The persistent weak layers that make up the lower half of our snowpack are becoming more stubborn to trigger but the very nature of these means they can persist long after any significant wind or precipitation. All it takes is the right trigger in the wrong spot to unleash a destructive slide. Keep this in mind as you travel through the mountains today and for the rest of the season, as this weak layer is widespread and likely to be with us for a while. Below treeline from the ground up, our snowpack is one persistent weak layer (buried surface hoar and facets of varying sizes). This does not pose a concern until we see significant wind or precipitation at these lower elevations to form an overlying slab.
This past weekend our snowpack has proven reactive to a skiers weight with several skier triggered wind slabs both on Tin Can and the SW aspect of Sunburst. These were all triggered between 2700-3000’ in wind-loaded terrain on west and southwest aspects. I don’t expect this slab to build much in the coming days given there is very little snow available for transport, but a skier or snowmachiner may still be able to trigger small avalanches in specific areas or large avalanches in isolated areas of big terrain. Continue to travel through the mountains with heightened concern today and do not disregard the red flags the mountains give us. Recent avalanches and loud whumphing are two you may expect to see today.
Temperatures have begun to rise from yesterdays sub-zero lows but it’ll feel anything but warm in the backcountry today as you can expect a brisk north wind in the 17-35mph range for much of the day. Tomorrow looks to be our only chance to pick up a few flakes as winds become SE and a weak low pressure moves over Kodiak, but don’t expect much as the track appears to be well south of us. Looking out toward the weekend, models suggest a continuation of cold and dry conditions over southcentral Alaska… Don’t shoot the messenger!
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 18th.
|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|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wagner / Schauer|
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.