Avalanche: Portage / Placer

Location: Squirrel flats

Route & General Observations

Placer river Valley to standard (north) uptrack.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 24inWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Widespread natural avalanche cycle from 1/26-28 storm. Storm slabs observed as low as 700' and up to ~2,000. We did see some larger debris piles on Comet Glacier (start zones closer to 3K) but crowns were obscured.

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

Several storm slabs all appeared to be ~2' deep, relegated to 1/26-28 storm snow. Very little to no wind effect in this area.

Also observed several debris piles running to Placer Valley bottom in channeled terrain on west side of the Valley.

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

Like riding inside of a ping pong ball! Clouds were in and out but mostly in. Temps in the mid-20's in Vally bottom, mid-teens at 2K. Winds were nonexistent and no new precip falling today.....just spent the day inside a cloud!

Snow surface

4" breakable crust below 500' made for tricky riding. Crust goes away quickly and snow surface transitions to deep powder around 700-1000'. Boot pen = crotch deep.


Snowpit #1: 2230', South aspect, 26 degree slope.
ECTN21 down ~60cm on very thin drizzle crust noted in Wendy's obs from last Tuesday. Also marks the storm snow depth.

Snowpit #2: 1550', North aspect, 21 degree slope.
ECTN26 down ~65cm on same layer as above.

Takeaway, storm slab seems to be healing well. All avalanche activity observed today appeared to be mid-storm or on the tail end of the storm (yesterday morning) and relegated to storm snow. Some crowns were quite wide (~200') in the mid-elevations, thin drizzle crust is likely culprit. Stressed a few smaller test slopes with the sled, no result.

Photos & Video
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