Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Hunter Pass

Route & General Observations

Toured up a little ways up the trail to practice beacon searches and dig a snow pit. Fluffy powder in the trees, 1” of fresh snow on top of a breakable wind crust sitting on top of faceted snow. Skies were sunny and beautiful to start, clouds rolled in and flat light came in. Ski out was choppy and rough.

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

Very localized cracking (just under boot area of skis). Cracking area was less than 10” in diameter.

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

28* at the start, sunny. Clouds quickly rolled in and flat light persisted.

Snow surface

Minor surface hoar present on top of fresh snow. Thick breakable wind crust was observed above tree line, skiing was tough dust on crust.


A thick, loose layer of facets was the most concerning approximately 25cm below the surface. This layer caused the most reaction in our tests. There were many wind crusts observed throughout the snow pit.

See pit profile and photos for details.

Also concerning was that after completing the ECT, while putting my shovel behind the block, the entire block failed to the ground. Appeared to have failed on basal facets.

Photos & Video
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