Good-Bye Damalanche 2014 – It’s Finally Gone.

Within the next week, a small patch of snow will melt at the base of Snowslide Gulch. Lasting nearly 2-1/2 years, this is the last dirty white remnant of the debris pile from the largest avalanches cycle ever seen in Valdez. The enormous amount of snow that slid off the mountains in late January of 2014 was a thrill for me. To witness and document the event was near the top of anything I’ve experienced in the mountains, good and bad. But this was real good.

So in memory of Damalanche 2014, below are some of the photo’s I took from the plane a day after the event and a ski-in to Snowslide Gulch once they opened the road. A few of these I’ve not shared before.




Skiing into Damalanche from Bear Creek.


As viewed from the debris pile in Snowslide Gulch, the high water mark is visible along with the summer trail higher on the slope. An avalanche earlier in the week brought down the cottonwoods on the left.


Snow, dirt and mud.


XC skiers in Mineral Creek with slides off Mile High


Mud still stains the waters near Gold Creek 48 hours after event.


My pit a day or so before the event. Based on this I issued a High Avalanche Warning for the next few days. Heavy precip then occurred on top of this structure and created the Damalanche events, breaking at 75cm with step downs to ground hoar creating 100’s of 3-5000′ climax slides.


A highway runs through it.