|Region:||Anchorage Front Range|
|Location:||McHugh North ridge near summer trail|
Route & General Observations
Toured W aspect of McHugh Peak to 3100′ on north shoulder and summer trail.
Obvious signs of instability
|Recent Avalanches?||No||Collapsing (Whumphing)?||No||Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||Yes|
Ridge top pluming observed in morning due to northerly winds. Fresh, soft and touchy windslabs encountered on leeward aspects. Shooting cracks observed in these wind slabs on test slopes and able to easily trigger D-0.5 windslabs on these small test slopes on southerly aspects.
Clear skies. Temps in mid teens. N wind estimated at 20+mph (based on arctic valley weather station) and large wind pluming noted along ridgelines in morning. By 5 pm, wind was calm to light out of the north.
Variable conditions along W aspect uptrack. Below alderline, 6" of soft, wind deposited snow sat on a supportable melt freeze crust with basal facets and depth hoar sitting below. Isolated pockets of fresh windslabs on leeward aspects from morning winds were present. HS along up track and below 2300' (alder line) varied from 1'-3' deep with basal facets comprising roughly 40% of snow pack. Above 2300', most west aspects were wind scoured down the stout crust/ground with intermittent pockets of wind deposited snow.
Pole probes consistently showed upside down snowpack with denser wind deposited snow and crusts sitting on basal facets. Hand pits varied from unreactive to failure upon isolation on slab/basal facet interface. Wind loaded test slopes proved touchy, with both shooting cracks and small slides when stomped on (see photo). No formal pits were dug.