Storm snow combined with wind overnight with gusts to 70 mph will make dangerous avalanche conditions in higher elevation terrain. Today, as the snowfall continues to build, we can expect wind slabs 1-2 feet deep to be reactive to human triggers. It may be difficult to travel above treeline due to poor visibility…
Below treeline, a low to moderate danger exists today. Some areas in the trees that are more prone to wind loading may have shooting cracks and small reactive wind pillows. Larger runouts are worth avoiding today until the new snow has time to settle.
The persistent slab is the enigma that is keeping us on our toes. Despite the old age of these weak layers, they remain active on an infrequent basis. Two specific issues are at play right now –
1. A crust formed in late January is now 2-6 feet deep. There was a report of a slide, possibly on this layer in Junior’s bowl on Seattle ridge earlier this week. This layer seems to be a problem only at a focused elevation band between 1900 and 3000 feet, which is mid-elevation for most of our local mountains.
2. The old October/November facets that have been dormant for the past 6-8 weeks finally showed themselves at Carter lake on Monday. A snowmachine triggered avalanche slid to the ground on a south facing slope, narrowly missing people watching at the bottom and damaging a couple sleds that were parked. This problem is more likely to be found in the central portion of the Kenai peninsula where the snowpack is thinner and the deeper layers are more easily influenced by the weight of a person or snowmachine.
The blizzard warning overnight seemed to bring more snow to Grandview than to Girdwood or Turnagain Pass. Snowfall is likely more than a foot in some areas over the last 24 hours, with an average closer to 8 inches. It is still snowing as of 7am this morning. Wind peaked around 5pm last night and gradually diminished. Gusts are still reaching into the 30s, which is ideal to move snow around and create wind slabs and cornices. Temperatures rose from the single digits yesterday morning to the mid to high 20s today.
3-6 inches snow is expected today, with continued moderate to high wind. Precipitation should remain as snow to sea level.
Graham will issue the next advisory on Thursday, February 21st.
|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|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||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.