Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Peak 3

Route & General Observations

We skied the normal Peak 3 route starting at 10am. We saw crowns from 2 natural avalanches, one on Avalanche Pass, the other on O’Malley.

On Peak 3 we didn’t see any signs of instability in Ship Creek drainage, but no formal stability tests done. Snowpack is the usual highly variable Peak 3 Puzzle Pieces. Pole probing along the uptrack generally found 85-130cm snowpack. There was about 10-15cm of good powder on top of a strong slab. The bottom 10-25cm near the ground was often a “drop”, when the pole just fell to the ground, but this base weak layer was not wide spread.
We started skinning in heavy cloud cover and the North wind just started to turn on during our way up, so wind transport was just starting for the day. Wednesday snow fell on a southerly wind, and it was switching 180deg, lots of loose snow available for transport in to new slabs on the opposite aspect.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Southwest
Elevation 3600ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 1000ft
Vertical Run 200ft  
Avalanche Details

Details entered here for the slide seen on Avalanche Pass, since it seems more recent. Stats are best guesses based upon looking at a topo map and comparing with the photos.

Details for the O'Malley slide are:
elevation 4,100ft, SSW aspect, 200ft wide, 1300ft vertical run

Photos & Video
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