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Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Chugach State Park

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Quick after dinner tour into Chugach State Park to see how new snow is bonding to Friday’s surface. Deliberately avoided any avalanche terrain this evening.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Small, very localized cracking in the surface snow. Obvious upside down snowpack as observed elsewhere in southcentral Ak this weekend.

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

Partly cloudy, east winds gusting to 15mph. Temp was 35F at 2,000' (7PM).

Snow surface

Variable. Hard, supportable wind slab to breakable wind slab above treeline. New snow is moist (hot powder) at and below treeline, 4-6". The variable surface made for difficult skiing.

Snowpack

4-6" of new snow at and below treeline sitting on cold, low density powder from the beginning of the storm on Saturday. Hand shears were failing easily within the dry snow.
At and above treeline, pencil-hard wind slabs (~12" thick) were overlying the low density snow. Did not observe a lot of energy in the snowpack but the structure was quite poor (strong over weak snow). Classic upside down storm as temps spiked roughly 15 degrees from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. Sorry, no worthy photos from this evening.