Valdez Ski Report March 10, 2015 (1700 AKT)

Gusty winds continue to drift powder with avalanches occurring in Thompson Pass creating CONSIDERABLE hazard on mainly northerly aspects above 2000′ from the HairPin north. Soft cornices and wind lips sensitive.  Visual red flags abound.  Test slopes early on approaches.  Vast soft wind slabs from cross-loading are strengthening, but new ones will remain active and settle slowly once the winds quiet.  The potential for large step downs from cornice breaks exist in isolation.  While the first skier may not trigger such slopes, the second or third skier may.

Winds will abate some on Wednesday, but Thursday night could bring gust to 60mph(50/50) again, before easing for the weekend and a slight chance of snow FRi-SAT. Clouds will move either way in earnest along with a slight warming,

In such conditions as today on the longer approach towards Cathers Mitt from Worthington Glacier, which can be protected by terrain from winds.  With the Shirks of Valdez, we found some good skiing for a telemark session.   Variable soft slabs at the surface laced with patches of powder allowed Erica to enjoy her first birthday in the Chugach.

First things first with some pure power. Slightly wind eroded, drifted powder.  Temp 4F N10G30.



Happy Birthday Erica!


Sam Shirk(Valdez)


Thompson Pass(DOT) March 10, 2015