Valdez Avalanche Center

Contact Information

If you have suggestions, questions, comments or would like to volunteer, please contact us:
Tel: (907) 255-2241
Mailing Address:
PO Box 911
Valdez, AK

 Valdez Avalanche Center

Supporting the education and sharing of  avalanche information for the Port of Valdez to Milepost 65 on the Richardson Highway.

The Valdez Avalanche Center has been providing safety information in the Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez since 2006. It began as a radio interview discussing snow and avalanche conditions. The information has grown into the Valdez Avalanche Forecast, presented in a four day forecast. Locals asked for information they could make plans with. The experimental four day outlook gives forecasters’ best estimate of how the weather will affect and change the snow. Just like the extended weather forecast, the first day of the forecast is the most accurate. Generally, the forecasts expire 24 hours after issue, unless updated. The forecasts are updated daily during the winter season. Early season and late season forecasts are issued as needed.

Public observations are encouraged and aid the accuracy of bulletins in our data-sparse region.

Area Resources

Valdez Forecast

Valdez Weather

  • NWS forecast for Northeast Prince William Sound <here>
  • NOAA NWS spot forecast for Thompson Pass <here>
  • Thompson Pass RWIS weather station <here>
  • MP 30 Nicks (Happy) Valley weather station at 4200 feet <here> (scroll to Nicks Valley)
  • Valdez Glacier UAF weather station at 6600 feet <data here> <map here>
  • Further weather resources <here>

Interactive Maps (Google Maps or Earth) with
Layers (Names & Resources) of our 3 Forecast Zones:
Maritime, Inter-Mountain and Continental


Photo of Thompson Pass


Thompson Pass Run Map

VAC Run Map Thompson Pass


2016/2017 Staff & Volunteers

Kevin Salys: Valdez Avalanche Center Director


Along with leading the Valdez Avalanche Center, Kevin forecasts and instructs for Alaska Avalanche Information Center as well. When he’s not on snow, find Kevin climbing and traveling the world.

Sarah Carter: Forecaster/Instructor

Sarah loves SNOW! She forecasts for VAC. She also teaches avalanche classes with the Alaska Avalanche Information Center, Prince William Sound College, Backcountry Babes, and UAA.

Kyle Sobek: Instructor/Forecaster


Kyle rides every moment he gets. Kyle is now a Kenny Lake resident and calls Alaska home. He seeks out every opportunity to learn about snow and mountain riding. Kyle instructs avalanche courses and forecasts part-time for Valdez Avalanche Center.

Sean Wisner: Rescue Coordinator

Pete Carter: Volunteer


Ben Stolen: Observer

Ryan Chalker: Observer / Instructor

Greta Palmer: Observer

Dr. John Cullen, M.D.: Advisory Board Member and Medical Advisor

Karen Allred: Advisory Board Member

Will Stark: Advisory Board Member

Will grew up in Little Tutka Bay, across Kachemak Bay from Homer and attended college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  After obtaining his bachelors degree he entered the management training program with First National Bank Alaska.  In 1997, the bank offered him a job opportunity in Valdez; over the last 20 years, the bank and Valdez have treated him well and he is proud to be associated with both.  Valdez has provided his wife, Erin, and Will an exceptional place to raise their two children, Liam and Noah.  In Valdez they have made great friends and find the town has the perfect mix of ocean and mountains with unparalleled access to both.  Will says he is honored and humbled to provide what help he can to the Valdez Avalanche Center.

Rich Loftin: Advisory Board Member

Erica Shirk: Advisory Board Member

DB Palmer: Advisory Board Member

2016 KC Blair
2015 Kyle Sobek
2014 Kevin Salys
2014 Monica Morin
2013 Dusty Reed
2012 Katreen Wikstroem
2011 Sam Benoit
2010-2012 Ethan Davis
2009 Jordan Pond
2009 Brad Deringer
2008 Elise Leahy


 valdezcityThanks to all our community supporters!

Valdez Gallery