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Current Conditions

Last Updated: Sunday, November 29th, 2015 by Erik Stevens (Disclaimer | About This Page)
Expires 11pm on November 30th, 2015
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Zones (see map):
Avalanche Problem(s)
Chilkat Pass

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Recent Weather Summary (Chart):

Between 3 and 5" of precipitation has fallen over the area in the last three days. Snow levels are fluctuating between sea level and 2500ft. The deepest snow depths are near treeline and on the Haines side of the Chilkat pass. Through the pass, strong south winds have stripped away much of the new snow. The week ahead will bring an onslaught of Pacific storms, with short breaks in between. The good news is that temperatures will be cooling and north winds may prevail for much of the time, so lower snow levels are a good bet.

A strong, wet storm walloped the area on the 20th. South-southwest winds were very strong, and 1-2" of precipitation fell under a strong warming trend. Rain level hit near 4000ft in Haines, and closer to 3300ft at the pass.

Early November:
1.5 - 3" of precipitation fell the first week of November over mountain areas. This was mostly snow above 2000ft. Nov. 11-16th brought 2.2" to 3.5" of SWE (20-35+ inches of new snow), with the heaviest totals over mountains of the Lutak zone near Haines. Cold weather with north winds settled in through the 19th.

Lutak Zone (see map)

Danger: Considerable See Scale
Heavy snow above 2000ft combined with strong and variable winds will have created thick wind slabs on exposed slopes near treeline, and on a wide range of slopes in the alpine. Expect the danger to be highest on wind loaded aspects steeper than 30 degrees, especially convex rollovers.

Besides storm snow concerns, it is unknown how well bonded last week's low-density storm layers are. It would be wise to dig down a meter deep and look for any signs of hard-over-soft layering.

Please send in any snow or weather observations. Whumphs, shooting cracks, and slab avalanche activity is especially important to report.

Transitional Zone (see map)

Danger: Considerable See Scale
Conditions are similar to the Lutak zone. See above for more details.

Chilkat Pass Zone (see map)

Danger: Considerable See Scale
South winds have been hauling through the pass for several days, stripping away much of the snowpack. Above about 4000ft there is probably still plenty of snow, but visibility has been zero and no observations have come in. Wind-loaded north aspects, and gullies/couloirs on any aspect, are harboring fresh wind slabs that are likely sensitive to human triggers. Basal facets will be prone to collapse and slides could run to the ground.

On the Haines side of the pass, the snow is much deeper. The 5-mile creek area is in decent shape. If you venture out, avoid the steeper convex areas where human-triggered slides are likely. If the rain line creeps back up, expect small natural wet slides as well.

Please send in any snow or weather observations. Whumphs, shooting cracks, and slab avalanche activity is especially important to report.

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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