Observation: Summit

Location: Summit Lake - Japanese Trees

Route & General Observations

Followed the skin track off the west side of the Seward Highway by Summit Lake to about 2,200 feet, where we dug a pit before continuing upslope until the wind affect on the snow surface became more pronounced. Clear, sunny weather with pleasant temperatures.

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

Evidence of recent avalanches along the Seward Highway corridor in the Summit area.

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

No new snow very recently, clear skies, comfortable temperatures (perhaps low 20s), little wind on this day.

Snow surface

Storm snow from a couple days earlier had set up a pleasant top layer for skiing, but pole probes off the skin track continually indicated a problem layer a foot or so down, with another harder, breakable layer below even that.


Pin location on the map indicates where we dug a pit. Snowpack at that location was about 130cm deep.

Test results: ECTN15, with initial failure 22cm below the surface on a softer weak layer. (Assuming that's under the snow that accumulated from last week's storm.) Continued taps yielded another failure 13 taps later on a slightly firmer layer 44cm below the surface of the snow.