Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: South Fork of Eagle River

Route & General Observations

Standard up track North Bowl to inspect early season conditions after two significant snow events.


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

We heard several whumphs on our up track and felt collapsing underneath our skis when we were breaking trail.

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

Clear skies, no precip, no wind.

Snow surface

The snow surface was generally smooth, not loaded. We observed low-density snow at all elevations with patches of wind-affected snow along the ridge.


We dug one pit at 3,900 feet on the northeast aspect off of the skin track up to North Bowl on a 29 degree slope. Snow height was 110 cm. We found surface hoar at the surface with layers of buried surface hoar within the most recent snow event. The snow from the last snow event has not formed a cohesive slab. That being said, if the area gets hit with a significant amount of wind, the buried surface hoar layers could become layers of concern.

We conducted an extended column test and found propagation on the first melt-freeze facet crust combo beneath the last two significant storm events. Because of the whumping and the propagation in our snow pit test, we made the decision to ski the lower-angle terrain on the east aspect of the North Bowl.

Snow conditions during the descent were low-density, dry snow. We got some good turns in.

Photos & Video
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