The storm snow by itself didn’t seem to be creating very reactive or connected avalanches yesterday. Adding wind loading to the mix built the stiffness and tension required to build a slab. Wind loaded areas steeper than 35 degrees should be approached with caution today. Any areas with this combination in high consequence terrain should be avoided completely. Check out the observations from yesterday for some more examples of skier triggered wind slabs.
Likelihood – human triggered likely
Trend – decreasing since yesterday
Distribution – Widespread above treeline
Size – small to medium
Below treeline where wind did not affect the new snow, the snowpack behaves differently. We found very little difference in density between the fresh light powder and the underlying weak facets. However, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of finding unstable storm snow below treeline. If you find the right combination of an open steep slope at lower elevation, it may be able to avalanche as a slab or as a loose sluff. This should be less dangerous than the wind slabs found up higher.
The storm Saturday to Sunday morning dropped about 10 inches across Turnagain Pass. Winds were strong from the east, reaching gusts over 70mph.
Today looks like calm weather that won’t contribute to avalanche problems. A chance of snow is in the forecast with little accumulation. Light wind and mild below freezing temperatures in the mountains. The next chance of significant snow looks to be Wednesday.
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 Tuesday morning, December 11th.
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Schauer/ Wunnicke Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Rec Level 1 Roberts|
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.