March 10, 2016


Eagle River – South Fork – French & Swiss Bowls

Red flags (obvious signs of instability):

  • None observed


  • Partly cloudy with light S-SE wind and alpine temps in the upper 20s

Surface conditions:

  • Below ~2500′: thin and weak melt-freeze crust under a few cm’s of surface hoar and heavily faceted, dry surface snow
  • Above ~2500′: several cm’s of soft, dry wind-buffed powder on leeward terrain (excellent skiing); hard wind-packed snow or bare ground in exposed areas


French Bowl snowpit:

  • 3651′, 290* W aspect, 31* slope, 119cm height of snow
  • ECTN19 @ 90cm (down 29cm) 2cm 4F faceted layer between 1F wind slabs
  • CTM15 sudden collapse @ 15cm (down 104cm) on 4F depth hoar and facet chains above an early season melt-freeze crust
  • 2 layers of buried surface hoar identified in pits in this area earlier this season are still identifiable but were unreactive in snowpit testsFullSizeRender-1

The depth hoar and facet chains above the early season melt-freeze crust:FullSizeRender-10

Upper Ship Creek Valley:FullSizeRender-12

If you look closely, you can still see the outline of the D2.5 persistent slab avalanche that caught and carried a skier ~1000′ and killed a dog about two weeks ago (more info here and here); the debris path ends ~20 yards from the road and came within ~20 yards of structures on the property to the left of the path:FullSizeRender-11