Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Peak 3 northwest gully-standard approach from canyon rd.

Route & General Observations

Human triggered avalanche. On standard gut approach, released while skinning below summit rocks. I was the first on the slope after the recent snowfall. The windslab broke 100′ above me in rocks near summit. Ran 500′-600′ feet. I was caught and rode 450′. Not injured. Crown was 12-15′. The crown seemed to propitiate down to skiers left, lookers right, into a wind loaded more northern aspect. The slide entrained a large volume of storm snow.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Photos below were taken on Saturday, two days after the slide (credit Joe Kurtak).
Joe was also was able to get some pit data from ~300' north of the lower end of debris. Note: this area had not seen the wind loading that occurred higher on the slope near the crown. The crown was obscured by subsequent wind loading since time of avalanche. Alpha angle = 28deg.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Northwest
Elevation 3400ftSlope Angle 30deg
Crown Depth 13inWidth 125ft
Vertical Run 600ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried? 1
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Natural point release on Peak 2. low volume similar aspect.
No cracking or whumpfing seen on Peak 3 before avalanche released.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Snow surface

bed surface hardpack


multiple layers. top layers were 20-30cm fresh with wind loaded sections near summit

Photos & Video
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