As the Mayan Calendar predicted the end of the world at 2:11 this morning and along with that the end of our meager early season, it seems neither has occurred. The world is still here and so is our shallow snowpack full of persistent weak layers.
The wind slabs that caused so much excitement a week ago have been slowly deteriorating under the cold and clear weather to the point of becoming mostly non-reactive. Snowpack evaluations and the lack of recent avalanches have pointed to a pack that is becoming harder and harder to trigger an avalanche in. However, this is not the case everywhere and we struck gold, as John Fitzgerald stated in his observation, yesterday with finding one of these slopes still flashing red lights.
The areas we are most concerned about are in steeper, unsupported terrain (i.e., above cliffs and on rollovers at the mid-elevations) where stiffer, supportable snow (old wind slabs) are sitting on weak sugary snow. Watching and listening for collapsing and hollow feeling areas will be your best bet at sussing out suspect slopes. If you can punch a pole or boot though the stiff snow, though this may be tough in thicker slabs, and feel unconsolidated snow beneath – steer clear and head for a slope lacking that stiff slab.
The SEVERE CLEAR weather conditions will continue to dominate for another couple days. The strong inversion has temperatures at sea level and in the parking lots at Turnagain Pass near -20F. The good news is the temps have jumped to the balmy mid-teens on the ridgetops this morning, where they should remain. Winds have backed to an easterly direction overnight and will pick up to the 10-15mph range, gusting to 30mph, today.
The well entrenched, and not so loved, ridge of high pressure looks to start breaking down near the end of the weekend. Models are hinting at a little precipitation around Monday with a weak low pressure system developing the in Gulf. However, mid-week next week a larger low pressure moving into the Bering will hopefully bring a decent shot of precipitation €“ though this is too far out to say for certain €¦
Happy winter solstice! A little comparison with last year’s solstice: (Turnagain Pass SNOTEL, 1880′)
Dec 21, 2012 Dec 21, 2011
Snow depth 25 € 78 €
Seasonal snowfall 35 € 129 €
Seasonal water 3.4 € 13.4 €
Roughly a quarter of where we were last season at this time €“ oh grim.
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).
Kevin will issue the next advisory Saturday morning, December 22nd.
|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|
|01/07/21||Turnagain||Observation: Lower Cornbiscut||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1|
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.