Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: South Fork of Eagle River

Route & General Observations

Drove up Hiland Road to look for new natural avalanches in better light. We did see two other significant natural avalanches (in addition to the avalanche that hit the road yesterday)- one in between the Solstice Gully and Swiss Bowl on the west side of the valley and one avalanche on 3 Bowls.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect North Northeast
Elevation 3300ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown DepthunknownWidth 400ft
Vertical Run 1500ft  
Avalanche Details

This describes the avalanche that occurred on the west side of the valley, between Solstice Gully and Swiss Bowl

We also saw a naturally triggered avalanche in Three Bowls. The three bowls avalanche was on a W aspect. The wind had blown in the crown, but from the photo and the slide path, we thought the start zone occurred at around ~3,200' and also looked like a hard slab debris pile. The width of that avalanche looked like it was 200' and the vertical run was ~800'

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

The winds were ripping (~20-50mph winds at ridgetops) predominately from the SE. Flagging and transport were visible from most ridge tops.

We were able to see three natural avalanches from the road.

No cars were parked at the South Fork Valley Trailhead or Harp Trailhead when we drove through.

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

11:00 am- broken skies, strong ridgetop winds, no precip
12: 30 pm-broken skies, strong ridgetop winds, no precip
1:30 pm- overcast skies, strong ridgetop winds, no precip

Snow surface

The snow surface was wind-loaded, and flagging was visible on most peaks in the area


We did not dig a snowpit, we were mostly monitoring the snow's reaction to the high wind warning and photographing the natural avalanches while we had some nice light.

Photos & Video
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