Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: McHugh Ridge above Honey Bear Lane

Route & General Observations

Quick couple of laps off the McHugh ridgeline above Honey Bear Lane. 60cm of settled new storm snow made for very challenging trail breaking. NE winds were blowing hard up high but lower/mid slopes remained mostly undisturbed. Upper slopes had constant active snow transport forming large soft wind slabs near ridgelines. Luckily no slabs were present on the slopes that could actually be skied. Lots and lots of low density snow ready for transport once SE winds begin to ramp up with the next system on Sunday.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Very active pluming coming off of all the peaks in the area from NE winds. There was a small dry loose avalanche across the valley off of Peak 2. Cracking on soft wind slabs higher up on the ridge

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

Clear with temps in the teens. Winds were light in the lower parts of the slope but steadily increased up to the ridgeline blowing steady at around 30-35 mph

Snow surface

Snow surface surprisingly stayed mostly undisturbed until mid slope where active wind transport was creating a very thin wind skin. Higher up on the ridge, conditions ranged from very large but soft wind drifts to exposed rock


Dug a quick pit lower down on the slope near treeline at about 2100 ft on a N facing slope. Total depth was 105cm with about 60cm of new very low density settled snow. Bottom third of snowpack consisted of several weak facet crust combos. No stability tests performed.

Photos & Video
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