Good morning backcountry travelers. This is a staff posting from the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, April 17th at 7am.
*We are no longer issuing daily avalanche advisories for 2010-2011. This does not mean that the avalanche season is finished.
*Through the remaining two weeks of April, updates will be posted as avalanche conditions warrant.
End of season BOTTOM LINE
First of all, we would like to thank all of you for staying safe in avalanche terrain and helping make this avalanche center an important resource for South Central Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to everyone that submitted observations this year. Your observations are invaluable to us, as well as help steer this operation in the right direction.
We’d also like to thank the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center and our major funding partners. You are an amazing group of folks with a passion to help keep people safe in the backcountry. THANK YOU for all your support.
Additionally, we would like to thank:
-Alyeska Ski Patrol
-Alaska Avalanche School
-Alaska Pacific University
-Chugach Powder Guides
-and many CNFAIC Staffs
for sharing important avalanche information to pass on to the backcountry community.
Avalanches are most common during or within 24-48 hours of a storm. The snowpack needs time to adjust so patience is the key for playing in avalanche terrain after storms (rain, snow or both).
There are still plenty of weak layers out there including: pockets of buried surface hoar, facets around sun crusts and facets surrounding the Thanksgiving rain crust.
Avalanches on these weak layers are possible, especially:
-within 24 hours after storms
-during rain on snow events
-during the big spring thaw
-during times of direct sunlight
-rapidly warming temperatures
**Every year there is a time when the snowpack completely falls apart due to the spring thaw. This can happen any time in the next couple weeks. Often, this extremely dangerous avalanche cycle starts after 2-3 days of sustained above freezing temperatures at the ridge top weather stations (including overnight), during periods of direct sun or intense rainfall. When the spring thaw happens, we all need to stay away from the mountains until the cycle is finished. Large destructive avalanches that could fail on deeper weak layers are common during this time.
The place for all things weather is the CNFAIC weather page!
Remember – Stay tuned for periodic updates through April 30th.
Thanks for checking the avalanche advisories this season. Have a great spring and summer!