Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Front Range

Route & General Observations

On Saturday morning we left the Glen Alps parking lot and headed up the Powerline Pass trail. The plan was to ski the S couloir then work our way North skiing a series of N facing couloirs. However, upon climbing the S couloir we found a variety of near-surface and surface snow conditions that we didn’t like. These ranged from 8 inch deep graupel and hail overlain by 3 inches of new snow, thin melt freeze crust, roller balls/pinwheels, hard bed surface from gouging wet slides, hard bed surface from dry sloughs, and dry soft wind slab near the top. However, hoping to gain insight into what we might find on similar aspects and elevations, we continued to near the top. Upon descending sun softened snow was already present on low angle north facing terrain. Given or findings we then changed our gameplan and skied SW and W facing terrain on Peak 4, Peak 3, and Flattop. We found generally supportable melt-freeze crust on these solar aspects, except of course near rocks and thin spots in the snowpack.

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

Clear, calm, hot.

Snow surface