Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: S. Front range

Route & General Observations

Quick park and poke to look at front range structure ahead of this early December storm. Was able to jump on several small test slopes as I progressed into slightly bigger terrain. Whumpfing, shooting cracks and avalanching on everything! I ended up shouldering my skis and hiking down the avalanche debris. No skiing to be had today!

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Hard Slab
Aspect NorthwestElevation 2400ft
Slope Angle 34degCrown Depth 24in
Width 100ftVertical Run 250ft
Avalanche Details

Triggered this hard slab with my first step from bare tundra onto thin part of the slab. Wish I had my camera at the ready cause I was very confident I'd get this feature to avalanche given widespread collapsing/ cracking on my way up to this point.
Weak layer was 2-3mm facets at the ground. Slab was 6" - 24" deep. HS-AS-R1D2-G

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Able to produce whumpfs and shooting cracks in smaller terrain as I climbed toward this slope.

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

Storm felt like it was beginning to ramp up as I was out.
Wind: 20-25mph from the East, actively cross loading gully features.
Precip: -1cm/ hr
Temp: 32F

Snow surface

Pencil hard wind slab or bare tundra above tree line.


Shallow. HS at pit location was 25cm. Dug a snowpit adjacent to avalanche.
ECTV x 5. Could not isolate a column without the entire column failing at the ground.
Was able to identify 2 distinct wind slabs above the basal facets. Everything was failing at the ground.

Photos & Video
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