Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Hanging Valley/South Fork Eagle River

Route & General Observations

Toured from Harp Mtn trailhead towards Hanging Valley in the wonderous snowy weather to remember what it looks like when it snows in the front range

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

Observed very frequent, widespread, small to large natural dry loose 'waterfalling' from the high rocky faces throughout the morning
Observed debris of small to large natural wet loose avalanches along southerly aspects along with many large cornice fall debris from previous days of warm and sunny weather (pics below)
Notably, the largest of the cornice chunks looked to have triggered a very small slab avalanche in a chute facing SSW (pic below)

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

Overcast skies with mostly obscured ridges throughout the day, around 12pm, cloud ceiling lowered obscuring most mtn faces from view.
Light snowfall in the morning (S-1), noticeably increasing (S1) as we got deeper into Hanging Valley where there seemed to be slightly more new snow than at the trailhead
Temps felt quite warm with the trailhead being just barely above the rain/snow line. 32F at car in the morning
Calm winds throughout the morning

Snow surface

At trailhead at 8am, there was trace to ~1cm of new snow at best. Once we got deeper into the valley, new snow amounts were ~3-4cm on average. New snow was light, fluffy and slightly rimed. Under the new snow there was a widespread stout melt-freeze crust


Under the new snow, snowpack depths were highly variable as expected, lots of exposed ground. No formal pits were dug.

Photos & Video
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