Above 2,500ft Low
1,500 to 2,500ft Low
Below 1,500ft Low
Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?
We currently have about 4-6″ of recent snow on top of a frozen-solid rain crust (around 2″ thick) and a bonded mid-pack. The main concern will be fresh wind slabs at the top of the snowpack. Despite generally low danger, There will be pockets of MODERATE danger on wind loaded slopes above 3,500′.
Problem #1: Wind Slab
Location: Wind loaded slopes and cross-loaded terrain features/gullies, above 3,500ft. The upper layer of snowpack contains enough soft snow to make for good riding in protected areas. This softer snow is wind affected in many areas, with north winds whipping it around into recent wind slabs. This will especially be true on high and exposed slopes, and around ridgelines and summits. It will be possible to trigger wind slabs in this new snow anywhere it is blown in deeper than a few inches. Test slopes and hand shears will be helpful as you judge the danger from slope to slope. Avoid areas of cohesive wind slab.
Stick to areas where the top layer of snow is still soft and protected. Always practice good travel techniques, utilizing safe zones, escape routes, only exposing one person at a time to slopes over 30 degrees.
Recent Avalanche Activity
Since the hard rain on Jan. 16th, the only observed activity has been human-triggered loose sluffs. They have been getting large and swift in steep terrain.
We can expect at least a few more days of dry, cold, arctic outflow. While winds are strong close to Lynn Canal, they are much lighter at the Chilkat Pass. The next storm will possibly come in around Friday night or Saturday.
|Snow Depth [in]||Last 24-hr Snow/SWE [in]||Last 3-days Snow/SWE [in]||Today’s Freezing Level [ft]||Today’s Winds||Next 24-hr Snow/SWE|
Mount Ripinsky @ treeline
|38″*||0″ / 0.00*||0″ / 0.00||0||strong, N||0″/ 0.00 *|
Flower Mountain @ treeline
|33″||0″ / 0.00||0″ / 0.00||0||light, NW||0″/ 0.00 *|
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
|20″*||0″ / 0.00 *||0″ / 0.00 *||0||light, NW||0″/ 0.00 *|
( *star means meteorological estimate )
Additional Info & Media
If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!
We will be providing an AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Class this winter in Haines, February 23-25, 2018