Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Rendezvous Peak-Avalanche Gully

Route & General Observations

Toured up cat track to the Gordon Lyon-Rendezvous Peak pass and along N shoulder to summit of Rendezvous Peak.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

On the flats (especially in thinner areas and where taller shrubbery was hiding under the snow) we experienced large settling and deep skinning (1' penetration with skis on) due to the isothermal nature of the snow and facet gardens around the shrubs.

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

Partly sunny, moderate winds out of the South gusting to 15 mph, temp 32F. Clouds building towards Eagle River.

Snow surface

HN=0, snow surface on the flats and southern aspects were wet and isothermal. Northerly aspects had a stout crust, presumably melt freeze or potentially wind affected, with 1cm softened moist snow. All northerly aspects (Arctic Valley terrain), were heavily tracked out. Some faceting and softening strastrugi in places on northerly aspects.


Pole probes and hand pits on S aspects indicated wet, melt freeze grains on surface, with wet facetted grains at the base of the snowpack. S aspect hand pit failed with moderate force within basal facet region in a rough, non planar shear. Pole probes on northerly aspects generally indicated consistent pencil hard layers with no obvious weak layers. N aspect hand pit failed with moderate force on near surface facet-old wind slab layer roughly 15cm down (note that this was near the pass and in a wind affected area.