12/10-The only new natural avalanche activity in the Thompson Pass corridor was small, wet point-releases off the Nicks and Python Buttresses. These originated from 3500-4000′ and did not entrain more snow.
12/8- An observer witnessed a glide crack avalanche. SW aspect of peak 4690′ above the Valdez Glacier Lake. The debris reportedly ran all the way to the lake, with the deposition pile only feet away from a well used cross country ski trail.
Overnight Friday we have received an inch or two of new snow in the mountains. Winds were light to moderate out of the E/SE.
Saturday expect an additional inch or two of snow in the morning hours before the current front dissipates. Winds are forecast to be light to moderate for Thompson pass with highs in the mid 20’s.
The Thompson Pass Mountain Forecast covers the mountains (above
1000 ft) surrounding Keystone Canyon through Thompson Pass to
This forecast is for use in snow safety activities and emergency
Temp at 1000` 34 F 27 F
Temp at 3000` 32 F 28 F
Chance of precip 100% 60%
(above 1000 FT) 0.19 in 0.04 in
(above 1000 FT) 0-3 in 0 in
Snow level 700 ft 500 ft
Wind 3000` ridges E 2-12 mph E 5-13 mph
HN24W= total water received last 24 hours in inches
Wind slab is present off the lee side of ridges that are exposed to the wind. On Thompson Pass found 1 finger windslab that extends 200′ below wind exposed ridge lines. Below this the surface snow has much less wind affect. Skiing slopes up to 35° have not found the windslab to be reactive. With mild weather the last few days the snowpack has gained strength. The avalanche hazard is moderate today in the upper elevations. It is still possible to trigger windslab avalanches up to 2′ deep. Avoid convex unsupported terrain and terrain traps.
Below 3000′ there is a pencil hard rain crust and good stability.
If you venture into avalanche terrain today, use terrain progression as a tool. Start with small slopes that have no consequence, before committing to larger slopes.
If you travel in the mountains today, please leave a public observation. The more info we can get from various locations will help us to get a clearer picture of the snowpack in our beautiful Valdez Chugach!
Forecast Confidence is moderate.
The avalanche hazard is moderate at upper elevations. Natural avalanches are unlikely today unless caused by a glide crack. Skier triggered avalanches are possible on steep terrain, or in areas that have been affected by winds. Good indicators for windslab are a rapid increase in depth of the new snow over a short distance, shooting cracks and a hollow, drum-like feel. Use caution in the mountains today, watch for windslab and avoid terrain traps.
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