Observation: Chugach State Park

Location: Williwaw Valley

Route & General Observations

Toured from Glen Alps, over the Ball Field, and into Williwaw Valley. We skied a north facing line from the Ball Field and a south facing chute on Wolverine. We dug a pit in the south facing chute on Wolverine Peak.

– Our pit results led us to believe that if we found a spot with a wind slab over the old November snow we would be in trouble. As the chute got narrower higher up it became more difficult to avoid these spots. We turned around when the slab at the margins closed in on the soft powder in the middle. The skiing was very good.

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

numerous collapses throughout the tour at all elevations and aspects.

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

flat light. light winds.


The snowpack is obviously highly variable. Within 75ft of the spot dug we found:
- 20cm of stiff wind slab over ice
- 65-85cm of powder over rocks
- 70-90cm of right side up powder over the remaining November crusts and facets.
We chose to dig in the middle of the gut, where we planned to ski.

SSE slope at 3100ft
Snow depth 170cm, depth of pit 115cm
snow hardness profile
Fist 170-120
4 finger 120-90
Facets at 90cm
pencil hard crust at 85
more facets
Knife hard melt/freeze layer 80 down

Compression test had various small collapses in the soft snow as it compressed into the hard crusts

ECTP 26 at 90cm down, right below melt freeze layer. -> Our worry became finding a slab over this reactive layer.

Photos & Video
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