Avalanche: Ketchikan

Location: Dude mountain, south ridge

Route & General Observations

We dug a snow pit on the north ridge (summer trail) of Dude Mountain on a northwest aspect at 2400’ elevation at 11 am Dec 26. The total snow depth was 190 cm. We had no results from our column compression test or our extended column test. The previous week’s weather was a mix of snow and rain with high winds (40-50 mph from the southeast and southwest on Dec 23). The skies cleared and temperatures dropped to just below freezing. The new snow depth at our pit site was about 6”, with a miserable breakable crust on top. We then went over the summit of Dude and saw that a large slab avalanche had released on The east/northeast aspect of Dude’s south ridge at about 2500’ in elevation.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Wet Slab
Aspect North NortheastElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 35degCrown Depth 18in
Width 600ftVertical Rununknown
Avalanche Details

The trigger, the size and the timing are just a guess. No significant snow was visible on the bed surface. We guessed it was a couple days old. We couldn’t see the debris field.

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