Detailed Observation

Date2020-03-15
LocationEastern Alaska Range
ObserverRyan Tansey
AvalancheN

General Observations

Skinned about 4 miles up Fossil Creek south of Rainbow Ridge on 3/15.  Temperature around 15 degrees, little to no wind.  We observed evidence of heavy wind loading on southeast facing slopes at most elevations; as a result, many large cornices have formed on those aspects (one example included in the below photo).   However, no whumfing or signs of recent slides in our approximately 8 mile round trip.  We dug a pit on a northern aspect slope similar to terrain with some old avalanche debris (I didn’t take an elevation reading, but it was at the base of the first large peak on the right after emerging from the trees, near the first old debris field).  Compression test failures on 25 and 27.  First failure was about 12 inches down and appeared to be caused by buried surface hoar.  Second failure was approximately 24 inches deep, same likely cause.  We skinned and skied a south facing 25 degree slope that appeared to be protected from much of the wind loading.  The snow was soft (although grabby in places) and felt very stable. 

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