Light density snow that fell early yesterday morning is now being transported to form new wind slabs. Ridgetop winds picked up overnight and are now creating slabs up to a foot in depth. The underlying bed surfaces supporting these wind slabs vary depending on elevation. Between 1,000 and ~2,500′ these wind slabs are resting on a slick bed surface, formed by the warm temps of last week and the frigid temps of last weekend/early part of this week. Expect to encounter the most sensitive slabs at the upper end of this elevation band, especially in open areas where the wind is blowing. In the upper elevations wind slabs will also form and become sensitive today. In addition, older pockets of wind slab that can cause problems are still out there as reported by a party on Magnum yesterday.
Loose snow avalanches
In wind sheltered areas above treeline expect to encounter loose snow avalanches running in steep terrain today. While these avalanches are low in volume, the consequences increase if you’re swept off your feet or machine and into terrain traps such as cliffs, trees, and gullies.
Deep slabs continue to be a concern. Weak snow that formed early in the season persists beneath dense snow that fell over the holidays. We have seen evidence of this problem diminishing greatly below 2,000′. Above ~2,000′ the weak base to the snowpack is still showing the ability to propagate across slopes and create large avalanches. The reality is that it is very hard to initiate one of these avalanches. The overlying slab is relatively strong and those weak layers have had time to adjust to the weight of the slabs sitting on them. While it may seem that there are no problems on the surface, it is important to know the weather history of this season and realize that the weak snow is still there and capable of creating unsurvivable avalanches.
A relatively calm and mild day yesterday in the mountains with no precip has given way to increasing winds overnight. Temps are in the mid to upper twenties at ridgetops and winds are currently blowing 20 mph out of the East and Southeast with gusts to 30 mph.
Expect increasing clouds today with temps remaining mild, in the mid twenties to near 30 F at ridgetops. Winds will be out of the E and SE at 15-20mph. Snow showers should begin this evening and continue into tomorrow.
The extended outlook calls for a continuation of unsettled weather, with snowfall amounts remaining light and temps staying mild.
Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 2nd.
|05/28/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass – late May wet slab cycle||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/21/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Magnum, Lipps and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/17/22||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|05/11/22||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|05/07/22||Turnagain||Observation: Granddaddy||Kit Barton|
|04/29/22||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst wx station||AS/ MM/ AM/ NH|
|04/28/22||Turnagain||Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity||Alex Marienthal|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Sykes / Buttrick Forecaster|
|04/27/22||Turnagain||Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs||A S|
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.