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Current Conditions

Last Updated: Monday, April 27th, 2015 by Erik Stevens (Disclaimer | About This Page)
Expires 11pm on April 27th, 2015
Click Here for an encyclopedia of common snow science terms from the FSNAC

Zones (see map):
Avalanche Problem(s)
Lutak
Transitional
Chilkat Pass

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This Season:
November
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
December
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
January
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
February
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
March
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
April
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Recent Weather Summary (Chart):

The week of April 20th brought our first major alpine thaw, with temperatures reaching near 40-degrees F above treeline.

April 19th-20th: 6-12" of snow fell above 2000ft. South winds were strong.

April 15th-16th: 1-2feet of snow fell above 2000ft. South winds were strong.

April 9th-10: Around 2 feet of snow fell above 2500ft. Snowfall continued through the 12th with another 6" or so adding up.

From March 25th-30th about a foot of new snow fell above 2500ft, with gusty south winds.

Clear skies and calm weather around March 23rd formed surface hoar crystals, which were then buried on many protected aspects by subsequent storms.

Lutak Zone (see map)

Danger: No Rating See Scale
This will be the last update of the 2014-2015 season. Regardless, avalanches will still be a concern through May.

Our first main wet slide cycle occurred last week. Small to medium-sized point releases and wet slabs were common on all aspects, even on shaded north slopes.

We're into spring conditions with diurnal melt-freeze cycles and occasional storms with high snow levels. You may find a large variety of conditions. The danger is generally low in the morning while the snow is still frozen, and rises quickly as the sun warms the snow. Here are some important notes for managing these conditions:

1) Keep an eye on overnight temperatures. Freeze-thaw cycles are great for the snowpack, but watch out for nights where slopes don't get a solid freeze. Sun/warmth the next day will likely lead to wet slides. As the snowpack continues to warm and moisten over the next week or two, glide avalanches and full-depth wet slabs will begin. Be careful on warm sunny days.

2) If the snow is softening in the sun more than ankle-deep, it is time to get off that slope. Wet slides will be the main concern as spring continues on and the days are warm.

3) Debris (ice, rock, and snow) is going to be falling from cliffs and steep areas. This activity is very dangerous and directly related to sunhit. Don't be below that big ice-covered cliff face when the sun is warming it. Couloirs and chutes tend to funnel this kind of debris.

4) Watch out for any new storm snow in higher elevations as new storms come in. Fresh wind slabs may build over an icy surface layer, and will be tender immediately after storms.

5) Finally, deeper down in the snowpack, the late-March surface hoar layer is still a concern. On many alpine slopes (mainly NW, N, NE, and E aspects) it is buried about 60-90cm deep. These pockets of buried surface hoar may still be active, especially on higher, colder northerly slopes. Be careful in these areas, and dig around in multiple locations. Always be ready for surprises and ski from safe zone to safe zone, exposing only one person at a time to areas of danger.

It has been another great season, and we look forward to tracking the snowpack once again in the late autumn. Please keep sending in observations, and share them publicly if you can.

Transitional Zone (see map)

Danger: No Rating See Scale
See above for concerns about our spring snowpack.

Chilkat Pass Zone (see map)

Danger: No Rating See Scale
See above for concerns about our spring snowpack.

Disclaimer: Use the data on this website at your own discretion as part of a thorough evaluation of the avalanche hazard in the field. Remember that conditions vary greatly from place to place and hour to hour, so evaluate the snow you find locally, and compare it to what you read on this website. We are not responsible for how you use the information contained on this site, and assume no liability for its use. Remember, information is no substitute for experience. Educate yourself in avalanche safety. The information on this website is not sufficient for completely safe backcountry decision making. Use at your own risk.

All content copyright © 2015 Alaska Avalanche Information Center









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