551 thoughts on “Avalanche, snow and weather Observations

  1. Thought i’d let everyone know that the big south faces are indeed in a nice corn cycle. . .

    A pseudo-alpine start brought me to the top of Goodwill’s about 1030 Wednesday morning. Skinned up the lower benches and headed up thru the mellow middle stuff towards the headwall where i then cramponed up the face.
    Very firm and supportive the whole time while ascending. Lower headwall was mildly punchy, top headwall was nicely solid the whole way up.
    Skied down just after 1100 and the corn was delectable.
    Lower benches are rotting out nicely in the afternoon . . .

    Did somebody call a moratorium on ski touring? I’ts beautimus out there; where is everybody?

  2. More vague talk of 2 more human triggered avalanches with involvements in the last several days. Possible airbag deployments as well? That is 3 accounts in the last week. If you know of any of these details please share so all can learn from situation and snow conditions.

    It seems that warm temps are settling out and bonding the recent snow incredibly fast, yet watch the buried, weaker snow just above old crusts….seems the likely culprit in the recent events.

    Can you say “high pressure”? Enjoy it out there!

  3. Here’s good information from the trip report by Brian Robinson with the Alpine Club out of Fairbanks.
    We awoke Saturday [April 30] to light snow and poor visibility. Our primary skiing
    objectives were completely socked in so we dropped down the south side of
    the pass at lower elevation where visibility was good. Here the snow was a
    bit slushy but at least we could see. Our column test at ~1,500 ft, N
    aspect, did not fracture. Wet slides were our main concern but we didn’t
    see any evidence of slides in the area. Once weather started to pick up we
    headed down. We skied about 2000 ft of vert, mostly in trees, in somewhat
    wet snow. In the evening we headed in to Valdez. On Sunday morning, we
    awoke to a fresh snow. Visibility was much better so we skinned up towards
    Girls Mtn (6,134 ft.). We skied lower angle slopes west of Girls Mountain.
    Snow here was stable and very enjoyable. With the sun out and having gotten
    in some good turns it was hard to leave Thompson Pass.

  4. I heard a vague second-hand report of an airbag deployed involvement May 3 off the top of Berlin Wall at Milepost 30. If so, that would be a north aspect below 5700 feet elevation. The description is of a hard slab triggered to a foot and a half deep resulting in a ride over rocky terrain (yikes). My two takeaways are that a hard slab releasing in May means there’s still winter conditions up high on north aspects (there has been a lot of snowfall up there recently), and that slab sits over a preserved weakness, possibly some form of facets.

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