Above 2,500ft Moderate
1,500 to 2,500ft Moderate
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
Problem #1: Wet Avalanches
Location: all zones and aspects below 3000ft. Heavy rain/freezing rain fell up to 5,000ft Sunday-Tuesday. There was a massive melt below treeline with much of the snow gone. Around treeline, all of Saturday’s new snow melted off/settled to leave snow depths back to around 30″.
Most of the water in the snowpack should be pretty well drained off by now, and temperatures are dropping. That said, the upper snowpack will still be quite wet and it may still be possible to trigger a wet slide in steep areas. Use caution, and look for areas with wet, sloppy snowpack and avoid those areas. It will be hard to find good snow this week as the surface freezes hard.
Problem #2: Wind Slab
Location: Wind loaded north aspects and cross-loaded terrain features/gullies, above 3000ft. There was a little fresh snowfall above 3,000ft Tuesday. It might be just enough to soften the surface and allow for some agreeable riding. South winds yesterday will have caused some wind loading on north aspects to watch out for. It will be possible to trigger wind slabs in this new snow anywhere it is blown in deeper than a few inches.
Recent Avalanche Activity
One report from the Pass Saturday (Before the big rain event) included a snowmachine-triggered avalanche that ran all the way to the ground (about 3ft deep). The slide was apparently small but scary. No one was caught.
During/after the storm this week, there was a widespread avalanche cycle with almost all slopes steeper than 30 degrees running. Most slides were size 2 or 3, with a few to size 4. Observed crowns ranged from about 30-100 cm thick, sliding on various weak layers from the previous month.
And back into the freezer we go. Offshore flow will take over Wednesday – Saturday. Temperatures will be in the low 20’s, north winds light – moderate, and skies partly cloudy.
|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
|35″*||0″ / 0.00*||0″ / 0.00||1000||light, N||0″/ 0.00 *|
Flower Mountain @ treeline
|30″||0″ / 0.00||0″ / 0.00||1000||light, NW||0″/ 0.00 *|
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
|20″*||0″ / 0.00 *||0″ / 0.00 *||1000||light, NW||0″/ 0.00 *|
( *star means meteorological estimate )
Additional Info & Media
If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!
We will be providing an AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Class this winter in Haines, February 23-25, 2018