Avalanche: Chugach State Park

Location: Ridge line South of Hunter Pass towards

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect South Southwest
Elevation 3300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Run 800ft  
Avalanche Details

We saw one fresh, less than 24 hours old, avalanche on the southfacing slope of Nipple (North of Hunter Pass).
Observed several older avalanche crowns and debris piles on W, E, S & N aspects . See Meiklejohn's obs from earlier this week. Most of the older slides we saw were D2-D2.5 releasing into ground or at mid-snowpack. Starting zone elevations varied 3000-3500' and track lengths 200-1000' (estimation).

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)?No
Observer Comments

None observed.

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

Weather conditions remained consistent throughout the day with clear skies and light winds out of the southwest. Temperatures warmed up from chilly -13C to just below freezing during the day. Solar radiation made a very pleasant day of travel in the backcountry.

Snow surface

Surface conditions were variable with soft wind textured snow, pencil hard sastrugi, and wind slab.
No warming or wetting effects observed during the tour.
At lower elevations below treeline we observed some near surface faceting.


While there was definitely evidence of recent avalanche cycle, we did not observe totally touchy snowpack.
Test results revealed two layers of concern:
1. well developed and chained 4-6mm depth hoar at the ground
and in some locations: 2. layer of .5-1mm facets 25-35cm down from surface.
During the tests, these layers required some force to initiate failure and showed off moderate propagation propensity, but the structure around the weak layers is very poor.

It was great to find a snowpack that is still totally dry, unlike locations in town and south at Turnagain!

Photos & Video
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