It has now been over a week since our last reported avalanches (more details here and here), and over two weeks since we have seen an avalanche big enough to bury a person. For the past week, we have gotten a steady trickle of low density snow with light winds, which is a great way to maintain quality riding conditions and improve stability. But, this doesn’t mean we can turn off our avalanche brains! For now, avalanches are unlikely, not impossible. Keep a few things in mind when you are out today:
If you are moving into steeper terrain today, be sure to only expose one person at a time to steep slopes, watch your partners from safe spots well out of the way of avalanche paths and runout zones, and be mindful of other groups traveling above and below you.
Although unlikely, it is not impossible to find isolated wind slabs like this one (which happened over a week ago) near ridge tops and in cross-loaded gullies. Eddies. Photo: Kakiko Ramos-Leon. 12.12.2020.
We know there is weak snow at the base of the snowpack throughout the advisory area, but it is quite variable and has shown signs of gaining strength. With no activity in this layer in over two weeks, very few signs indicating instability, and no significant loading in over a week, it is becoming very unlikely to trigger an avalanche deep in the snowpack. This layer is more concerning in areas with thinner snowpack such as Crow Pass, and as you head south from Turnagain Pass (Lynx Creek, Silvertip) towards Summit Lake. This type of avalanche is tricky. Deeply buried weak layers can often lay dormant for weeks or longer without showing any signs of activity before somebody finds just the wrong spot to trigger one. If you want to avoid problem entirely, you can stay off steep, rocky, slopes over 35 degrees.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||19||1||0.2||60|
|Summit Lake (1400')||18||2||0.2||27|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||17||2||0.2||62|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400')||17||N||12||3|
|05/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/30/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/27/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Creighton/ Hoople|
|04/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Nick D'Alessio|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Airplane obs||Johnston-Bloom / DiJulia /Hilliard Forecaster|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn biscuit||Heather Johnson|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Ck Drainage||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eeva Latosuo|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Turnagain pass||Joe Kurtak|
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.