Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Peak 3

Route & General Observations

Standard up track to Peak 3 to look at facets around the Thanksgiving crust and to see how the recent wind event affected the snowpack. We had concerning pit results on a weak layer buried a foot or so deep and this points to the potential for a person to trigger a large avalanche.

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

9:30am - No wind, clear skies, no precip
10:30am- light wind, clear skies, no precip
11:30am- light to moderate wind, broken skies, no precip
12:00pm- moderate wind, broken skies, no precip

Snow surface

The snow surface was wind-affected, with both scoured and wind-loaded areas. Inside the Peak 3 gully we found sheltered pockets of ~8" of soft snow.


Snow depths ranged greatly on our tour. We observed bare ground to over 4 feet in wind-deposited locations. We dug two snow pits, each on the same aspect and elevation band. Facets were moist at the base of the snowpack.

Snowpit Info:
Height of snowpack: 40-80cm
Location: Peak 3
Elevation: 3,000'
Aspect: W
Slope: 32 degrees
Test Results: We observed propagation (showing poor stability) on the thin layer of facets above the Thanksgiving crust (one pit ECTP3 and one pit ECTP26). These results suggest poor stability.

Photos & Video
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