It was a quiet day in backcountry yesterday. Spring break is over and it seems many folks are tuckered out from significant time spent enjoying the past several days of good snow and sunny skies. The plethora of tracks that litter the landscape tell this tale and we are becoming in need of a refresher – possibly this weekend. The clear and cold weather is recycling our powder however and helping out our riding and skiing conditions.
We just received two observations from Saturday worth mentioning. One is a skier triggered slab. This was fairly small but it’s suspect that buried surface hoar was the culprit. The other was a large natural avalanche in the Portage area. This natural seems to be an outlier event in very complex and steep terrain. Thank you to all who have submitted observations this year. Keep them coming. They are invaluable to us!
As Fitz mentioned yesterday, LOW danger doesn’t mean NO danger and below are good things to keep in mind if getting out in the backcountry today:
Wet loose avalanches will be possible on southerly aspects as the surfaces warms through the day. These can become more worrisome in steep sustained terrain where a small point release can entrain large enough amounts of heavy snow to push a person around. Additionally, dry snow sluffing on steep (40+ degrees) northerly shaded aspects can be expected. These dry sluffs continue to be low volume and manageable.
Despite the abundance of large and overhanging cornices in the region, we have not heard of or seen any recent failures in the past several days. However, the unpredictable and high consequence nature of these keeps them blinking on the radar. They are predominantly on south and southwest aspects and time spent underneath them should as limited as possible.
Old Wind slab:
There are many old wind slabs scattered about and a few of these may be sitting on buried surface hoar or developing facets below. There is a chance a person could find and trigger one of these older slabs in isolated areas. This occurred on Saturday to a party who triggered a slab on a SW facing slope in the Turnagain area, mentioned above.
Dazzling sunny skies and cold temperatures are over us again today. Yesterday we warmed up to the teens on the ridgetops and mid 20’s F around 1,000′. Overnight temperatures have dropped to around 10F in most areas. Over the past 24 hours winds have been light out of the NW with gusts to 15mph.
Today will be much of the same. Temperatures should warm to the teens on the ridges and 20’s at 1,000′. Winds are expected to shift to a more northerly direction but remain light with gusts to 15mph.
Looking to the future, our clear skies and associated blocking high pressure, look to remain through Thursday. On Friday models are showing a shift in the pattern that will bring clouds and a chance for precipitation over the weekend. Stay tuned.
Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 20th.
|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.