Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Ptarmigan - S. Couloir

Route & General Observations

Strong headwind as we made our way up the valley. Turned around about halfway up due wind, stability concerns, and not wanting to be exposed to the high consequence terrain. I triggered a wind slab on our way down, broke below my feet and my partners were in a safe zone so it did not carry anyone.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect North Northeast
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 10inWidth 25ft
Vertical Run 300ft  
Avalanche Details

Skier triggered hard wind slab

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Point releases on south facing slopes, started to get shooting cracks at our turnaround point.

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

Strong down valley wind, temperature was probably in the 20's

Snow surface

Lower half of the run was soft, slightly wind affected powder. Transitioned into variable windboard with pockets of powder as we got higher up.


Hand pit tests showed that the wind affected snow was not bonding well to the old surface.