|Travel Advice||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.|
Clear and cold weather and total lack of recent precipitation is keeping the status quo in the backcountry. Our thin snowpack is made entirely of weak, poorly bonded crystals. Most of the time when we talk about weak snow like this it means big avalanche problems, but for the time being we are missing the crtitical component of a stiffer, stronger, and heavier slab on top of the weaker snow. Steeper slopes at higher elevations may still hold pockets of avalanche potential, however. The likelihood of trashing skis on rocks is a good limiting factor to keep in mind if you get a wild hair to start exploring onto steeper slopes.
Wind slab is not yet a problem as of this morning. The National Weather Service is calling for increasing strong north winds across the region starting today.
Remember, all we need is new stiffer snow on top of our current snowpack to complete the avalanche recipe. Strong wind could be enough to build pockets of avalanche potential.
Looks like another clear and cold day in paradise! A strong temperature inversion can be found this morning, with ridgetop temperatures in the 20s and valley temperatures below 0. Competing air masses, between a blocking High pressure across Alaska and a Low in the southern gulf of Alaska, will build strong pressure gradients across Southcentral Alaska and strong north wind. This wind is expected to stay into Saturday. The general pattern of a high pressure ridge in the Bering sea will persist into next week.
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).
Wendy will issue the next advisory Friday morning, November 30th.
|11/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Ridge||Schauer/ Stiassny Forecaster|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender||Anonymous|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Ben Sullender|
|11/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/21/23||Observation: Spokane Creek||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl||Schauer/ Cullen/ Jonas Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Other Regions||Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Andy Moderow|