Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Canyon Road

Route & General Observations

Solstice eve dawn patrol. Canyon Road and up to ~3,000′ on Peak 3 at the crack of 10a.

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

No obvious red flags today or Friday 12/18.

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

Overcast, temps in the teens. Winds light at the trailhead. 5-15mph from the SE at 3,000'.

Snow surface

4-6" of low density snow this morning on top of a 1-2cm drizzle crust (freezing fog from Wednesday 12/16). I skied this zone on Friday 12/18 and this thin breakable crust comprised the surface. Really does not negatively affect surface conditions but a layer to keep tabs on as subsequent storms are deposited.


No formal tests on Friday or today. Total height of snow was between 25-100cm. Several dense wind slabs comprise the lower half of the snowpack. Fist hard snow above and below the drizzle crust that was buried on 12/19. The 4-6" above the crust is likely to get blown into shallow wind slabs as this next storm system and wind event rolls in. I think th 12/19 drizzle crust will limit snow available for transport and keep fresh wind slabs relatively shallow. This crust may very well act as a bed surface/ facet production zone moving forward. Likely a good marker in the front range snowpack (again, buried 12/19) moving forward as it is quite widespread and up to at least 3,000'.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.