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Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Goat Head Couloir (mile 107)

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Parked at 107 and booted up . Left the main stem at the climbers left junction. Continued up that stem until just below the ridge.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Wet Slab
Aspect South SoutheastElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 40degCrown Depthunknown
WidthunknownVertical Run 1500ft
Avalanche Details

We started ascending in a low fog that kept the temperatures down. We came out of the fog at roughly 1700” and it became much hotter. The boot pack was firm and fun with solid penetrations. After transitioning, I had pulled out to a safe spot just above the junction of the climbers left and the left-left couloir when a large wet avalanche came down the left-left path. The slide left icy runnels of up to 2’ in the slope below making the descent difficult. I proceeded on skis while my partner descended with crampons and an axe. My partner moved much faster than me. When we descended into the main stem, it had also slid while we were above. The debris pile from the two combined slides stopped at the slope break in the couloir and was about 150' long and mostly waist high with some being up to shoulder high.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

We didn’t see any debris or evidence of prior activity. There was rapid warming.

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

Started at 15degF warming to ambient 28degF., and much warmer near the rock. No wind.

Snow surface

Before the avalanches the snow surface was tracked out soft carvable. After the avalanches there were large icy runnels and exposed rocks and alders.

Snowpack

No testing performed. No layers observed. Boot penetration did not exceed 2-3” while kicking steps.