The recent storm had peak intensity 2 days ago, and dropped more than 2 feet of snow in some areas including Turnagain Pass. It was deep enough on Wednesday to make travel downhill quite difficult. After yesterday’s relatively clear weather that snow should be settled and consolidated to the point that travel is easier.
A handful of large avalanches were caused by that storm, including a large natural that crossed the Portage road. All the major avalanche programs in our region were doing explosive avalanche reduction work. After the storm ended yesterday, explosive triggers were only causing small to medium avalanches occasionally, with nothing deeper than the recent storm snow. The picture below shows one of the larger avalanches produced by Seward highway work yesterday.
Colder temperatures and calmer weather will be acting to bring stability to the recent storm snow, but it still deserves a cautious approach today.
The larger avalanches that we’ve seen this week are suspected to be a result of deeper weak layers at the late January crusts. The good news is it remains a less likely problem to encounter. The bad news is it remains a tough problem to predict and avoid 100% of the time, even for the experts.
The buried crusts can be found in some areas at mid elevations between roughly 1900 and 3000 feet. As those layers get deeper with each storm, the likely places to trigger deeper layers will be from shallow points that have been partially scoured by wind.
Storm totals yesterday morning reached near 2 feet of snow and up to 2 inches of water equivalent in some areas. Areas such as Girdwood, Grandview, and Portage got more snow. Summit lake got less, but still enough to cause concern.
In the last 24 hours temperatures have cooled off a few degrees, wind has dropped, and precipitation ended by the afternoon.
Today, a weak low pressure is spinning in Prince William Sound which may bring a few inches of snow. Snowfall will end tonight and the weekend will bring a clearing trend. Expect temperatures in the 30s and light wind.
Fitz will issue the next advisory Saturday morning, March 2nd.
|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.