April 3, 2016


Front Range: Rabbit Creek & McHugh Creek headwaters

Red flags (obvious signs of instability):

Isolated, very small and thin micro wind slabs upper elevation leeward terrain


Mostly sunny with light wind and alpine temps in the upper 20s

Surface conditions:

Generally solid melt-freeze crust to ~3500′ across all aspects (softening to very high quality corn in some areas by late afternoon; great day to harvest)

Above 3500′ snow is variable (e.g. dust on solid and supportable crust, superficial and carve-able crust, boot-top deep powder)


Moderate to hard shears (primarily Q3 breaks, or very resistant planar) in hand pits south to northeast aspects 3500-5000′.  Cold upper elevation temperatures kept stability issues due to warming and sun in check.

Eagle River: South Fork

Route and General Observations:
Toured to Hunter Pass, up the north ridge of North Bowl, dug a pit before completely gaining the ridge, then a few turns on the NE aspect of 3965, then two laps in North Bowl. Some great skiing to be had out there!

Sun, sun, sun. Temp at trailhead at 9:00 AM – 24* F, wind 1G5, SE. Ridgetop temp at 12:00 PM – 32*F, wind 2G8 N, temp at trailhead at 1:00 PM – 37*F.

Red Flags and Recent Avalanches:
-None. There was a soft slab or wind slab in a gully between the observed slides from April 1 and the D2 skier triggered slide lookers right of Hunter Pass, but I don’t know if it was actually recent. Looked to be D2, no other information known.

Snow Surface:
-Mostly melt-freeze on solar aspects, some sastrugi near ridgelines, carveable powder on a stout melt freeze crust in North Bowl (upper elevations only). Pockets of graupel and powder on north aspects.

-Dug a pit on the north ridge of 3965, above Hunter Pass. Aspect – N. Slope angle – 18*, Elevation – 3500′. HS = 185 cm. Test Depth = 95 cm.


Shovel Tilt – No results.
CT8, RP @ 10 cm from surface (on ice crust).

When we pulled our isolated columns out, they slid out on a very planar interface @ about 80 cm from the surface that we didn’t notice initially in our pit sidewall. There were very small facets sandwiched between P hard layers. We got no test results from this layer.

~Sam GaloobIMG_3346