirrel Flats area.
Squirrel: Wind affected but not totally obliterated. Some soft snow to be found in protected trees.


No formal tests. Stressed a bunch of smaller test slopes with the sled with no results. All avalanches observed today were small and appeared to be fresh, shallow wind slabs in very steep terrain.

Photos & Video
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