Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Peak 4

Route & General Observations

Standard up track to Peak 4 to monitor general trends in the snowpack in a high-traffic spot. The parking lot was plowed but not sanded and a little icy on the drive up.

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

Overcast skies, ~25F to 35F most of the day, no precipitation, mostly no wind with small bursts of moderate wind from the SW

Snow surface

The wind has transported most of the snow early this week so we observed either mostly bare ground or gullies filled with wind-deposited snow.

At the top of our ski descent, the first ~500 to 1000' of the run was lighter, softer snow with a faint wind skin layer that did not affect riding conditions. At lower elevations (below 3,000') the snow surface conditions changed to a variable punchy wind crust layer.


The snowpack structure was still pretty "wintery" (meaning it was not rounding and had not switched to isothermal snow yet).

There was a thin wind layer on top of the recent snow that we received over the past week. Underneath those layers was a thin, brittle melt-freeze crust with facets underneath the melt-freeze crust. Under that, we found a wind slab on top of developed facets on top of chained depth hoar.

We got no concerning test results. However, overall the structure is still poor at higher elevations.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.