|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
With the exception of the ongoing glide avalanche cycle and some avalanches triggered by falling cornices on Friday, we have not seen any new slab avalanche activity in our advisory area since last Sunday, Jan. 14. Yesterday Skiers in Portage observed a very large avalanche that occurred sometime over the past week between the Burns and Portage Glaciers, which would be just outside of our forecast zone.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
With another day of quiet weather on the way today, our main concern for now remains the active glide cycle that has been unfolding since late December. We continue to see new glide activity from Girdwood to Seward, with large glide cracks opening up and releasing in very popular areas. It is impossible to predict the timing of a glide avalanche, but with all of the action we’ve seen over the past few weeks we are expecting to see more today. These avalanches are large and destructive since they involve the entire season’s snowpack, now 5-7′ deep on average. Luckily, the cracks that open up prior to a glide avalanche make this problem easy to recognize, and a lot easier to manage than some other trickier avalanche problems. Avoid spending any time under an open glide crack since they release spontaneously. If your intended route crosses under a slope with a glide crack above, consider an alternate route if at all possible. If you can’t find a way around it, travel quickly to minimize your exposure time and move one at a time while you cross under the hazard. Be sure to plan your safe spots carefully- these avalanches are very big and can run long distances.
If it weren’t for these darn glide avalanches we would probably be at low danger right now, keeping in mind all of the normal caution safe travel practices. There are probably isolated and small wind slabs lurking out there near some lonely ridgetops, but we are not expecting to see people triggering avalanches until we see another loading event. If you are thinking about getting into steeper terrain while we are in this extended period of calm weather and generally stable snow, be sure to reduce the consequences of some outlier avalanche by travelling one at a time in steep terrain and watching your partners from safe spots outside of avalanche runout zones. Although the snowpack is generally stable, we’re still assessing conditions before getting into big terrain- using travel tests and test slopes just to make sure we’re not missing anything before we jump into steeper slopes. We’ve seen multiple reports of falling cornices over the past few days, which is a good reminder to limit spending any time under them.
This very large cornice is peeling away from the ridgeline above Wolverine, commonly referred to as ‘Flying Cornice’. This cornice is hanging on by a thread, and it would be impossible to recognize how close it is to releasing if you were below it. Photo: Matti Silta, 01.20.2024
Yesterday: We saw another day of clear and calm weather yesterday. Temperatures were once again warmer at upper elevations, with high temperatures in the upper 20s F at ridgetops and in the single digits to low teens F in the valleys. Weather stations this morning are showing the coldest temperatures in the past 24 hours; in the single digits above and below 0 F.
Today: A weak system will be passing through today, bringing partly to mostly cloudy skies but no significant weather otherwise. Winds will be light with variable direction but should stay less than 10 mph, and we may see a few snowflakes later in the day but no accumulation is expected. The temperature inversion that has been keeping temperatures mild at upper elevations has broken down, and we are expecting high temperatures in the low to mid teens F with lows dropping down into the single digits above and bleow zero F.
Tomorrow: High pressure moves back in tomorrow, with skies expected to clear through the day and winds to switch back to the west but remain light at around 5-10 mph. Temperatures will linger in the single digits above and below zero F, and no precipitation is expected.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Bear Valley – Portage (132′)
|Grouse Ck – Seward (700′)
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton