Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: South Fork of Eagle River

Route & General Observations

We toured up the South Fork of Eagle River to monitor trends in the area and to get a higher elevation snow pit. The landscape was severely wind-affected, with bare ground in many places and up to nine feet of snow in gullies.

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

Scattered clouds, no wind, light snow flurries of tiny rimed stellar and graupel mid-tour for about ~20 minutes but other than that no precipitation.

Snow surface

The snow surface had roughly ~3" of light, new snow on top of a variable wind layer for the majority of the tour. Snow was firmer along the ridge with patches of sastrugi and a breakable hollow wind layer.


We dug our snowpit right above 4,000' on a west aspect. While we were observing bare ground on ridges and wind-affected snow layers- some of the larger open-faced bowls at higher elevations on the eastern side appear to have more pronounced snowpack layering than what is seen in something like a Front Range wind-affected snow gully (like Peak 3 for example). We were able to get some reactive snow results (ECTP23) on the near-surface facet layer ~13" down from the snow surface underneath a hard slab. The likelihood of triggering that layer is low because it is such a hard slab, but the consequences are high in that area because of how much bigger terrain you are connected to.

Photos & Video
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