Valdez Avalanche Center

Contact Information

If you have suggestions, questions, comments or would like to volunteer, please contact us:
Tel: (907) 255-2241
Mailing Address:
PO Box 911
Valdez, AK

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





2017/2018 Staff & Volunteers


Ryan VanLuit: Forecaster

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

Sarah Carter: Forecaster/Instructor/Valdez Avalanche Center Director

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


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!

Valdez Gallery

Tailgate Alaska at Thompson Pass

hybrid users are common in Valdez



Surface Hoar


Thompson Pass Terrain


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