A skier triggered a wind slab avalanche in the Library yesterday. The slide took out a portion of the existing skin track while a second group was ascending, but luckily nobody was caught in the avalanche. See report HERE.
|Signal Word||Size (D scale)||Simple Descriptor|
|Small||1||Unlikely to bury a person|
|Large||2||Can bury a person|
|Very Large||3||Can destroy a house|
|Historic||4 & 5||Can destroy part or all of a village|
We will have one more day of relatively quiet weather before the next round of precipitation moves in later tonight, and the avalanche conditions have not changed much over the past few days. There is still a possibility of triggering wind slab avalanches in steep, wind-exposed terrain. Increasing cloud cover may make larger objectives a bit more challenging today, but if you are planning on moving into bigger terrain, it will be important to identify and avoid wind-loaded slopes. Watch for visual clues of recent wind loading, like stiffer snow at the surface, smooth pillows of wind-drifted snow, or various wind-textured surfaces. Avoid steep terrain if you notice any clear indicators of instability such as shooting cracks, collapsing, or recent avalanche activity. The most likely places to find unstable snow will be just below ridgelines, or on convexities or cross-loaded gullies in alpine areas. This could be in areas like upper elevations on the skier side of the pass, the Seattle Ridge back bowls, or at higher elevations in the Girdwood valley.
Stay tuned for the forecast over the next few days– it is looking like we are headed back into an active weather pattern towards the end of the week.
Cornices: If you are traveling along ridgelines, be sure to keep plenty of distance from the edge of the large cornices that have developed throughout the area. These things have a nasty tendency to break much further back than one would expect, and they are ready to fail under the weight of a snowmachine or a skier. It is also important to minimize time spent traveling below cornices, as there is a chance they could fail naturally.
Sluffs: There has been plenty of dry loose activity as folks have been accessing steeper terrain during these past few days of clear weather. We expect more of the same today on steep slopes. While it is unlikely a sluff would bury a person, they are getting plenty big enough to have serious consequences if they carry you over cliffs, rocks, or through trees.
We have recently seen glide cracks open and release in the Girdwood valley, Turnagain and Summit Lake areas. These avalanches are unpredictable and large since they involve the entire snowpack. Let us know if you see any other cracks or releases, and be sure to avoid getting on or below slopes where you see them open up.
Yesterday: Temperatures were in the upper teens to low 20’s F under clear skies with valley fog lingering all day. Winds were blowing 5-10 mph out of the west at ridgetops.
Today: Clouds are expected to begin to move in today as the high pressure ridge we have been enjoying gives way to a low pressure system moving in tonight. Temperatures will be in the mid teens to low 20’s during the day, and climb steadily to the upper teens to mid 20’s tonight. Easterly ridgetop winds will stay light, blowing at 5-10 mph.
Tomorrow: There is a chance for light snowfall tonight, which could bring 2-4″ snow. Temperatures should be cold enough to bring snow down to sea level, with highs in the low to mid- 20’s F. Easterly winds are expected to pick up to 15-25 mph at the ridgetops, with gusts to 30 mph.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||10||0||0||126|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||3||0||0||43|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||14||0||0||111|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||11||NE||3||8|
|01/31/23||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass area||Megan Guinn / W Wagner Forecaster|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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.