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.
An additional 3-4″ of snow fell the morning of the 14th. Skies cleared in the evening hours and E/ SE winds kicked up to moderate with small drifts forming on Thompson Pass in the evening.
12/15- Expect partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 20’s for Thompson Pass. Winds will be moderate out of the north.
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` 32 F 24 F
Temp at 3000` 29 F 21-29 F
Chance of precip 30% 60%
(above 1000 FT) 0.03 in 0.04 in
(above 1000 FT) trace 0-1 in
Snow level 500 ft sea level
Wind 3000` ridges NE 8-20 mph NE 10-20 mph
HN24W= total water received last 24 hours in inches
We have received 4″ of snow over the last 36 hours. Winds ramped up slightly yesterday evening from the E/SE eventually turning to the North. Expect this wind to have redistributed new snow into fresh windslab. If you are traveling on a ridge that is scoured down to old crust today, expect that the lee side has fresh windslab 6-12″ deep that could be sensitive to triggers. The avalanche hazard is moderate today in the mid and upper elevations. It is possible to trigger windslab avalanches up to 1′ deep. It is also possible that small avalanches could step down into deeper layers of the snowpack. Avoid convex, unsupported terrain and terrain traps.
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 have traveled in the mountains, 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 mid and upper elevations. Human triggered avalanches are possible on steep terrain, or in areas that have been loaded by winds. Good indicators for windslab are a rapid increase in depth of the new snow over a short distance, and a hollow, drum-like feel. Shooting cracks will indicate unstable snow. Use caution in the mountains today, avoid areas that are receiving active wind loading and avoid terrain traps.
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