Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Bidarka Peak

Route & General Observations

Parked at the Indian Creek pass trail and had a long skin up Indian Valley. I hung a right about a handful of miles back up drainage across from Avalanche Mountain leading to North facing Bird Ridge Overlook, the Beak, and Peak 4055. Some minor debris was observed but looked to be from a previous day. We did notice a fresh Glide on lower Bird Ridge out near the Brown Bear West facing.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type GlideAspect West
Elevation 1700ftSlope Angle 38deg
Crown Depth4ftWidth 100ft
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Glide crack observed on low Bird ridge just above the Brown Bear bar.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Calm winds and clearing sky's when we left the trail head, on our second lap the winds ramped up into moderate range gusting to high. Cross slope loading with a low density 4-8 inches of new on a melt freeze supportable bed surface.

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

Mid level clouds which cleared by 11 am making for a beautiful day. Calm winds until about 4 pm then a jump into moderate --> high winds.

Snow surface

Leaving the trail head, there was a stout melt freeze crust with 2-8 inches of snow depending on elevation and a mix of wind effect and scouring at different locations and at elevations above treeline. Supportable melt freeze crust and or hard wind slab layer and 6-8 inches of low density pow on top.


We dug twice once at 3100ft finding a somewhat right side up snow pack that seemed to be bridged my a melt freeze crust with a hard wind slab layer below that. Although a lot of faceting was observed through out the rest of the snow pack as well as depth hoar. No alarming results were found in out pit test an ECTX, but we did manage to get propagation in overdrive at ECTP 32, 32cm's down just below the melt freeze crust on a faceted problem layer. TD was 165 at 3100 ft. Our second quick yielded a CT 22 at 3800 ft a few hundred feet from the summit. At that location the TD was 65 cm a much shallower snow pack mostly facets with significant depth hoar --> 3-4mm. With that being said the facets didn't the slab for concern sitting on top of them just low density new snow. Otherwise spotty isolated wind effect and scouring. A surprisingly good skiing product was harvested.

Photos & Video
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