The avalanche hazard is moderate at all elevations.  Human triggered wet loose avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than 35° where more than 4 inches of slushy snow is present.  Avalanches could be small to moderate in size depending upon the the vertical fall of the slope that they originate from.  Although unlikely there is also a chance to trigger a large wet slab avalanche that could be large enough to injure, bury or kill a person.  There are often good indicators in the spring that wet avalanche activity is becoming likely.  These include: pinwheels or rollerballs at the bottom of slopes, a snowpack that can no longer support a persons weight on their feet and steep rocky terrain producing wet loose or slab avalanches.  Thompson Pass did not receive a strong refreeze the morning of 5/3.  Expect wet loose conditions to develop quickly in the day, especially if incoming clouds hold off longer than forecasted.  Avoid slopes where the snowpack has become isothermal, and traveling on or below cornices.

5/2-5/3 will be the last weekend for public avalanche forecasts for the 2019/20 season.  Thanks to everyone who contributed and used the forecast this season!

The avalanche hazard is moderate at all elevations.  Human triggered wet loose avalanches are possible on slopes steeper than 35° where more than 4 inches of slushy snow is present.  Avalanches could be small to moderate in size depending upon the the vertical fall of the slope that they originate from.  Although unlikely there is also a chance to trigger a large wet slab avalanche that could be large enough to injure, bury or kill a person.  There are often good indicators in the spring that wet avalanche activity is becoming likely.  These include: pinwheels or rollerballs at the bottom of slopes, a snowpack that can no longer support a persons weight on their feet and steep rocky terrain producing wet loose or slab avalanches.  Thompson Pass did not receive a strong refreeze the morning of 5/3.  Expect wet loose conditions to develop quickly in the day, especially if incoming clouds hold off longer than forecasted.  Avoid slopes where the snowpack has become isothermal, and traveling on or below cornices.

This will be the last weekend for public avalanche forecasts for the 2019/20 season.  Thanks to everyone who contributed and used the forecast this season!

MaritimeIntermountainContinental
Forecast Expired

Current Advisory Level

Moderate

Above 3,000ftModerate

1,500 to 3,000ftModerate

Below 1,500ftModerate

+ FULL FORECAST
Forecast Expired

Current Advisory Level

Moderate

Above 4,000ftModerate

2,000 to 4,000ftModerate

Below 2,000ftModerate

+ FULL FORECAST
Forecast as of 2020-06-10 at 08:00 am and expires on 2020-06-10

Current Advisory Level

None

Above 4,000ftNone

2,000 to 4,000ftNone

Below 2,000ftNone

+ FULL FORECAST
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Observations

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Forecast Center Observation

Date2020-04-17
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

4/17 Cracked Ice up to 6200':  North aspect, Clear, Calm with light southwest wind on ridge tops, 39° F at 5 pm at 6000'.  Shooting Cracks: NoCollapsing: NoAvalanches: Yes, Widespread wet loose avalanches all aspects and elevations.  Full depth wet slabs were also noted on south aspects originating from 2-4000 feet elevation.Found the surface to be very wet…

 
Date2020-04-17
LocationValdez
ObserverPWSC Level 2 class
AvalancheN

General Observations

High Temp: 49F with minimal overnight freeze. Location: Town Mountain. Elevation: ~3800' down to ~1200'.  Aspect: south. Wet loose triggered by daytime warming and no overnight freeze. Stepped down to dirty wet slab. Spring Shed: This avalanche was one of many yesterday that ran full path on steep southerly aspects.

 
Date2020-04-06
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

4/6- 1st tributary glacier to the west of hoodoo glacier up to 5900':  North through east aspects, clear, calm, temperatures in the mid teens.  Shooting cracks: No Collapsing: NoAvalanches: Several small to moderate dry loose observed on north through east aspects.  Dry loose did not trigger any soft slab avalanches.  These were both natural and human triggered.Above 3000'…

 

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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@dev.alaskasnow.org    907-255-7690

kyle_sobek

Sarah Carter: Forecaster/Instructor/Valdez Avalanche Center Director5

scarter@dev.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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