The modest weight of yesterday’s snow in Turnagain pass (.5” water) probably isn’t enough to affect last Saturdays wind slab on its own. Add a skier to the equation and you will likely be able to trigger wind slabs on terrain steeper than 35 degrees. We experienced substantial whumphing at tree line yesterday where the snowpack structure begins to change (weak and unconsolidated below tree line changing to a denser slab or wind scoured above). This whumphing is a big auditory red flag that if the slope were steep enough (greater than 35 degrees) to slide, it probably would have. Below tree line we found very little to no wind affected snow.
Yesterday’s storm snow appeared to be bonding fairly well to last Saturday’s accumulation. Snowpit test results below tree line consistently failed at the interface between Saturday’s storm snow and the November facets. Though a slab is beginning to amalgamate at these lower elevations, my greater concern today is sluffing. Our snowpack is still very loose in wind protected areas and a skier on steep terrain has the potential to entrain a significant amount of sluff in the form of storm snow and facets. Just how weak this lower elevation snow is becomes quite obvious as your ski tips continually submarine into the October and November facet layers.
Yesterday’s storm roared through south central with a vengence leaving upwards of 15″ in favored areas such as Hatcher pass. Unfortunately Turnagain pass found itself in the “Donut hole” with a meager 4-6″ of accumulation. Overnight winds have picked up from the west and will continue to blow today in the 20-40mph range, tapering this evening. We can expect a trace amount of snow to fall today over the advisory area as temps look to stay below the freezing mark at all elevations.
This evening winds will back to the east in advance of a low pressure system building in the gulf. As this low moves into Prince William Sound tomorrow, the Chugach and Kenai mountains should experience some snowfall Friday, though highest accumulations will likely be east of our area in the Sound.
Storm totals for 12/12/12:
Turnagain pass: 4-6″
Summit Lake: 8″
Anchorage bowl: 5-11″
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, December 14th.
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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.