The 2 day storm total has brought more than 2 feet of snow to upper elevations in the Girdwood valley (Alyeska). Turnagain Pass seems to have gotten about 75% of that amount. The storm was warmer than we’ve had recently with rain up to about 500 feet elevation. Areas below treeline will have denser snow, which dries out the higher you climb.
We have no reports of unusual avalanche activity from this storm. All reported avalanches yesterday were of predictable size and character corresponding to the storm event. Given warmer temperatures and a relatively strong and stable snowpack before the storm hit, our primary concern is the 1-2 feet of storm snow sliding at the new/old snow interface. This means we aren’t very concerned about deeper avalanches. It also means that we expect bonding to happen relatively quickly.
We are still within 24 hours of the storm event. Avalanche 101 protocol tells us that we are still in a higher probability time to trigger avalanches. Today there is plenty of moderate angle terrain to enjoy the new snow, but big gaming should be delayed another day or two to allow the new snow to settle out and stabilize.
Wind driven storm snow will be deepest on west and northwest aspects today with crossloading on north and south. Peak wind was 2 nights ago, corresponding with some of the highest intensity snowfall. Wind diminished yesterday but stayed strong enough to continue blowing snow around. Any avalanche found today will likely have a wind loaded component to it. Deeper and stiffer snow should be treated with more suspicion than soft and loose powder.
Cornices have been a big issue for us over the last several weeks, and given more snow and high wind we can expect larger and less stable cornices again this weekend.
2 day storm totals
Alyeska top – 28+ inches snow – 2.54 inches of water equivalent
Alyeska mid – 24 inches snow – 1.7 inches water equivalent
Turnagain Pass – 10-12 inches snow est – 0.8 inches water equivalent
Grandview – 0.6 inches water equivalent
Weather today will bring snow showers with 1-3 inches expected. As this storm system moves through the wind will continue to drop, and temperatures should decrease by a few degrees.
There is no sun in the forecast this weekend, but clear and colder weather is expected starting Monday.
Wendy will issue the next advisory on Sunday, March 10th.
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Ridge near Seattle Creek Weather Station||Nick Ohlrich|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Alpine||Eric Roberts|
|01/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center ridge||Simon Garrard|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s||Mike Records|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Triangle bowl||Cooper Street|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddie’s||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn Biscuit||Troy Tempel|
|01/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||A Schauer 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: 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.