Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Falls Creek

Route & General Observations

High point at 3600 ft on Falls Peak. 6 in. of new storm snow overnight. Significant wind loading at the top of the Falls Peak north chute, but limited to above where the avalanches were triggered.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect North
Elevation 3500ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown Depth 18inWidth 100ft
Vertical Run 500ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Avalanche Details

After multiple ski cuts with no results targeting the slab from last two storms, our group of four descended the north facing chute of Falls Peak. I skied a little way down then pulled off in a safe spot. Skier #2 then skied the length of the chute without causing any avalanches. Skiers #3 and #4 then skied to a safe spot about half ways down without causing any avalanches. I then continued skiing on the skier's left side of the chute and within two turns a pocket avalanche broke near my feet. Crown depth up to 18 inches, approx. 40 ft wide by 40 ft long. I skied off the slab watched that no more propagation occurred then continued skiing. The bed surface was hard and icy. I skied right off the bed surface and immediately felt the snow around me start to move again. The avalanche broke 25 feet above me and to the left and the right. I skied back to the left and off the moving slab - by the time I was off the slab the snow was moving fast and powerfully. The crown was up to 18 inches deep and propagated 100 ft to the skier's right where it was limited by edge of the chute, it also propagated downhill the length of the chute passing all three skiers in their safe spots. Propagation to the skier's left appeared to be limited by the first avalanche. The debris continued to the valley floor below the apron with a large powder cloud that washed up and over the cliffs of the chute walls. The bed surface was again very hard and icy. Both avalanches slide on facets below a pencil hard wind crust below the snow from the most two recent storms.

Events of the day

On the ascent, noticed a small natural avalanche limited to the storm snow come off the west face of Falls Peak on the ascent. On the descent, noticed a larger natural avalanche below the alder line on the west face of Fall Peak. The crown on this slide was several hundred feet long and about 12" deep, vertical run was short, but may have been limited by terrain, unclear if it was limited to the recent storm snow.

Rescue events


Photos & Video
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