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.

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.

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.

Observations

Tell us what you're seeing out there.

Go to Valdez Observations

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.

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. The information has grown into the Valdez Avalanche Forecast, presented in a four day forecast. Locals asked for information they could make plans with. The experimental four day outlook gives forecasters’ best estimate of how the weather will affect and change the snow. Just like the extended weather forecast, the first day of the forecast is the most accurate. Generally, the forecasts expire 24 hours after issue, unless updated. The forecasts are updated daily during the winter season. Early season and late season forecasts are issued as needed.

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

Area Resources

Interactive Maps (Google Maps or Earth) with
Layers (Names & Resources) of our 3 Forecast Zones:
Maritime, Inter-Mountain and Continental

climate-zones-topo

climate-zones-satellite

google-earth1

Other:


2017/2018 Staff & Volunteers

 

Ryan VanLuit: Forecaster

RVanLuit@alaskasnow.org

Ryan joins the Valdez Avalanche Center forecasting team this year from Montana.

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


Sponsors

 valdezcity

Thanks to all our members and community supporters!


Valdez Gallery

Tailgate Alaska at Thompson Pass

hybrid users are common in Valdez

Powder!

 

Surface Hoar

 

Thompson Pass Terrain

 

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