The avalanche hazard is Moderate at upper elevations. Old wind slabs and crusts exist in most areas.  These old wind slabs have locked up and have been unreactive since 3/25. Pockets of windslab could still be triggered in continental locations at upper elevations where they rest upon faceted snow.  Wet loose avalanches will be possible on south aspects in maritime locations, but remain unlikely in intermountain and continental zones due to cold temperatures.  If temperatures are warmer than forecasted on 3/31 watch for wet loose conditions in these locations as well.   Stay clear of cornices and avoid exposing yourself to terrain traps.

The avalanche hazard is Low at all elevations. Old wind slabs and crusts exist in most areas.  These old wind slabs have locked up and have been unreactive since 3/25. Pockets of windslab could still be triggered in continental locations at upper elevations where they rest upon faceted snow.  As temperatures progressively become warmer through the week wet loose avalanches will become an issue during the heat of the day.  On 3/31 wet loose avalanches will be possible on south aspects in the maritime zone.  Stay clear of cornices and avoid exposing yourself to terrain traps.

The avalanche hazard is Low at all elevations. Old wind slabs and crusts exist in most areas.  These old wind slabs have locked up and have been unreactive since 3/25. Pockets of windslab could still be triggered in continental locations at upper elevations where they rest upon faceted snow.  Wet loose avalanches will be possible on south aspects in maritime locations, but remain unlikely in intermountain and continental zones due to cold temperatures.  If temperatures are warmer than forecasted on 3/31 watch for wet loose conditions in these locations as well.   Stay clear of cornices and avoid exposing yourself to terrain traps.

The avalanche hazard is Moderate at upper elevations. Old wind slabs and crusts exist in most areas.  These old wind slabs have locked up and have been unreactive since 3/25. Pockets of windslab could still be triggered in continental locations at upper elevations where they rest upon faceted snow.  Wet loose avalanches will be possible on south aspects in maritime locations, but remain unlikely in intermountain and continental zones due to cold temperatures.  If temperatures are warmer than forecasted on 3/31 watch for wet loose conditions in these locations as well.   Stay clear of cornices and avoid exposing yourself to terrain traps.

MaritimeIntermountainContinental
Forecast as of 03/31/2020 at 07:00 and expires on 04/01/2020

Current Advisory Level

Low

Above 3,000ftLow

1,500 to 3,000ftLow

Below 1,500ftLow

+ FULL FORECAST
Forecast as of 03/31/2020 at 07:00 and expires on 04/01/2020

Current Advisory Level

Low

Above 4,000ftLow

2,000 to 4,000ftLow

Below 2,000ftLow

+ FULL FORECAST
Forecast as of 03/31/2020 at 07:00 and expires on 04/01/2020

Current Advisory Level

Moderate

Above 4,000ftModerate

2,000 to 4,000ftLow

Below 2,000ftLow

+ FULL FORECAST
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Observations

Tell us what you're seeing out there.

Forecast Center Observation

Date2020-03-20
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

3/20: Billy Mitchell up to 4400', west through north aspects, clear and calm.Shooting Cracks: yes, but only in isolated locations where fresh wind slab was present, up to 10 feet long.    Collapsing: yes, between 2-3000' in areas exposed to outflow winds, a shallow snowpack existed.  In these areas poor structure was present in the top 60 cms, with…

 
Date2020-03-12
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth
AvalancheN

General Observations

3/12: Tsaina Valley N-NW aspects up to 5700' between "the corner" and the toe of the glacier.  Clear, light to moderate E-NE winds, light snow transport, 7° F at 5500'.Shooting cracks: Yes, but only on the lee side of terrain features up to 3 feet long and small cracks around skis.   Collapsing: No.  Avalanches:NoFound a…

 
Date2020-03-03
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

Comstock Basin up to 1700', North aspect, Clear becoming partly cloudy, no precip, calm.Collapsing: No   Shooting Cracks: No   Avalanches: Numerous sluffs in terrain steeper than 40°, Sluffs did not create further avalanche activity.Found 2 feet of settled storm snow that hadn't yet formed a cohesive slab.  Hand shear tests scored moderate to hard.

 

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Valdez Avalanche Center

Valdez Avalanche Center

Support the education and sharing of avalanche information for mountains surrounding the Port of Valdez to Milepost 65 on the Richardson Highway. Our membership keeps the mission going. Join as a Valdez Avalanche Center member today, or donate directly.

The Valdez Avalanche Center has been providing safety information in the Chugach Mountains surrounding Valdez since 2006. It began as a radio interview discussing snow and avalanche conditions. Locals asked for information they could make plans with. Forecasts are currently issued Friday through Sunday with special alerts for significant weather or avalanche events. Information contained in the forecasts is intended to be used as a tool in conjunction with your personal backcountry hazard evaluation.

Public observations are encouraged and aid the accuracy of the avalanche forecasts in our data-sparse region.

Valdez Avalanche Forecasters

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2019/2020 Staff & Volunteers

 

Forecaster:  Gareth Brown

 Gareth grew up backcountry skiing in Colorado.  He moved to Valdez, AK in 2010 and currently resides in Serendipity, AK, on the north side of Thompson Pass.  Gareth has spent the last 10 seasons exploring the Chugach by splitboard.  He completed his Pro 2 avalanche certification last year in Girdwood with AAI.

gbrown@alaskasnow.org    907-255-7690

kyle_sobek

Sarah Carter: Forecaster/Instructor/Valdez Avalanche Center Director5

scarter@alaskasnow.org

Sarah loves SNOW! She forecasts for VAC. She also teaches avalanche classes with the Alaska Avalanche Information Center, Prince William Sound College, Backcountry Babes, and UAA.

Kyle Sobek: Instructor/Forecaster

Kyle rides every moment he gets. Kyle is now a Kenny Lake resident and calls Alaska home. He seeks out every opportunity to learn about snow and mountain riding. Kyle instructs avalanche courses and forecasts part-time for Valdez Avalanche Center.

Sean Wisner: Rescue Coordinator

Ben Stolen: Observer

Gareth Brown: Observer

Josh McDonald: Observer


Dr. John Cullen, M.D.: Advisory Board Member and Medical Advisor

Will Stark: Advisory Board Member

Will grew up in Little Tutka Bay, across Kachemak Bay from Homer and attended college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  After obtaining his bachelors degree he entered the management training program with First National Bank Alaska.  In 1997, the bank offered him a job opportunity in Valdez; over the last 20 years, the bank and Valdez have treated him well and he is proud to be associated with both.  Valdez has provided his wife, Erin, and Will an exceptional place to raise their two children, Liam and Noah.  In Valdez they have made great friends and find the town has the perfect mix of ocean and mountains with unparalleled access to both.  Will says he is honored and humbled to provide what help he can to the Valdez Avalanche Center.

Rich Loftin: Advisory Board Member

Erica Shirk: Advisory Board Member

DB Palmer: Advisory Board Member

Interns:

2016 Josh Hege & Bobby Lieberman
2015-2016 Kyle Sobek
2014 Kevin Salys
2014 Monica Morin
2013 Dusty Reed
2012 Katreen Wikstroem
2011 Sam Benoit
2010-2012 Ethan Davis
2009 Jordan Pond
2009 Brad Deringer
2008 Elise Leahy


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Thanks to all our members and community supporters!


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