|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.
|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
It is another beautiful spring day with mostly clear skies and light winds expected. The sun beating down on the snowpack will be the most likely cause of any avalanches today, with an increased chance of glide avalanches, cornice failures, and wet loose avalanches on steeper terrain in the afternoon. Yesterday there was a cold breeze keeping the snow surface from melting much along the upper elevations near Sunburst and the surface just softened enough to help improve the skiing slightly in the early evening. Temperatures stayed cold enough to preserve dry snow on the surface on northern aspects above roughly 1500′.
Glide avalanche releases have been frequent this week along southern aspects in Turnagain Pass and we expect this trend to continue. It is important to recognize and avoid areas with existing glide cracks or avalanche debris from prior glide avalanches. Sometimes these can release even without an obvious crack on the snow surface. Being involved with a glide avalanche would be catastrophic due to the depth of the glide cracks and the very dense avalanche debris.
Even though this is the fifth day in a row of low danger, there is still an outside chance of finding a lingering slab avalanche on steep north facing terrain today. It is important to maintain safe travel protocols to minimize your groups exposure to an isolated and unexpected avalanche. That means trying to expose only one person at a time in avalanche terrain, spotting your partners, and grouping up in safe areas. All these practices will stack the odds in your favor and should be standard practice for mountain travel regardless of avalanche danger level.
Yesterday: Clear skies and light winds with temperatures rising into the 40’s in the afternoon at lower elevations and staying relatively cool in the upper 20’s at upper elevations.
Today: Another day of calm winds and quiet weather with a chance for clouds to start building in coastal areas in the afternoon as a low pressure system starts to move into the area tonight and tomorrow.
Tomorrow: A low pressure system currently centered in the Bearing sea will move east over the next two days, bringing increased cloud cover and wind speeds. Winds are expected to be light to moderate and start increasing Friday morning. No significant precipitation is expected in the forecast area.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|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