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 map

The 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.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Eastern Alaska Range (Deltas)

  1. 2/13/2015 Near the West Branch of the Gulkana Glacier. Beautiful warm (+20F) and bluebird day. Light wind from NNE.

    First pit was dug at about 3,200ft, 32 degree slope with 86 degree aspect. 70cm total snow depth. 5cm of fist hard snow on top of thin crust. At 15cm from surface there was also a 1mm thick clear ice layer. Tests results included CT4, Q3 @ 15cm depth, and ECTN16 @ 15cm depth. Grains on either side of the ice layer seemed to be fairly well bonded to said ice.

    The second pit was dug at 4400ft, 25 degree slope and 100 degree aspect. 85cm total snow depth. Again, we had 5cm of fist hard fluff on top of a 3mm ice layer, followed by 10cm of 4 finger snow on top of another 1mm ice layer. 1 finger hardness to the bottom of the snowpack. CT15 Q1 @ 20cm from surface and CT24 Q1 @ 70cm from surface. ECTN16. The weak layer 70cm from the surface could be tricky to detect as it is not readily obvious visually or from finger drags.

    All that said, it snowed more on Saturday and got super windy on Sunday. Things could be much different now.

  2. 01/25/2015- “Devils Thumb Ridge”, just north of Castner Glacier. 60cm of fresh snow from Thursday-Sunday’s storms. -15F, clearing skies, light winds out of the north. Red flags including lots of whomping, shooting cracks, new snow, and winds moving snow around. Test pit dug on 168 degree aspect, 20 degree slope just above tree line. 110cm total snow depth. Tests results included CT-11, Q2 60cm from surface at the snow/old snow interface. ECTP16 at the same layer, not particularly energetic though. There was also a small (6cm) loose windslab forming at the surface. Great to have new snow!

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