|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.
There were no new avalanches reported yesterday. This was the first day in two weeks that we did not hear about natural avalanche activity. However, temperatures did get into the 60°Fs yesterday an we have another hot sunny day on tap today. As noted above expect the avalanche danger to rise as the snow heats up.
Timing and aspect choices are the keys to having a safe and fun day in the mountains this time of year. Instead of thinking about winter avalanche concerns the heat and direct sun are saying —All right! Stop whatcha doin’ Cause I am about to ruin the powder and the riding that ya used to! (RIP Shock G) —it’s time to monitor crusts, snowpack saturation and understand which aspects are heating up first.
After a night of clear skies and radiant cooling creating a surface crust, temperatures are forecast be in the 50°Fs and 60°Fs again today. If you are venturing out to play in the sun, paying attention to surface conditions and overhead hazard will be crucial. Once crusts soften a little riding can be quite fun. However, triggering a wet loose avalanche will be likely on steep slopes with boot-top (or deeper) wet surface snow. If you are sinking in on your skis or trenching on your snowmachine or punching through with your boots it’s a good idea to get off the slope. Triggering roller balls or small push-a-lanches where the surface snow picks up momentum and entrains more surface snow are a good indicators of increasing hazard. Even a small wet loose avalanche can be dangerous if you get caught and they have the potential to gouge down taking the entire snowpack, becoming large and destructive. In addition, it will be possible to trigger a wet slab on slopes seeing significant warming. Wet slabs avalanches happen when a weak layer or interface becomes moist or wet. The wet snow loses strength and the snow above fails and avalanches. Wet slabs are often triggered by a wet loose avalanche and are most likely to occur in areas with a thinner snowpack, such as Summit Lake.
As you plan your day think about what slopes are heating up. In addition to human triggered avalanches being likely when the surface snow loose strength, natural wet loose and wet slab avalanches will be possible today. Remember north and east aspects warm first, then south, then west, and last north gets the sun again this time of year. Steep rocky terrain warms up quickly! Natural roller balls are a sign slopes are heating up. Exit routes require thought as well this time of year. Be careful not to traveling across or under suspect slopes on the way back to the car.
Cornices: Warm temperatures and direct sunshine can destabilize this looming hazard. Cornices will become easier and easier to trigger as time goes on. A cornice fall could trigger a wet avalanche on the slope below. Be aware to not accidentally travel onto one and limit any exposure under them.
There have been some large glide avalanches over the last 10 days and there are glide cracks littered across the forecast area. Remember glide cracks can release at anytime. Avoid/limit spending time underneath them. Don’t mess with the brown frown!
Yesterday: Skies were mostly clear with high temperatures into the 50°Fs and low 60°s and calm winds. Overnight skies were clear and temperatures were in the 30°Fs and 40°Fs and winds remained calm.
Today: Skies will be clear with high temperatures in the 50°Fs and 60°Fs and winds start out calm and then pick up slightly in the afternoon becoming light and easterly. Overnight skies will be clear, temperatures will be in the 30°Fs and winds remain light and easterly.
Tomorrow: Clear skies continue with high temperatures in the 50°Fs and light easterly winds. This pattern looks to continue until mid week when there is a chance of precipitation.
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: Silvertip Creek
|Observation: Seattle Ridge
|John Sykes Forecaster
|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