Snow Observations

Valdez Snow Observations

Scroll to the bottom to submit your avalanche, snow and weather observations for comment below. You can also utilize this fillable FORM in Microsoft Word. This form, and any photos or snow profiles can be emailed directly to for posting to your comment. Thank you for your commitment to community safety.

Area Links

347 thoughts on “Snow Observations

  1. On Monday, 03/02 we skied Crudbusters. Conditions were variable with some light wind slab at higher elevations and 3-4 inches of recycled powder on top of a firm consistent crust at mid elevations. Lower elevations showed a solid rain crust at the surface. It was a beautiful day with gorgeous views! Our snow pit, dug close to the ridge, showed nothing remarkable with test results. We did discover two separate interesting layers: buried surface hoar, and a thin layer of decomposing fragmented particles acting as a weak layer. However nothing was propagating where we dug. We did not see any other signs of instability during our tour besides old crowns and wet point releases from the last storm cycle. We also saw some old small wet point releases on S facing slopes that were likely from solar radiation.
    The following are weather observations:
    Close to the parking lot (at 1600 feet) it was a balmy 25 degrees, scattered clouds, no wind, 80cm of snow, with a solid melt freeze rain crust for surface snow. At 2500 feet temperatures rose to 34 degrees with light winds from the W. The height of snow was 125cm with a surface zipper thermal crust. At 3500 feet temps were at 30 degrees with light winds and height of snow 175cm.20150302-Cudbusters.jpg

  2. On 02/23, in the afternoon, we investigated the snow close to MP 29.5 at Thompson Pass and found isothermic conditions with moist snow to the ground. 20150223-MP-29.5.jpg

  3. 1. Skied s facing bench across from tsaina lodge (sunny side) to 3000 feet whereupon found lots of old avy debris that looked to be from last wind event. Multiple Pit highlights were lots of spatial variability w 1′ hard slab below most recent rain crust. At one Column test w low quality shear at 17 in the facet layer below hard slab (interestingly didn’t go on deeper rain or sun layer present). That hard slab seemed to make up natural debris. Skied poorly.
    2. Little glacier behind skate park w boot top pow over 3000 skied awesome. No naturals. No tests done

  4. Thur. Feb. 12: Milepost 27- 29

    – Temps in the mid teens Fahrenheit
    – Light snow in the morning for short period and eventually broken sky with sun gracing the slopes in afternoon.
    – 5-6 inches of new light, unconsolidated snow, up to 12 inches in low lying loaded areas
    – New snow not bonding to old surfaces; tendency to sluff in steeper terrain on ice crusts and hard windslab
    – Incredibly variable conditions hidden under new snow: breakable to bombproof wind slab and old ice crust
    – Dug on lee slope on south side of highway at about 2400 feet
    – Main weaknesses:
    – Lack of new snow to bond (CT1)
    – Below knife hard windslab in 1mm facets (ECTP22 Q3 BRK Step)
    – Deep facets/depth hoar (CT11 BRK in layer)
    – Generally strong snow pack with question of how future accumulations interact

  5. Thur Feb. 5:

    Dug at Milepost 37 above highway and Tsaina bridge. This was directly next to older pit from Jan 13 for comparison.

    Blustery with strong winds and cold temps around 8* F.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 + one =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.