Recreational Observation

Standard route to Surprise Gap

April 9, 2016, 10 a.m. PST

Snowpack: Icy crust on some softer snow due to north-facing run-out area.

Area Description: Surprise Gap

Avalanches: I did not see the trigger, but presumably this was a cornice failure on Surprise Mountain. While approaching the gap I heard a very loud noise followed by a snow cloud high up Surprise Mountain on what's usually the biggest avalanche path. There were multiple previous avalanches, but this one was significantly larger than anything that happened previously. The avalanche carried some rocks and soil down the mountain in a series of large bumps (see photo). The time of the day (10am) and the huge size after already a couple of warm days was surprising to me. I have some more photos on the Flickr set for my trip: and a description of the incident in my NWHikers trip report:

Observation by Martin Bravengboer

Latitude: 47.742017

Longitude: -121.027756

Did you see any avalanches? Yes

Did you trigger any avalanches? No

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No