April 1, 2017


South Fork Eagle River:

Obvious signs of instability (red flags):

  • Recent avalanches


  • Mostly cloudy with alpine temps in the lower 30s to lower 20s and light SE wind

Surface conditions:

  • Moist snow from trailhead to ~2500′
  • Variably wind affected, dense snow
  • Very bad riding conditions in North Bowl, slightly less bad on flank of Solstice Gully


Several recent natural avalanches in the South Fork Eagle River valley up to D2 in size on leeward top and cross loaded terrain features.  There were three widely propagating D1-D2 hard wind and persistent slabs that had released below the North Bowl cornice.  The upper Solstice Gully had also released naturally from cross loading.  D1 cornice fall triggered natural avalanche in Swiss Bowl as well.  Vis was not bad, but flat light limited observations from further distance and across the valley.

Pit on N Bowl approach above Hunter Pass at 3250′ N aspect was ECTN23 down ~18cm on BSH and NSF, but well bonded due to sticky and moist new snow – only propagated a fracture after prying from behind with shovel.

Pit location and obvious layer of buried surface hoar (not reactive in our pit, but expected to be reactive in other areas):