Valdez Ski Report – January 14, 2015 (Pit)
SKi – Condition are improving on Thompson Pass as rain at the road level has changed to wet snow, adding a few inches of cushion over the pesky ice-crust near the surface. Snow has been falling in copious amounts above 4000′ for the past few days, so all we need is a break in the weather and skiing should be pretty good.
AVALANCHE – LOW at least where I dug today under Obsession finding a nearly isothermic snowpack in the pit below. Any increased hazard within the new snow will produce minor sluffing in steeper terrain and rock gardens above 2000′. By Friday afternoon, cold temps in the lower 20’s will tighten up, or freeze the wet snowpack and increased stability. With that said, some increased hazard is expected at higher elevation and northerly aspects due to strong southerly flow persisting over the Chugach crest along with light snowfall. Also with all the wet weather, glide cracks are also more likely in those common areas. Watch Glide Crack Mountain above airport over the next few days.
WEATHER-Continued snow in Thompson Pass with rain in Valdez through Friday, with some cooling to the lower 20’s on Sat with some light northerlies, then a return to a moist, tropical flow by Sunday into next week.