Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Indian Pass/Rabbit Lakes

Route & General Observations

Weekend spent skiing above Rabbit Lakes and Indian Pass: Up/down SW & NE side of North Yuyanq’ Ch’ex, S side of Homicide, W side of Powerline Peak, N side of Peak 4055, and N side of The Beak. Windswept wasteland suddenly and remarkably changes to dense settled powder as soon as over the divide from Rabbit Creek and out of the Anchorage Bowl.

Noticed two D1 avalanches that likely ran during last week’s weather. One was a windslab (~1 foot deep) at 3,400 feet on a crossloaded NE aspect on North Yuyanq’ Ch’ex that ran a couple hundred feet and did not step down or propagate past the feature (photo attached). Second was in extremely steep, rocky, thin terrain off the shoulder of South Yuyanq’ Ch’ex at 4,200 feet. Max crown depth ~ 2.5 feet, 150 wide, vertical run limited by discontinuous snow mixed with cliffs.

Pleased to experience no current signs of instability throughout our tours even while transitioning from thick to thin areas. As mentioned in previous obs from this zone, the poor-structure snowpack around faceted thin spots throughout the area is still present. Seems likely this is where the South Yuyanq’ Ch’ex avalanche started. Lots of rollerballs during heat of the day on Saturday, but did not notice any slab avalanches from this heating. Did not notice any avalanche activity in Ship Creek yesterday from the moderate winds/snowfall/windloading/spindrifting.

In a case of deja vu, had another group of sheep pass above us as we ascended a steep chute on The Beak (photo attached). Was pleased to have them refrain from jumping on the starting zone this time – we thank them for their consideration and will try to show the same respect for our other public land users!

Photos & Video
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