Avalanche: Girdwood

Location: Upper Girdwood Valley (Crow Ck drainage)

Route & General Observations

Toured up to a high point of 4,600′. Many wet loose avalanche in the past couple days on steep south faces.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Wet Loose SnowAspect South
Elevation 5000ftSlope Angle 60deg
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

A few small wet loose slides seen today on very steep rocky southerly slopes.

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

South facing slopes had widespread wet loose avalanche activity over the past 24-48 hours. We noticed a few wet/mist slabs that were triggered by wet loose debris running over them. See photo. Only very small roller balls and wet sluffs were see today. The majority of this activity is most likely from Monday 2/25.

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

Sunny, light westerly winds, temps in the 20'sF.

Snow surface

Snow surface was mix of soft faceting snow, wind crust and sun crust. We avoided the severely wind affected areas as they were easy to see.


Two pits today to look at the top 2.5' of the snowpack. The slab avalanches that pulled out in the photo below are likely to have failed on what we are calling the Valentine's layer, which is a combination of small facets and crusts in areas. The layer was buried just after Valentine's day and sits under the 10-16" of settled storm snow from last week (2/16-2/20). Direct sun warming the slab was a likely contributing factor as well as the debris running over it as the trigger. No other slab avalanches were seen.

Pit #1: 3,000', East, 20 deg
ECTP 21 down 14" (35cm) on the Valentine's facets

Pit #2: 4,600', South, 30 deg
ECTN 21 down 8" (20cm) on the Valentine's facets

Photos & Video
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