Spring Season Forecast

Issued: Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Above 2,500ft None

1,500 to 2,500ft None

Below 1,500ft None

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

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

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

This will be the last update of the season. Standard caution is advised through May, as natural and human-triggered avalanches are still going to be likely in some areas. The main concerns will be related to solar heating, but also be careful of any fresh storm slabs in the high mountains after new snowfalls, especially wind loaded areas. Problem #1: Storm Snow Location: All aspects 30 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. Our weather pattern has been one of occasional storms with strong winds and snow levels near 2,500ft. During any storms and for 1-3 days afterwards, expect normal storm-snow concerns to continue, with human triggered slides likely. This includes tender fresh wind slabs within new storm snow, and weakness at the new/old snow interface. Look for signs of wind loading (drifts, rounded wind pillows, cornices, etc), and avoid these areas. If you sense hollow, slabby, or cohesive surface snow it would be a good idea to find safer, less wind-affected terrain to ride. Hand shears, small test slopes, and cautious ski cuts will be good ways to  evaluate and manage this danger in the field. Problem #2: Wet Avalanches Distribution: ALL aspects above 2,000ft, steeper than 30 degrees. While we are getting solid overnight freezes, wet slide danger will start as low in the morning, but as the day heats up and melt water increases, the danger of wet slabs and large point-releases will rise quickly. Travel in the early morning to avoid this danger. Plan to be off of any sunny slopes before the snow softens to ankle-deep. On particularly wet, sunny slopes, wet slabs may break on the old January ice crust, about 1 meter deep (most likely on steep south aspects between 3,000-6,000ft). Even north aspects will be prone to shallow wet slides now that the late-afternoon sun is starting to bake them. Stay out of gullies and chutes that channel wet debris.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Isolated natural wet-loose avalanches have been occurring over the last week, in the afternoon hours on steep, rocky South through West aspects. These slides have been mostly size 1-2 so far.

Recent Weather

7-16" of wet snow fell above 2,000ft on the 23rd. (highest amounts in the Lutak Zone and lowest at the Pass). South winds were moderate-strong. Clouds and light precipitation will stick around Thursday before clearing out Friday-Sunday. Freezing levels will slowly lower to around 2,000ft this weekend.
 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
65" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.30 3,000 mod, S 0"/ 0.15 *
Flower Mountain @ treeline
 42" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.20 3,000 mod, SE 0"/ 0.10 *
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
 22"* 0" / 0.00 * 2" / 0.20 * 3,000 mod, SE 1"/ 0.10 *
( *star means meteorological estimate )

Additional Info & Media

If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!

Posted in Chilkat Pass Forecasts.

Spring Season Forecast

Issued: Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Above 2,500ft None

1,500 to 2,500ft None

Below 1,500ft None

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

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

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

This will be the last update of the season. Standard caution is advised through May, as natural and human-triggered avalanches are still going to be likely in some areas. The main concerns will be related to solar heating, but also be careful of any fresh storm slabs in the high mountains after new snowfalls, especially wind loaded areas. Problem #1: Storm Snow Location: All aspects 30 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. Our weather pattern has been one of occasional storms with strong winds and snow levels near 2,500ft. During any storms and for 1-3 days afterwards, expect normal storm-snow concerns to continue, with human triggered slides likely. This includes tender fresh wind slabs within new storm snow, and weakness at the new/old snow interface. Look for signs of wind loading (drifts, rounded wind pillows, cornices, etc), and avoid these areas. If you sense hollow, slabby, or cohesive surface snow it would be a good idea to find safer, less wind-affected terrain to ride. Hand shears, small test slopes, and cautious ski cuts will be good ways to  evaluate and manage this danger in the field. Problem #2: Wet Avalanches Distribution: ALL aspects above 2,000ft, steeper than 30 degrees. While we are getting solid overnight freezes, wet slide danger will start as low in the morning, but as the day heats up and melt water increases, the danger of wet slabs and large point-releases will rise quickly. Travel in the early morning to avoid this danger. Plan to be off of any sunny slopes before the snow softens to ankle-deep. On particularly wet, sunny slopes, wet slabs may break on the old January ice crust, about 1 meter deep (most likely on steep south aspects between 3,000-6,000ft). Even north aspects will be prone to shallow wet slides now that the late-afternoon sun is starting to bake them. Stay out of gullies and chutes that channel wet debris.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Isolated natural wet-loose avalanches have been occurring over the last week, in the afternoon hours on steep, rocky South through West aspects. These slides have been mostly size 1-2 so far.

Recent Weather

7-16" of wet snow fell above 2,000ft on the 23rd. (highest amounts in the Lutak Zone and lowest at the Pass). South winds were moderate-strong. Clouds and light precipitation will stick around Thursday before clearing out Friday-Sunday. Freezing levels will slowly lower to around 2,000ft this weekend.
 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
65" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.30 3,000 mod, S 0"/ 0.15 *
Flower Mountain @ treeline
 42" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.20 3,000 mod, SE 0"/ 0.10 *
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
 22"* 0" / 0.00 * 2" / 0.20 * 3,000 mod, SE 1"/ 0.10 *
( *star means meteorological estimate )

Additional Info & Media

If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!

Posted in Transitional Zone Forecasts.

Spring Season Forecast

Issued: Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Above 2,500ft None

1,500 to 2,500ft None

Below 1,500ft None

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

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

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

This will be the last update of the season. Standard caution is advised through May, as natural and human-triggered avalanches are still going to be likely in some areas. The main concerns will be related to solar heating, but also be careful of any fresh storm slabs in the high mountains after new snowfalls, especially wind loaded areas. Problem #1: Storm Snow Location: All aspects 30 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. Our weather pattern has been one of occasional storms with strong winds and snow levels near 2,500ft. During any storms and for 1-3 days afterwards, expect normal storm-snow concerns to continue, with human triggered slides likely. This includes tender fresh wind slabs within new storm snow, and weakness at the new/old snow interface. Look for signs of wind loading (drifts, rounded wind pillows, cornices, etc), and avoid these areas. If you sense hollow, slabby, or cohesive surface snow it would be a good idea to find safer, less wind-affected terrain to ride. Hand shears, small test slopes, and cautious ski cuts will be good ways to  evaluate and manage this danger in the field. Problem #2: Wet Avalanches Distribution: ALL aspects above 2,000ft, steeper than 30 degrees. While we are getting solid overnight freezes, wet slide danger will start as low in the morning, but as the day heats up and melt water increases, the danger of wet slabs and large point-releases will rise quickly. Travel in the early morning to avoid this danger. Plan to be off of any sunny slopes before the snow softens to ankle-deep. On particularly wet, sunny slopes, wet slabs may break on the old January ice crust, about 1 meter deep (most likely on steep south aspects between 3,000-6,000ft). Even north aspects will be prone to shallow wet slides now that the late-afternoon sun is starting to bake them. Stay out of gullies and chutes that channel wet debris.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Isolated natural wet-loose avalanches have been occurring over the last week, in the afternoon hours on steep, rocky South through West aspects. These slides have been mostly size 1-2 so far.

Recent Weather

7-16" of wet snow fell above 2,000ft on the 23rd. (highest amounts in the Lutak Zone and lowest at the Pass). South winds were moderate-strong. Clouds and light precipitation will stick around Thursday before clearing out Friday-Sunday. Freezing levels will slowly lower to around 2,000ft this weekend.
 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
65" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.30 3,000 mod, S 0"/ 0.15 *
Flower Mountain @ treeline
 42" 0" / 0.00 0" / 0.20 3,000 mod, SE 0"/ 0.10 *
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
 22"* 0" / 0.00 * 2" / 0.20 * 3,000 mod, SE 1"/ 0.10 *
( *star means meteorological estimate )

Additional Info & Media

If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!

Posted in Lutak Forecasts.

Observations

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Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Haines Avalanche Center
PO Box 665
Haines, AK
99827

 

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Haines Avalanche Center

Sharing information to provide a safer backcountry experience for locals and visitors to Haines.

We provide regular backcountry avalanche forecasts for three zones:

Lutak Zone: Includes mount Ripinsky, point 3920, 7-mile saddle, Chilly ridge, Tukgahgo mountain, bowls and peaks surrounding Lutak inlet and lower Chilkoot lake, city of Haines, and mount Riley
Transitional Zone: Includes Takhin ridge, Old Faithful, Flower mountain, Surgeon mountain, Four Winds mountain
Chilkat Pass Zone: Includes 5-mile creek, 3-Guardsmen, Mineral mountain, Copper butte, Inspector peak, Nadahini mountain/glacier, and Kusawak peak

 

Haines Forecast Zones:

Staff & Volunteers


Erik Stevens

Forecaster and Director

Erik mentored hundreds of backcountry riders during four years as the president of Backcountry Club at the University of Colorado – Boulder, where he also taught Avalanche Level 1. College for Erik was a balance between charting new ski descents on obscure peaks, and hard work to complete his master’s degree in Remote Sensing, Earth, and Space Sciences, with certificates in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Oceanography. He holds his Level 3 Certification from the American Avalanche Institute, and his AIARE Avalanche Level II certification. He's a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association and he continually supplements his training through ongoing professional development and mentorship. He has been a ski guide for Alaska Mountain Guides, an educator teaching Avalanche safety courses for DPS and the Haines school, and a forecaster with 8 seasons of experience in Haines. Erik spent two years working on operational forecasting research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and one year at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, researching climate model sensitivity to global ocean processes. He moved to Haines, Alaska in 2010, where he founded the Haines Avalanche Information Center. He is obsessed with snow, passionate about backcountry riding, and can be found on his splitboard throughout Alaska’s winter wilderness.

Jeff Moskowitz

Education Director, Field Technician

Jeff grew up downhill skiing with his family at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada in 1994. He has since then skied throughout the Canadian Rockies, Utah, Washington, Colorado, and Alaska. While pursuing a geography degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder he joined the Backcountry Club staff, a student organization for backcountry riders in 2006. He took a Level II course with the America Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) in 2009 and shortly thereafter began teaching Avalanche Level 1 for the Outdoor Program at the University of Colorado. Jeff moved to what he now considers home Haines, Alaska in 2010. Here he continues his passion for backcountry skiing and avalanche safety with the Haines Avalanche Center and contributes heavily to forecasts and local observations since the center's founding. With annual grants from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Alaska State Trooper, he has been a public educator on snow travel and backcountry preparedness, in both the communities of Haines and Skagway since 2013. Jeff served on the executive board of directors for the Alaska Avalanche Information Center (AAIC) for two years and has attended recent professional development such as: Alaska Snow Safety Summit and Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop (SAAW) both in Anchorage, Alaska 2015 & 2017, the International Snow Safety Workshop (ISSW) in Breckenridge, Colorado 2016 and AIARE Instructor Training Course (ITC) in Valdez, Alaska 2016. He is now a qualified AIARE Level I and II Course Instructor.

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