|Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory|
|Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.|
|Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.|
|Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale|
FREE rescue clinics and general avalanche information for those headed to Arctic Man this week. Click HERE for more information. The snowpack has been reported to be very unstable in the Hoodoos with many human triggered avalanches over the weekend. Please be on your guard and don't forget your beacon, shovel and probe.
The potential for mid-elevation glide avalanches is keeping the avalanche danger at CONSIDERABLE today. These are most pronounced at 3,000' and below. Many popular slopes are harboring dark brown glide cracks that have potential to release day or night. Cautious route finding and careful terrain evaluation is essential to avoid being under the run out of glide cracks!
The avalanche danger is LOW in the alpine where a stout and supportable surface crust sits under 2-4” of wet snow from yesterday.
*As glide avalanches continue to release, summer use trails with avalanche terrain above should be avoided. The Byron Glacier trail in Portage Valley is not recommended and the Turnagain Arm Trail between Bird and Girdwood, remains CLOSED.
Glide avalanches continue to steal the limelight and for good reason as it only takes a short drive through Turnagain Pass to witness first-hand the quantity of glide avalanches and sheer destruction that these can bring. It is important to stay well away from existing cracks and limit your exposure time to glide avalanche run out zones. We’ve been saying it for a while but to get caught up in a glide avalanche will undoubtedly prove fatal.
A very large glide crack has been slowly opening and creeping toward the common snowmachine up-track on Seattle ridge. If venturing toward the back bowls today, travel fast in order to limit your time spent exposed to this growing glide crack.
Wet loose avalanches: 2-4” inches of wet snow yesterday fell on a supportable crust above about 2,000’. We can expect up to another 2-4” today. Stubborn, shallow wet-loose avalanches may be possible in very steep alpine terrain but these shouldn’t prove much of an issue for skiers or snowmachiners today.
Keep in mind that LOW danger does not mean NO danger. Aside from glide avalanches, we haven’t seen much wet slab activity yet but it is getting to be that time of year where wet slabs become a concern with shallow overnight freezes and warm daytime temperatures.
Cornices: We are still waiting for the Alpine to warm up enough to start seeing a natural cornice fall cycle. We do know that cornices are close enough to failure that skiers or snowmachiners can influence a failure by travelling on a corniced ridge and the potential for a human-trigger is a very real concern. Remember these have a tendency to break much further back than one might expect.
Wind slabs: Winds picked up enough overnight that high in the alpine (where dry snow exists) shallow wind slabs likely exist in leeward terrain. These are not likely to be deep or large, but could prove tricky in extreme terrain.
Yesterday was mostly cloudy with light winds from the east. Temperatures averaged 29 degrees during the day on Sunburst (3,880’) with 2-4” of new snow falling above about 2,000’ and light rain below. Overnight, it looks like there was another shallow freeze between 2,000’ - 4,000’.
The forecast today calls for partly to mostly cloudy skies again with rain/ snow showers throughout the day. We may see 2-4” of new snow above about 2,000’ and light rain below. Temperatures will be in the low 40’s at 1,000’ and low 30’s to high 20’s around ridgetop locations. Winds will be primarily from the East in the 15 – 35mph range.
Tomorrow and into Friday may bring us a brief break from this showery regime before returning to unsettled weather over the weekend.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||37||0||.1||117|
|Summit Lake (1400')||38||0||0||36|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||35||trace/ rain||.14||103|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).
Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.
(Updated: Dec 08, 2017 )
|AREA||STATUS||WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS|
|Turnagain Pass:||Closed||Rain and snow have fallen in Turnagain Pass this week, but not enough to open for snowmachining. Continue to check back to this site for updates.|
|Lost Lake Trail:||Closed|
|Resurrection Pass Trail:||Closed||Resurrection Pass trail is expected to open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.|
|South Fork Snow River Corridor:||Closed|
SNOW AND AVALANCHE HOTLINE (907) 754-2369
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