Valdez Ski Report – January 3, 2015
SKI- Wind hardened and eroded surfaces dominate Thompson Pass as moderate winds followed moderate snowfall to bring in the New Year and sunny skies. TB and I were able to tour to Moonlight Pass and back to 24-Mile today.
But before some ski beta it was very disheartening to see this past memory of bigotry and hatred flying on Thompson Pass in 2015 from some visiting sled heads. Not sure what to say but I’m sure I’m not the only one offended by such a display in a beautiful place.
AVALANCHE – LOW which is pretty standard when the snowpack does this. But low does not mean that there are not some big pockets of instability over the PWKL where the storm did not clean things out. Below is a picture of a recent release at the entry to Gulley One. Probably triggered on the persistent weak layer with a combination of storm snow then strong north winds loading it up. We dug a pit at mid-mountain on a low west aspect of Goodwills that drops into Moonlight Basin. We created an AK-Block in an amazing 300cm of snowpack that would not shear. Our snow depth continues be within normal ranges for this time of the year at least above 3000′.
WEATHER – Clear and cold with occasional brisk north winds mainly along ridge and summit tops til next weekend as little if any snow is on the forecast as high pressure ridging wobbles above the eastern Chugach in the long, long term. FWIW 2014 was the driest year in Valdez history.
AK BLOCK (R6)
TB on the descent.