Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Bear Valley

Route & General Observations

Up S-SW aspect in Bear Valley towards the McHugh Ridgeline. Winds increasing from the North during the hour long outing. Great skiing, but conditions were forming into more typical Front Range wind affected snow quickly with associated wind slabs and whumphing in loaded terrain.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Large whumphs in wind loaded terrain above 2000'. Saw another skier kick off a small wind slab just below the ridgeline.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Clear with increasing winds. Snow plumes visible on surrounding ridgelines and active loading visible on S and SW aspects from N winds.

Snow surface

Fresh snow rapidly becoming wind affected and forming into wind slabs. Tracks were almost filled in at higher elevations in about 15 minutes. Great powder skiing from 3000' down to the car.


No pit dug but some hand pits and probing. The pack was more variable than expected with crusts at varying depth and fresh snow ranging from knee deep to a trace. The area gets strong winds which I think leads to the variable snowpack.