Deep slab avalanches are the primary concern for today. Large, dense and potentially deadly slabs continue to sit on a weak foundation. Clear and cold weather for much of October, November and the first half of December created thick layers of weak, faceted snow. The steady stream of moisture beginning around Christmas formed the deep slab that we are worried most about.
At this point, it is getting more and more difficult to trigger these avalanches. But make no mistake; getting tangled up in one of these avalanches has the potential to do a lot of damage. It is common for this type of avalanche problem to lay dormant for extended periods of time. It has been 4 days since any natural avalanche activity and 3 days since any human or explosively triggered avalanches have been reported. With clearing skies and good visibility it will be tempting to venture onto steep terrain. Do not forget what is down below your feet or sled-weak rotten snow capable of producing very large avalanches. It is unlikely that the normal warning signs of recent avalanches, shooting cracks or collapsing will be present prior to a deep slab avalanche releasing.
Pit tests over the last several days continue to illustrate this problem well. The weak layer is hard to impact, but the outcome once it is affected translates to large avalanches propagating across wide areas.
Very small shallow (<6″) wind slabs formed yesterday in the higher elevations, where light density snow was easily transported by light to moderate winds. We witnessed very small shooting cracks in the surface snow above treeline yesterday. While this problem is relatively minor, it is worth paying attention to today in upper elevation starting zones.
Precip, winds and temps have not done anything dramatically in the past 24 hours to change our avalanche problems for today.
Light veering winds overnight have given way to current temps in the single digits at ridgetops and mostly clear skies. No new snow has been recorded in the past 24 hours around Turnagain Arm.
The weather for today looks to be partly cloudy and cooler, with winds out of the NW at 5-15 mph, temps in the teens and no precip expected.
The extended outlook is calling for the next chance of snow on Saturday, as a low pressure system to our SW moves towards the region.
Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, January 19th.
|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.