Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: South Fork of Eagle River- Harp Mountain (Southern Aspect)

Route & General Observations

Parked at base of Harp Mountain, followed shoulder holding elevation at ~740ft around to the hanging valley south of Harp, carefully picked our way up a couloir on the southern aspect of Harp.

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

Significant collapse (I may have peed a little) at ~1400 ft on a southern aspect of Harp in a concave bowl just below the ridge. Collapse occurred within the basal facets.

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

Sky broken trending to overcast.
No precipitation.
Winds calm/light trending to light with moderate gusts.
Light snow transport.

Snow surface

Wind Effect: Obvious signs of wind transport (ridges stripped bare and significant cross loading in the couloirs), inconsistent and relatively small (~6 ft wide) wind slabs ranging from 3-12 inches in thickness throughout the tour, minimal energy present (ie no shooting cracks).
Noted a concave, slightly steeper bowl at approximately 1400' on S aspect of harp that was more heavily wind loaded.


Overall, snowpack was quite thin (.5'-3') and extremely wind effected. Layers found in a hand pit: thin and variable wind slab on top of mixed precipitation particles on top of thicker, more robust wind slab over basal facets. Bummer...
Upper elevation bands of snow showed signs of top loading as well as cross loading, resulting in a larger slab- this is where our party experienced a significant collapse (no fracturing).