Today’s main player in the avalanche game will be the wind. Yesterday’s new snow came in with strong east wind and though the wind died down overnight, it is forecast to pick back up today. Both lingering slabs formed yesterday, as well as fresh slabs today, will be the thing to watch out for. With the addition of a few inches of snow today, expect these slabs to be in the 8-16″ range. Keeping an eye out for active wind loading and cracking in the snow around you will be your best clue to finding and avoiding a wind slab.
Loose snow avalanches: In areas without wind effect, kicking off sluffs on the steeper slopes should be expected. These are not likely to be large due to the modest amounts of new snow.
We received a bit of a refresher yesterday. 4-8” of new snow not only covered the upper elevations but made its way down to sea level as well. Below treeline riding conditions are drastically improving from a week ago and now harbor a few wind slab and loose snow avalanche concerns as well.
The outlier. There are two layers buried below the surface that are worth mentioning: (1) facets above the late January crusts 3-6’ deep and (2) weak early season snow near the ground. Triggering one of these layers is most pronounced in areas with a shallow snowpack (i.e., the interior Kenai Mountains as well as thin slopes in the Turnagain/Girdwood zones). Keeping with safe travel practices and steering clear of thin areas are your best bet for avoiding one of these outliers.
Yesterday’s modest storm brought snow to sea level and varying amounts to the region. The north side of Turnagain Pass through Girdwood picked up roughly 4-8 € while the east side of the Pass was about half that. Summit Lake looks to have seen 2-3 €. Winds associated were easterly averaging 20-30mph with gusts to the 50’s. Temperature was in the mid-teens at ridgetops and around 30F at sea level.
A brief break between systems overnight will be short lived as a weak front will bring a few more inches of snow and moderate east wind this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-teens on ridgetops and near 30F at sea level
Lately, several of the low pressure systems that have been passing by have been far enough to the south to keep the warm air at bay and snow at sea level. This trend is expected to continue for several more days – good news for the lower elevations.
Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 25th.
|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|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wagner / Schauer|
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: email@example.com
|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.