Recent snow in the higher elevations have fallen on slick and hard surfaces. While the snowfall amounts have been modest, the winds overnight have been transporting this snow onto leeward aspects, mainly West to North facing slopes. With temperatures forecasted to increase throughout the day, expect these slabs to become more sensitive to human triggers. Expect to see shallow pockets of windslab at mid elevations (up to 1800′) in open areas to be the most sensitive today, as these slabs have fallen on a firm crust and will heat up more readily than slabs in the higher elevations today. On the flip side, these slabs are not as large (<6″) as slabs in the upper elevations (>12″). Avoiding steep upper elevation starting zones which have a pillowy or wind affected look will also be important, as these slabs, once released, have the potential to carry people downslope and into terrain traps today.
It is important to not forget the poor structure of the base of our snowpack. Snowpit tests over the past week continue to show weak faceted snow persisting near the ground. The large dense slabs that formed over the holidays are now able to support a lot of weight. The chances of initiating one of these slabs is getting more difficult by the day. If you were to trigger one of these deep slabs, the outcome would be bad, as the volume of snow could be very large. We are clearly in a dormant period for this avalanche problem, as it has been a week now since any new deep slab activity has been reported. Unfortunately, the weak snow is being well preserved in many areas and will continue to lurk well below the surface for the forseeable future. Staying away from areas showing exposed rocks, ground or vegetation will be important in avoiding this problem today, as these are the most likely areas to trigger a deep slab avalanche.
In the past 24 hours Turnagain Pass has received ~6″ of new snow with .3-.5″ water equivalent. Winds have been moderate out of the E and SE averaging 20 mph with gusts to 36 mph. Temps, which have been on a steady rise overnight have averaged near 32 F at 1800′, and in the mid 20s F at 3800′.
Expect clouds to be on the increase through the day, winds out of the East 20-35 mph and a chance of precipitation with up to 3″ of new snow possible in the mountains. Temperatures will climb into the mid 30s F at 1000′.
The extended outlook calls for a greater chance of snow tonight, with precip continuing into the middle of this week.
Wendy will issue the next advisory, tomorrow morning January 22nd.
|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.