Seattle Ridge: There were a few more glide avalanches noted on the SE face of Seattle Ridge yesterday. Additionally, a few have been popping out in the back of Eddie’s ridge and Wolverine on SW aspects. If you see one of these that seems new, or you witness one release, please let us know!
Glide avalanche seen from Cornbiscuit yesterday. This slide is on the east side of peak 4940 and is roughly across from the Bertha Ck campground on the south end of Turnagain Pass. Thank you Dan Powers for the photo, taken 4.12.22.
|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|
The brilliant stretch of sunny skies and nice weather will continue again today. With only light and variable ridgetop winds expected, the only weather component that could contribute to avalanche potential will be the strength of the afternoon sun. So far, the spring temperatures have been chilly enough, and the overnight re-freeze hard enough, that the sun has only been able to soften the southerly aspects. This is opposed to melting them to the point our boot-tops sink into wet sloppy snow and wet loose avalanches start occurring. When this will happen is something to watch for as the spring progresses. Otherwise, there are a few additional ‘Normal Caution’ avalanche concerns. These are glide avalanches, cornice falls, and small slabs.
Glide avalanches are a wild thing, literally. They are not triggered by people, yet can avalanche at any time of the day. They take the whole snowpack so even a small glide avalanche can be very destructive to a person. Several have released on Seattle Ridge lately and we can expect them to keep popping out until the snow is gone. It’s imperative we do not accidentally get run over by a glide avalanche – be aware of what is around you and limit any exposure under glide cracks. These cracks are littered about and can sometimes be hard to see.
For those headed to the high elevation terrain, triggering a large cornice fall is a very real possibility. The last cornice fall we know of was the near miss on Big League in the Girdwood area. Not only do we need to give them extra space along ridgelines, it’s prudent to limit exposure under them. Triggering a small slab in steep northerly terrain is also possible in just the right spot. As always, keep an eye out for wind loaded looking areas, cracking in the snow around you, and hollow feeling snow. Even a small slab can have grave consequences if a person gets knocked off their feet in steep rocky terrain.
Maintaining safe travel protocols at all times, including these LOW danger days, will only stack the odds in our favor if someone is to get caught by surprise in an unlikely avalanche. Only expose one person at a time to steep terrain, plan your line carefully with escape routes in mind, keep an eye on your partners from safe spots. It’s good to remember that the winter mountains can have some curve balls, we need to be ready.
Small glide avalanche that ran next to tracks on Seattle Ridge. The debris from the glide was able to pull out a small slab on its way down the slope. This glide was believed to have released sometime Sunday night or early Monday. Photo taken on Monday, 4.11.22.
Yesterday: Sunny skies were over the region yet again yesterday. Ridgetop winds were light, 5-10mph, from the south and east. Temperatures rose to the mid 40’sF in the parking lots and up to the mid 30’sF along ridgelines.
Today: Mostly sunny skies will prevail again today. There could be a few high clouds stream overhead. Ridgetop winds are forecast to be light and variable. Temperatures have dropped into the teens and 20’sF overnight in valley bottoms and should climb back to the mid 40’sF by this afternoon. Ridgetop temperatures are remaining in the 25-30F range.
Tomorrow: One more mostly clear sky day is expected tomorrow with light winds. On Friday, clouds look to head in, although no measurable precipitation is expected. It is looking like we could get back to partly sunny skies for the weekend. Stay tuned as we all are enjoying the high-pressure period!
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||37||0||0||111|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||38||0||0||39|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36||0||0||N/A|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||30||SE||5||10|
|05/11/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|05/07/22||Turnagain||Observation: Granddaddy||Kit Barton|
|04/29/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst wx station||AS/ MM/ AM/ NH|
|04/28/22||Turnagain||Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity||Alex Marienthal|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Sykes / Buttrick Forecaster|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs||A S|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge – large glide avalanche on Repeat Offender path||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge uptrack||Martin Schmidt|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Observation: Pastoral||Jason Konigsberg|
|04/24/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Lance breeding|
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.