Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Harp Mountain Trailhead

Route & General Observations

Trailhead observation after bailing on skiing! Skied up less than a thousand feet from trailhead to dig a pit. Barely supportable on the short, tentative ski out.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Saturated and unconsolidated snow has been reported in the lower elevations of South Fork by others informally today as well. As the warm days continue, we know from the past that large natural wet slabs can begin to occur. This is due to the faceted snow at the base of the snowpack. We know it's reactive due to the extent of avalanches during the past 10 days.

Thanks to Lizzy for writing in as we should keep a heads up. Also of note, the slab avalanches reported below were from a week to 10 days ago (April 12-14 time frame).

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

From the road, we observed several recent-ish D2+ slides on N and NW facing aspects (all across the valley from Harp).
On the Harp side of the valley there were some roller ball and point releases on S and SW facing aspects.

Rapid melting in recent days.

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

Thin overcast to sunny, minimal breeze.

Snow surface

Skiff of fresh, light overnight snow over variably supportive melt-freeze crust.


Skiff to 2 inches of snow on top of a 4cm hard crust, then moderately wet Slurpee isothermal snow to the ground. Snow depth total 90cm. Slope was 25 degrees.

ECTPV @ 4cm crust.
ECTP25 @ 40, slid with gusto. Seemed to slide on a layer where water had been running horizontally through the snowpack.

Photos & Video
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