Fall 2018 – Early Season Backcountry Travel Preparation

Issued: Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Wed, Oct 31, 2018

A lot of snow has accumulated at the tops of our Valdez Chugach peaks. Get ready for your winter backcountry adventures with the tips in our ‘Problem Details’ section below.

While you’re waiting for the snow to get deep enough to ride, read our ISSW poster.

Above 2,500ft None

1,800 to 2,500ft None

Below 1,800ft None

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

1. Low
2. Moderate
3. Considerable
4. High
5. Extreme

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

A lot of new snow has accumulated above 4000′ elevation; over a foot of rain and snow water equivalent accumulated at 2500′ elevation at Thompson Pass since Oct 18.  The ground surface roughness in the avalanche start zones is smoothed over with dense excellent base. Cooler temperatures are making a good bed surface for future avalanche activity.

Are you ready for winter? A few tips to get you and your riding buddies ready to shred:

  • Replace the batteries in your avalanche beacon. Check your avalanche probe for wear or breaks in the cable. Check your avalanche shovel, do you have both the shaft and blade in working order?
  • Plan a fun avalanche rescue practice with your riding partners. Is everyone on the same page for a fast, efficient rescue?
  • Is there a fresh, charged cartridge in your avalanche airbag pack? Go ahead and give it a test pull – does it deploy properly?
  • Fitness – reduce the possibility of injury on your first ride/outing – start now by improving your flexibility, strength, and cardio.
  • Check your skis and snowboards: missing binding screws? burrs on your edges? need wax?
  • Check your snowmachine oil, plugs, belt, brakes, and headlight.

Check out Valdez Avalanche Center’s contribution to avalanche safety with our collaboration on testing a model for avalanche flow, presented this week at the International Snow Science Workshop in Innsbruck, Austria.

Forecasts will begin December 1 for the 2018-2019 season. Forecasts will be published Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Observations will be accepted throughout the season. If you get out early season, post a pic and description of what you see.

Here’s to an awesome winter!

Recent Avalanche Activity

Numerous new snow point release avalanches to size 2 have run in the upper elevations, above 3000′ elevation, most recently with the storms of October 15-20.

See reports in our public observations.

Recent Weather

The snowline starts at Thompson Pass. It is estimated over 20 feet of snowfall has accumulated at 6000′ elevation.

Additional Info & Media

Posted in Continental Forecasts, Intermountain Forecasts, Maritime Forecasts.

Forecaster: Allen McGhan