Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Rendevous Pass

Route & General Observations

We toured down the South Fork Trail hoping to find some sheltered snow for good turns around Rendezvous Pass. We didn’t.
Even in fairly well sheltered locations there is a 5cm soft wind crust on the surface.

Except for a few short shooting cracks when skinning above our recent skin track, to see what would happen with unsupported snow, we didn’t see any red flags.

We did not get to the top of the ridgeline or any summits. It is very possible that there are more reactive slabs in the upper elevations along ridgelines, places where the wind loading was more significant. The snow quality was not good enough to make us want to climb up there.
We explored only on aspects on the east side of the ridge, we did not go onto any aspects on the west side of the spine. We skied a SSE aspect.

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

calm and mostly clear, temps in the 20s

Snow surface

most surfaces were wind packed hard and could support a skier, but intermittent breakable crusts made the ski quality pretty poor.
Very localized sheltered areas did harbor some actual soft snow, but these were small areas and tough to string together into a good run.


We dug a pit at 2700ft on a NNW slope, 25deg slope.
155cm depth of snow, we dug to ground.
see photos for hardness profile

CTVsp (failed while placing shovel on column) @5cm down
CT13pc @20cm down
CT24rp @30cm down

ECTN V (failed while placing shovel on column) @5cm down similar failure to the CT,
ECTN 22 @30cm down
Our pit tests and our general observations while touring did not indicate a likelihood for propagation in the snow pack, but the strength and structure in the top of the snowpack is pretty poor.

Photos & Video
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