While it has been several days since any significant snowfall has accumulated, recent ridgetop winds have been high enough to blow snow around and create fresh wind slabs. Expect to encounter these slabs in upper elevation starting zones. Be on the lookout for snow that feels hollow or looks smooth and pillowy. These slabs will be confined to smaller pockets but will be up to a foot in depth.
Warm temperatures and sunshine helped to release several cornices in the forecast area on Saturday. While cloud cover will help to lower the likelihood of natural cornice releases today, warm temps and recent winds will conspire to make this a real problem in the mountains today. A cornice triggered avalanche that occurred on Magnum on Saturday is a prime example of why it is important to know what is above you when traveling up a valley.
Loose Snow avalanches
Wet loose snow will be moving under the influence of a person’s weight today. Avoiding steep terrain as the snow surface becomes more damp will be the best way to avoid this problem. This problem will be more pronounced in the lower elevations.
A weak layer of snow sitting on a crust at the mid elevations (1,500′-3,000′) continues to be a concern. This weak layer/crust combo is buried 2-6 feet deep and has shown to be less of a problem on Turnagain Pass but more pronounced in outlying areas such as Summit Lake and the Girdwood, 20 Mile and Placer Valleys. With rising temperatures this interface is more of a concern, as it will become easier for a person or snowmachine to affect these deeper layers. As with all of the concerns today, pay attention to the thermometer and back off steep terrain as things warm up.
The mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have picked up just a trace to 1″ of new snow in the past 24 hours. Temperatures have been mild, with high 30s F at sea level, mid 20s F at 2,400′, and low 20s F at 3,800′. The Seattle Ridge weather station has been reporting winds averaging in the mid to high 20 mph range out of the SE with gusts to 46.
Today expect mostly cloudy skies and temperatures warming to 37 degrees F at 1,000′. Winds will be out of the SE at 5-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Snowfall amounts will be very light.
The extended outlook calls for continued mild temperatures and a mix of sun and clouds for the next several days.
Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 5th.
|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.