Haines Avalanche Center

Forecast as of 2019-01-12 at 08:00 am and expires on 2019-01-13

Above 2,500ftModerate

1,500 to 2,500ftLow

Below 1,500ftLow

Degrees of Avalanche Danger

Avalanche Problems

Problem Details

The last storm cycle ended January 1st. It featured strong SE winds, and 1-2.5" of SWE. It rained up to about 4000ft for a few hours at the end of the storm. We've been in deep freeze with arctic outflow ever since. NW winds are finally calming down a bit and some light snow is moving in for this weekend. See the weather section for more details. 

Problem #1: Wind Slab:

Location: Specific slopes in the alpine above 2,000ft, where north/NW winds this week caused recent wind loading on lee aspects beneath ridgelines and terrain features. Reports from this week found isolated areas of recent wind slab (3-8" thick) that are poorly bonded and easy to trigger. Be sure to dig around in high-alpine areas to assess for yourself how well-bonded the upper snowpack is. Variability will be high, so evaluate each slope carefully. In large or steep terrain, slabs as thin a few inches can sweep you into dangerous situations. 

January 8th Snow pit from the Lutak zone, at 2700ft, N aspect. Notice fresh wind slabs in top 15cm (easy triggering), and hard triggering down 35cm.

Weather

Light snow will continue off and on Saturday-Sunday, with an additional 1-4" of snow possible. Snow totals will be highest in the Lutak zone, lowest at the Pass. Winds will be light and variable.

   Snow Depth [in] Last 24-hr Snow/SWE [in] Last 3-days Snow/SWE [in]  Today's Freezing Level [ft]  Today's Winds Next 24-hr Snow/SWE
Mount Ripinsky @ treeline
 44" 1" / 0.05  5" / 0.25  0 light, var 2" / 0.10   *
Flower Mountain @ treeline
 42" 0" / 0.00  0" / 0.00  0 light, var 1" / 0.05    *
Chilkat Pass @ 3,100ft
 30" 0" / 0.00  0" / 0.00  0 light, var 0" / 0.00   *

( *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.