The danger rating and information provided below is only valid for 2/17/14
The trickle continues! A bit more snow with a bit more wind yesterday into this morning will keep the avalanche danger at the low end of moderate. Shallow instabilities at the interface between the old surface crusts and new snow received since Thursday are most likely to be found on steep, wind-loaded upper elevation (above 3500′) terrain near leeward ridges, peaks and cross-loaded features.
Reports and observations from Thursday-Sunday indicate generally good stability and snow conditions. The lower elevation approaches, however, do remain thin – but once you get above treeline you’ll be rewarded.
Generally, there isn’t enough non-encrusted snow to create avalanches larger than D1 (see avalanche size scale here). Thus, wind slabs shouldn’t be inherently dangerous; the main threat will be due to the terrain consequences and exposure if a small wind slab was to cause you to fall or lose control.
Steep, upper elevation (above 4000′) terrain that holds more loose, dry snow is prone to sluffing.
Decreasing clouds and snow snow showers this morning are forecast to give way to partly sunny skies this afternoon. Temps in the teens and generally light winds (E to N) are expected.
The snow keeps trickling in and conditions in the FRange and Eagle River areas continue to improve; the skiing is quite good! All the more reason to think global and ski local!
Voile has been a HUGE SUPPORTER of the Anchorage Avalanche Center this season. Their skis and snow tools (shovels and probes) have made field work possible…and enjoyable. We can’t speak highly enough of their products.
Voile skis are lightweight, relatively indestructible, and ridiculously fun. The Vector is a perfect one-ski quiver for the Western Chugach. It can handle conditions from deep, blower pow to manky, icy hardpack (which we unfortunately had a lot of the past month). Better yet, Voile skis are responsibly made in the USA (right outside the wondrous Wasatch in Salt Lake City, Utah) as sustainably as possible (using Forest Stewardship Council certified wood). Considering all this (not to mention full-width carbon fiber and sick Seussian graphics), they’re perhaps the most reasonably priced skis on the market.