It is always good to remember what happened in the past. Three nights of calm, clear and cold weather earlier this week helped to form weak snow (surface hoar and facets) at the surface. That weak snow is now blanketed with a fresh coat of paint, and that paint will be easy to peel off today, especially above treeline. Wind slabs will be easiest to trigger today in upper elevation starting zones. These newly formed slabs are sitting on a variety of weak interfaces, including surface hoar on the northern half of the compass and weak faceted snow on the southern half. Look for these slabs to be in the 12″ range and be very sensitive to the weight of a person or sled. Slabs unaffected by wind will also be something to look out for and will be smaller, in the 6-8″ range. Today will be a good day to ratchet back your terrain choices, as those big lines that got hit on the last clear day now have the perfect slab/weak layer combination for avalanche activity.
This last batch of moisture that refreshed the snow surface ended with very light winds. This should make for excellent riding and skiing conditions but also make loose snow avalanches a problem to deal with. Volume should be in the low to moderate range and should be fast moving on steep shaded slopes in the higher elevations. Sun and warming will create the possibility of sluffs to be more damp on sunlit aspects through the day. Pay attention to loose snow moving downhill with you and move away from it, especially above terrain traps such as cliff bands, gullies and trees.
We have seen several very large cornices drop in the past few weeks. This problem is pretty simple to deal with; minimize your time near and especially below cornices, as they have the potential to do a lot of damage as evidenced last week in the Goldpan area on Turnagain Pass.
In the past 24 hours the mountains around Turnagain Pass have picked up 6″ of new snow/.4″ of water with lesser amounts in the Girdwood Valley and south towards Summit Lake. Winds at the Sunburst station at 3,880′ have averaged 13mph out of the East with gusts to 45mph. Temperatures have remained cool with sea level stations staying in the mid 20s F and ridgetops in the teens.
Today expect periods of clear skies as we are between two weak low pressure systems. No precipitation is forecasted. Winds will be very light out of the East at 5mph and temperatures will be in the high 20s F at 1,000′.
The extended outlook calls for a mix of sun and clouds over the next several days with no precipitation expected.
Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 16th.
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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.