|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 shaping up to be a fine weekend for mountain recreation in the Turnagain Pass area. After 10 days of wet and stormy weather, the skies finally cleared yesterday to reveal a fresh 2-3′ of new snow down to 1000′. The weather is expected to stay cold with light winds and partly sunny skies throughout the weekend. Due to the recent stormy weather we have limited information from the forecast area. There were a few observations of natural avalanches that released during the storm on Tincan, Sunburst, and Magnum. Lots of folks were out yesterday, and we have not heard of any significant human triggered avalanches.
The most likely type of avalanche you could find today is a wind slab lingering in steep terrain that formed during the storm. Wind slabs are commonly found near upper elevation ridgelines or convex rolls near treeline. You can check whether wind slabs are reactive by jumping on or riding across small, steep test slopes and looking for shooting cracks or small avalanches. Stepping out of the track and feeling for areas with firmer snow on top of softer snow can also be an indicator to help locate areas that have been recently wind loaded. If you plan to venture into the steeps today, we recommend gradually working your way up to steeper slopes and evaluating how well the new snow is bonding to the old snow surface before committing to exposed terrain.
At elevations above 3500′ there is a layer of weak faceted snow at the ground which could be cause for concern in areas with a thinner snowpack. Locations where this could be an issue include high elevation peaks near Johnson Pass, Silvertip, or Crow Creek area. These places typically have a shallower snowpack, therefore initiating an avalanche on a buried weak layer at the ground is more likely.
Yesterday: Winds died down yesterday morning, with a few hours of averages of 15-20 mph and gusts to 35 mph in the early morning before dropping to averages of 0-5 mph and gusts less than 10 mph for the rest of the day. There was no new snowfall across the forecast area in the past 24 hours. Temperatures were in the 20s F and cloud cover was scattered.
Today: Dry and cold weather is on tap for today. Light winds out of the NE are expected, with averages of 0-10 mph. Temperatures should be in the teens to 20s F. Skies will remain partly cloudy. No significant new snowfall is expected.
Tomorrow: Sunday is looking very similar to Saturday, with light winds in to 0-10 mph range, temperatures in the teens to 20s F and partly cloudy sky cover. No new snow is expected until Monday.
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′)
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