Spring Season Forecast

Issued: Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 8AM

Expires: Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Above 2,500ft None

1,500 to 2,500ft None

Below 1,500ft None

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

1. Low
2. Moderate
3. Considerable
4. High
5. Extreme

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

This will be the last update of the season. Standard caution is advised through May, as natural and human-triggered avalanches are still going to be likely in some areas. The main concerns will be related to solar heating, but also be careful of any fresh storm slabs in the high mountains after new snowfalls, especially wind loaded areas.

Problem #1: Storm Snow

Location: All aspects 30 degrees and steeper, above 2,000ft. Our weather pattern has been one of occasional storms with strong winds and snow levels near 2,500ft. During any storms and for 1-3 days afterwards, expect normal storm-snow concerns to continue, with human triggered slides likely. This includes tender fresh wind slabs within new storm snow, and weakness at the new/old snow interface. Look for signs of wind loading (drifts, rounded wind pillows, cornices, etc), and avoid these areas. If you sense hollow, slabby, or cohesive surface snow it would be a good idea to find safer, less wind-affected terrain to ride. Hand shears, small test slopes, and cautious ski cuts will be good ways to  evaluate and manage this danger in the field.

Problem #2: Wet Avalanches

Distribution: ALL aspects above 2,000ft, steeper than 30 degrees. While we are getting solid overnight freezes, wet slide danger will start as low in the morning, but as the day heats up and melt water increases, the danger of wet slabs and large point-releases will rise quickly. Travel in the early morning to avoid this danger. Plan to be off of any sunny slopes before the snow softens to ankle-deep. On particularly wet, sunny slopes, wet slabs may break on the old January ice crust, about 1 meter deep (most likely on steep south aspects between 3,000-6,000ft). Even north aspects will be prone to shallow wet slides now that the late-afternoon sun is starting to bake them. Stay out of gullies and chutes that channel wet debris.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Isolated natural wet-loose avalanches have been occurring over the last week, in the afternoon hours on steep, rocky South through West aspects. These slides have been mostly size 1-2 so far.

Recent Weather

7-16″ of wet snow fell above 2,000ft on the 23rd. (highest amounts in the Lutak Zone and lowest at the Pass). South winds were moderate-strong. Clouds and light precipitation will stick around Thursday before clearing out Friday-Sunday. Freezing levels will slowly lower to around 2,000ft this weekend.

 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
65″ 0″ / 0.00 0″ / 0.30 3,000 mod, S 0″/ 0.15 *
Flower Mountain @ treeline
 42″ 0″ / 0.00 0″ / 0.20 3,000 mod, SE 0″/ 0.10 *
Chilkat Pass @ 3,500ft
 22″* 0″ / 0.00 * 2″ / 0.20 * 3,000 mod, SE 1″/ 0.10 *

( *star means meteorological estimate )

Additional Info & Media

If you get out on the snow, send in your observations!

Posted in Chilkat Pass Forecasts.
Erik Stevens

Forecaster: Erik Stevens