Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: SE Shoulder of Swiss Bowl, South Fork

Route & General Observations

Note that considerable wind-loading occurred after this pit/observation, but it provides some insight into the deeper snowpack.
Skied up South Fork to lower shoulder of Swiss Bowl. Skied the upper shoulder due North aspect and the saddle East aspect. Reactive wind-slabs ~2-5 cm thick observed from the ridge down to ~100 feet below the ridge.

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

cracks in uppermost snow surface (wind-slab), minor (<5 cm thick) wind-slabs released when hopped on

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

11am to 4 pm Cloudy skies with some light (~5 mph) wind. Wind speed increased throughout the day. Snow below ~3000' was pristine with no wind-affect. Wind affect increased toward the top of the ridge.

Snow surface

Fresh powder down low turning into thicker wind-slabs up high.


See pit photo. Conducted ST, CT and ECT. Deeper snowpack 55 cm to the ground is essentially unmovable- took lots of effort to get it to move (jumping on it etc).

Photos & Video
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