The past week has been a tough one for the snowpack. Weak unconsolidated snow close to the ground has been covered up with a very thick and heavy slab. With a break in the action today, those weak layers will get a (slim) chance to adjust to the new load. What this means is that triggering one of these deeply buried layers will be just slightly harder to do today. However, the fact remains that triggering one of these slabs will carry with it severe consequences. On Friday we were able to see evidence of the most recent avalanche cycle. Since then we have seen enough precip and wind to reload many of those areas. A few observations from yesterday reveal a snowpack that is still struggling to adjust to this newest load of snow and rain.
Wet Slabs below 1500′
After a major shock to its system in the form of rain, the snowpack below 1500′ is very weak. I observed a handful of smaller wet slabs in the lower elevations yesterday. While they were smaller, they were still big enough to bury, injure or kill a person. With continued mild temps in the forecast today, it will be best to avoid avalanche terrain in areas where the thermometer reads above freezing.
Wind Slabs above 1500′
The last 24 hours has brought significant winds to the region. Above treeline today we should expect to see areas of newly formed dense wind slab to be sensitive to the weight of a person or snowmachine.
The mountains have received rain up to the 1500′ elevation with snow above. Water amounts are in the .8 to 1 inch range. Winds have been blowing out of the East averaging 35 mph with gusts to 98. Temperatures have hovered above freezing at 1500 feet and been in the mid 20s at ridgetops.
This morning winds have calmed to the 20s, freezing level has dropped to the 1000′ elevation and precipitation has abated.
In the mountains today we will get a break in precip, with winds out of the east at 20 to 30 mph. Temperatures will remain mild with freezing line climbing back up to the 1500′ elevation.
Tonight and into tomorrow expect another shot of precip with up to a foot of new snow and wind to increase the likelihood of triggering avalanches.
Wendy will issue the next advisory on Tuesday morning, January 1st.
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.