This week we have seen a lull in both the weather and avalanche activity, but with new snow and wind on the way for the weekend we can expect that to change. Storm snow instabilities within the new snow, in the form of sluffs and storm slabs, will be likely if the forecasted 10-14″ of snow verifies. These problems should settle out rather quickly, in a day, or at most 2 days.
However, the bigger story, and most concerning, is the new snow load reactivating the old October facets (see image below). It only took 6-10″ of new snow last weekend to create a very touchy slab avalanche problem. With this storm, the facets are not quite as loose as they were a week ago now that they have been buried for 5-6 days. Yet, they are still there and reactive and have the potential to produce larger avalanches this time around. If we get enough snow and wind to get them going that is. The one thing this system does have that the last one didn’t are much stronger winds. These will produce larger wind slabs that form both near (like last weekend) and well off the ridgelines (unlike last weekend).
Snowpack before the Fri-Sun (11/9-11/11) storm sets in. Main concern is faceted layer. Existing surface is generally composed of soft decomposing fragment from last storm.
Any avalanche triggered within the old Oct snow will be around 1-3′ deep and could propagate in areas that are not expected. Remote triggers (for example, triggering an avalanche on top of you from below) are possible. Hence, very conservative route finding is the ticket until this faceted layer gets enough load to either flush out with widespread avalanche activity and/or has time to adjust to the load.
Above cracking is a red light to stick to lower angle slopes, 30 degrees or under (including what is above you).
Last weekends storm added a mere 2-4″ of snow above treeline and wet snow and rain below. This coming Tuesday night through Thursday another system is headed our way that is taking a similar path. However, this systems looks to be a bit cooler. Right now the models are showing snow totals to be minimal, a few inches in the Turnagain area with possibly up to 8″ if we get lucky.
Stay tuned at our weather page.
|01/31/23||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass area||Megan Guinn / W Wagner Forecaster|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
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: email@example.com
|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.