Observation: Girdwood

Location: Winner Creek trail - First major avalanche chute crossed

Route & General Observations

Observation from Winner Creek trail – the first major avalanche chute you cross once you start heading along the sidehill section (if you can’t use the beaver pond crossing).

Winner creek trail to upper valley. breakable crust under a little fresh powder. Also went out on January 2nd, the crust was less breakable under 4 inches or so of heavier powder. These are post event observations for general data collection. This is a place that frequently releases naturally– quite predictable that there would be signs of an impressive slide here.

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

Just an observation that big avalanches, that often release and deposit debris across Winner Creek trail, had released in the huge Christmas storm. It left a big pile of debris across the trail... crossed it on Jan 2 when there was a better snowpack on top, but it was the iciest, jumble challenge of avalanche debris in a long time. That slide path is stable until the next big storm. Didn't get out as far as the next band of avalanche chutes.

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

Just below freezing on the 27th, that inversion on the 2nd, making it 5 down at the valley bottom, about 15 up on the trail along the hill.

Snow surface

Settled powder, 2-4 inches?


An inch thick rain crust on top of hoar frost.