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
- Northeast Prince William Sound NWS Weather Forecast
- Middleton Island Radar for Valdez area
- GOES Alaska water vapor satellite loop
- NOAA NWS Recreational spot forecast for Thompson Pass
- Thompson Pass MP 25.7 RWIS weather station 2740' (Mesowest)
- Valdez Marine Ferry Terminal weather station sea level
- Nicks Happy Valley above MP 30 weather station 4200' (scroll to Nicks Valley)
- Upper Tsaina River Snotel near MP 32 1750'
- Sugarloaf Snotel 551'
- Above Valdez Glacier Cryosphere program weather station 6600' <map here>
- Valdez Blueberry Weather Plot observations (scroll to bottom: Valdez City)
- More Mountain Weather resources for Alaska
- GFS 16 Day Model for Valdez
- Model Average Meteogram for Valdez
Interactive Maps (Google Maps or Earth) with
Layers (Names & Resources) of our 3 Forecast Zones:
Maritime, Inter-Mountain and Continental
- Smartphone app for Avalanche forecasts: Download either the iOS or Android version of the app for free<here> . Check out our community’s snow observations.
- Looking for guidebooks?
- Alaska Backcountry Skiing Valdez & Thompson Pass by Matt Kinney.
- Chuting Valdez – Steep backcountry skiing in and around Valdez by Aaron Brown.
- 2017-18 _VAC Membership meeting May 2, 2018 report (1)
- 2016-17 VAC annual membership meeting and Season Summary Report May 3, 2017
- 2015-16 VAC annual membership meeting minutes May 3, 2016
- 2014-15 summary of weather / snowpack stability <here> and snowfall chart<here>
- 2014-15 VAC membership mting May 5, 2015 report
- 2013-2014 Seasonal Snowfall
- 2013-2014 Valdez Avalanche Center Season Summary
2021/2022 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.
[email protected] 907-255-7690
Sarah Carter: Instructor/Valdez Avalanche Center Director
Sarah loves a good travel novel, sweet powder turns, and standing on top of mountains! She looks forward to Sunday fun days with her two ripping sons, Chance & Cirque. She also teaches avalanche classes with the Alaska Avalanche Information Center, Prince William Sound College, 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: Liason to AAIC Board of Directors
Kyle Klause: Advisory Board Member
John Cullen: Advisory Board Member
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
Thanks to all our members and community supporters!
Tailgate Alaska at Thompson Pass
hybrid users are common in Valdez
Thompson Pass Terrain