Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: French Bowl and North Bowl

Route & General Observations

We started at the South Fork Valley Trailhead, headed up to Hunter Pass, then traversed the ridge line to get back to French Bowl. We skied North Bowl on our way home. Because of the nice visibility, we wanted to get up high to see what the snowpack was doing at upper elevations and to get good views of the mountains in the area.

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

11:00 am- Broken skies, no precip, no wind
12: 00 pm- Cloud cover moving in, no precip, moderate winds from the north
1: 00 pm- Whiteout, low visibility, moderate winds from the north
2:30 pm- Clear skies, no precip, light breeze from the north

Snow surface

6-8" of new snow on top of a supportable crust was present in both French Bowl and North Bowl. Widespread rimed surface hoar was seen on our way up. The ridge traverse conditions varied from bare ground to wind-affected snow. On our way back- many of the exposed ridges did not have surface hoar anymore. The surface hoar had blown away in the wind.


We dug two snow pits right next to each other. This is what we found:

Location: French Bowl
Elevation: 3,500'
Aspect: SW
Slope: 10 degrees
Tests: Both pits- ECTX. No propogation was found in our pits. The snowpack in our pits was relatively right-side up and demonstrated signs of stability. We felt comfortable skiing North Bowl and French Bowl. That being said, we are monitoring the facets at the base of the snowpack, the thin layer of facets midway through the snowpack as well as the new surface hoar.

Photos & Video
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