Haines Avalanche Center

Forecast as of 2019-03-22 at 03:00 pm and expires on 2019-03-24

Above 2,500ftConsiderable

1,500 to 2,500ftConsiderable

Below 1,500ftConsiderable

Degrees of Avalanche Danger

Avalanche Problems

Problem Details

Bottom Line:

We had a major avalanche cycle Sunday. Temperatures continue to be VERY warm and have remained above freezing for over 4 days (below 5000ft). A ton of snowpack has avalanched in almost all areas, but there are lingering sections of hangfire that haven't come down. We need temperatures to drop to below freezing for a few days before the threat diminishes. 

Problem #1: Wet Slides

Location: ALL aspects below 5500ft, slopes steeper than 30 degrees. 

We're expecting 0.2-0.4" of rain Saturday below 5000ft. The increased water will exacerbate the wet slide problem that has been lingering all week. There is a series of crusts in the midpack (~90cm deep) that will channel water and act as a bed surface, with potential for deeper step downs as well. Thus any wet slides will be large, dangerous, and flowing like cement. Stick to low angle slopes, even in the trees. Even wet point releases (sluffs) will tend to gouge deep and easily carry a rider into a dangerous situation. All gullies and terrain traps need to be given a wide berth. 

Avalanche Activity

There was a large natural avalanche cycle Sunday 3/17. D3 slides were common on all aspects and elevations above 1500ft. A few D4 slides were observed with unusually long runouts (one of them over 1 mile long). That cycle has ended, but warm temperatures continue to bring down the occasional wet slide from steep south aspects. 

Aftermath of the major avalanche cycle:

Weather

Our zones received 2-4" of SWE last weekend, and snow levels rose to 4500-5000ft, causing a major avalanche cycle. Since then, it has been quite warm, with temperatures above freezing at 4600ft and lower, for the last 4-5 days straight. Temperatures will begin to cool off a little this weekend, with some light rain on Saturday.

 

Snow Depth [in]

Last 24-hr Snow/SWE [in]

Last 3-days Snow/SWE [in]

Today's Freezing Level [ft]

Today's Winds

Next 48-hr Snow/SWE

Mount Ripinsky @ treeline

69"

0" / 0.20

0" / 0.50

5500ft falling to 4000ft sunday

calm

0" / 0.20 *

Flower Mountain @ treeline

46"

0" / 0.20 0" / 0.70 5500ft falling to 4000ft sunday calm

0" / 0.40 *

Chilkat Pass @ 3,100ft

25"

0" / 0.20

0" / 0.70

5500ft falling to 4000ft sunday calm

0" / 0.30 *

( *star means meteorological estimate )

Additional Information

If you get out riding, please send in an observation!

Do a rescue practice with your partners. Always carry a beacon, shovel, and probe, and KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.

Practice good risk management, which means only expose one person at a time to slopes 30 degrees and steeper, make group communication and unanimous decision making a priority, and choose your terrain wisely: eliminating unnecessary exposure and planning out your safe zones and escape routes.