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Current Conditions

Last Updated: Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Erik Stevens and Jeff Moskowitz (Disclaimer | About This Page)
Expires 11pm on January 3rd, 2014
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H.L. Maritime
Biggest Threats
- New/old snow interface

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Weather Summary: December (Chart):

After a dry start to the year, December brought eight big snowstorms in three weeks, with 92" of snow from about 9" of water equivalent at sea level in Haines. Amounts over mountain areas were much higher, though less fell inland. Most of the snow was low-density and weak.

New Years Eve/Day brought 12-20 inches of snow above 1000ft, with some rain and reduced snow totals at sea level. Winds were southerly.

A slight cooling/drying trend is finallyt here for Friday and Saturday, though it will be short-lived.

The next storm is lined up for Saturday night-Sunday night. It looks like another heavy-snow-turning-to-rain situation. The pattern looks active and warm for next week.

High-Latitude Maritime Zones: Slopes near Haines

Danger: Moderate See Scale
The New Years storm came in warm, wet, and heavy. That was 2 days ago. Observations were limited, but natural avalanches were likely widespread during the storm. When you go out, look for signs of recent natural activity from the last storm, and try to assess whether the weak layers involved are still a concern. Our cooling trend and settling of the new snow will help increase strength in the upper snowpack, but you still need to carefully assess each slope. Some wind-loaded slopes 30-degrees and steeper may still be waiting for a trigger.

The snowpack is not solid yet. In the alpine especially, it will be slower to strengthen. North aspects will be most suspect.

Enjoy yourself out there, and keep your human factors in check. ALWAYS wear a beacon, shovel, and probe, and limit your exposure to areas of danger by traveling one at a time. Choose terrain wisely to avoid more risk than you are willing to take. Evaluate the snowpack all day long with test slopes, quick pits, and pole-probing. Make careful decisions, and communicate any concerns openly with your group.

How much risk are you willing to take? Is a powder run worth your life? These are questions you should consider for yourself before you go out.

YOUR observations are crucial to keeping everyone as safe and informed as possible. Please send in observations of any snow or avalanche activity, and share them publicly if you can.

Transitional Zones: Mountain areas seaward of interior passes

Danger: No Rating See Scale
See above for more information.

Chilkat Pass Zone:

Danger: No Rating See Scale
Observations from this zone are lacking. Less snow fell in this zone last month, and it remained quite cold. Expect a generally weak and dangerous snowpack. Please send in any observations if you got out there!

Disclaimer: Please note that this snowpack/hazard information is not funded or endorsed by any governmental organization. Use the data on this website at your own discretion as part of a thorough evaluation of the avalanche hazard in the field. Remember that conditions vary greatly from place to place and hour to hour, so evaluate the snow you find locally, and compare it to what you read on this website. We are not responsible for how you use the information contained on this site, and assume no liability for its use. Remember, information is no substitute for experience. Get educated in avalanche safety. The information on this website is not sufficient for completely safe backcountry decision making. Use at your own risk.

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