Good morning, this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, November 16th at 7am. This will serve as 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).
You only have to drive through the Pass to see the glide activity for yourself. The full depth avalanches are breaking to the ground in a number of common areas including Sunburst, Cornbiscuit, and Seattle ridge. The danger of glides is difficult to quantify, but we think it deserves more than a low danger rating. We recommend backcountry travelers steer clear of the cracks and avoid spending excessive time below them. If you were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, a glide avalanche would have serious destructive potential.
Strong wind over the weekend was loading slopes near the ridges. Initially people were finding them reactive with shooting cracks and the occasional small pocket releasing under the weight of a person. Over the last few days these slabs have hardened up and become much less reactive. It is now unlikely to be triggered by a skier or boarder, but it’s worth thinking about in steeper high consequence terrain.
The areas most people will want to travel over the next few days will be in the trees below the wind blasted zone. Above 2500 feet yesterday we found variable wind crust and raised tracks. Below tree line the snow is still generally soft and carvable.
MOUNTAIN WEATHER ROUNDUP
Cold, cold, cold. Many of the weather stations this morning are reading negative temperatures. Exposed areas along Turnagain arm are windy today, but Turnagain Pass is reading only light to moderate winds. It looks like we are stuck in this high pressure for the rest of the work week, with snow possible starting Saturday.
CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast
WEBSITE CHANGES and INFO
We have expanded our photos page to include observations from both the CNFAIC forecasters as well as the public. Please keep checking this page as there will be lots of information to glean. Thanks to all the observations submitted so far!
Check out the training and calendar page on our site. Here you will find avalanche awareness talks and CNFAIC Staff education information. Including a link to an application for a snow safety scholarship offered by the Friends of the CNFAIC – a great opportunity! You must be a member but it’s donation based with a $10 minimum.
A huge thanks to all our current members for your support! The Friends could not do it without you and us without the Friends.
I will issue the next advisory Friday morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page. Thanks and have a great day.