Yesterday a skier on Tincan triggered a large avalanche and fortunately avoided burial. This was a very destructive avalanche, pulling out most of the snowpack on this slope. For info and photos of this avalanche click here, here and here. Stay tuned for more info on this avalanche.
During times of intense precip, like today, the likelihood of triggering deep slabs goes up. As storms subside the likelihood will go down. The high consequences, however, do not change.
The fact remains, and will remain for a long time, that weak layers near the ground are still weak. All it takes is finding a spot where the slab is less deep, i.e. where we can impact the layer more easily, and large destructive avalanches will occur. These trigger points are often very difficult to detect. The usual warning signs of recent avalanches, shooting cracks or whoompfing may not present themselves before it’s too late.
Observations from New Years Eve allowed us to see areas above treeline that have been greatly affected by high winds. Some areas have been scoured to the ground while other areas are holding massive slabs. With such a great variety of slab depths at the upper elevations, the potential to find a trigger point is now greater. The best way to manage this problem today is to avoid terrain that is steep enough to slide.
With up to 10 inches of new snow and 50 mph winds forecasted, expect wind deposited new snow to be sensitive to human triggers today. The likelihood of getting wind slabs to release will be higher today than deep slabs. However, the potential for relatively shallow avalanches to step down into deeper layers make this a problem not to be trifled with. Below treeline and in sheltered areas, new storm snow unaffected by winds will also be a problem to look out for.
In the past 24 hours snowfall amounts have been in the 2-3″ range, ridgetop winds have averaged 35 mph out of the East and temps have remained mild, with freezing levels hovering around the 1000′ level.
Snowfall will pick up in intensity this morning and into the daytime hours, with total accumulations of up to 10″ possible during the day. Ridgetop winds will be 50-60 mph out of the SE, and temps at 1000′ will be in the low 30s F.
The general pattern of unsettled weather will continue through the weekend. Look for precip to continue and a gradual cooling trend to set up as we move into next week.
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|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|
|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|
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.