Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Peak 2

Route & General Observations

We followed an existing skin track up the west side of Peak 2. Many tracks on the south-west face, no deposited snow in the tracks from the weekend. Surface hoar seen on the surface and willow branches. No signs of instability in the snow pack. We didn’t dig a pit, but could feel the crust from the Halloween storm under the recent 14-20″ of powder. Usually the crust was unbreakable, but in some places a ski pole could push through to a loose layer at the ground, 1-3″ thick.
As we approached the summit and the slope turns from north-west to almost fully North the existing skin track was filled in and there was a cohesive wind layer on the surface, maybe 1/4″ thick. This layer broke off into small plates and slid easily with just a pull from a ski pole. This localized wind loading (on a shoulder below a summit with an aspect turn) is similar to what happens on Peak 3, maybe what triggered on Oct 21? This surface layer will probably be buried beneath the next snow, or the wind forecasted for Wednesday 11/17.

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

Clear and cold. Very light south wind at the summit.

Photos & Video
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