Heavy, wet and dense snow continued to fall yesterday above 500’ adding up to several feet in areas not affected by the wind. This snow looks to be bonding fairly well with underlying layers and will likely gain strength and settle out much more given time today. Until this storm snow has adequate time to settle, soft storm slabs and loose snow avalanches will be likely to trigger in the lower elevations. Above treeline where winds have been moderate from the east, slabs may prove more cohesive and subsequently larger in the 3-6’ range. A storm slab avalanche above treeline is by no means “manageable” today given the sheer volume of snow.
Yesterday’s natural avalanche in Portage Valley that very likely released on on the late January facet/ crust combo is exactly the type of problem Turnagain pass has avoided thus far. We have seen this layer reactive in Girdwood, Kern Creek and now Portage Valley, so why not Turnagain? The crust is present and widespread throughout Turnagain in the 1500-3000’ range and we have a sizeable slab sitting ontop of it. Likely it’s a weight issue and stress has not yet tipped the strength scale in the Turnagain zone. It’s a bit of a wild card at this point but practicing safe travel protocols and not stopping in run out zones will be your best bet to avoid this issue. It will be wise to limit your exposure to large mid-elevation paths such as the entire front side of Seattle Ridge where we know this crust exists.
Furthermore, we have very limited information from the Placer/ 20-mile zones at this point. If you make it into these areas today or this weekend your observations and photos are greatly appreciated!
Cornices deserve a wide berth as they have been building steadily and tend to grow extra large with this warm, sticky snow we have seen lately.
If and when the sun comes out, expect wet and loose point releases on sun-affected slopes.
Yesterday was a full on storm day at Turnagain Pass. Heavy snow fell throughout the day above 500′ in the 1-2 €/ hour range during the peak of the storm. Ridge top winds were blowing 20-40 mph from the east, dropping off overnight. Temperatures continue to hover in the mid-30’s at sea level producing a rain/ snow mix for much of the day.
Today we will likely squeeze out 2-3 € more snow to end what has been a snowy February with measureable precipitation on 22 of 28 days this month. Ridge top winds look to be in the moderate range from the SE decreasing throughout the day and shifting to the NW as skies clear and this system moves out. Temperatures will hover in the low to mid 30’s at sea level, cooling off to the low 20’s at 4000′.
The first few days of March look to be relatively benign with the sun making an appearance on Friday or Saturday.
Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning on what is the first day of March!
|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: 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.