Eastern Alaska Range (Deltas)

Eastern Alaska Range Snow Observations

A small fraction of terrain frequented by backcountry travelers has a professional avalanche forecast available. For this reason, the Alaska Avalanche Information Center encourages users to share what they see.Deltas mapThe Delta Range (Eastern Alaskan Range) accessed from the Richardson Highway between Paxson and Donnelly Dome is a fantastic winter playground.

Please contribute your avalanche, snow and weather observations in the comments below. This is a data-sparse area; shared observations create an ongoing history of snow and weather that can help recreationists plan and prepare for success in the backcountry.
natalie ski summit lake
snowmachines near summit lake

If you have suggestions for links or improvements to this page, please email scarter@alaskasnow.org

Area Links
Other helpful links:
Slope Angle Maps creates a map like this to help you recognize avalanche terrain and plan routes. The slope angles are averages – ground truthing and cross referencing is still necessary.



25 thoughts on “Eastern Alaska Range (Deltas)

  1. Avalanche reported in Rainbow Basin May 17, 2015: “From what I heard they hiked up the ridge on dry ground until they reached the top of the small snowfield, the first person to step onto the snow slipped and slid several feet, releasing what appears to be a wet loose slide. He slid with it for a while, luckly because he was in the back of it got left behind. He said it was icy where he stopped and when he tried to stand up he actually slide further down, into the debris. They said it ran on frozen/icy moss and rocks around 4pm. The weather had been very warm and sunny and the slope is facing northwestish.”

  2. Hey all,
    I know this is a bit late but I figured it’s better to have old info than no info!

    We spent a few weeks on the College Glacier on the south side of the Range from March 17th to March 31st. Conditions were better than expected with firm playful powder on N-NW aspects. As conditions warmed and a few small snow events moved through, all aspects became prime.

    We dug a few pits over the course of our time up there and found a stable snowpack. Pit elevations varied between 5500′ and 6500′ and multiple aspects. Total snow depth varied between approx 200cm and 350cm. There were some weak layers typically about 15-20cm (CT12-15) below the surface but they did not propagate in our ECTs (ECTN12-18). The snowpack seemed very right side up for the first 130 to 150cm or so. Deeper than that, there did seem to be some layers that could be problematic, but they were too deep to be reactive to our ECTs and CTs. For our skiing purposes, it seemed like a low risk, high consequence situation. The hard ice/rain layers that have been so prevalent north of the pass and at lower elevations were non-existent in our profiles.

    Towards the end of our stay we did start to see a good melt/freeze crust forming on slopes with more southern aspects. I imagine that trend will have continued after we left.

    Sorry for the rather scattered summary. If anyone feels the burning desire for more specific pit/test observations, send me a message. Have fun and be safe out there.

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