In the Turnagain pass zone yesterday my partner and I found shallow soft wind slabs (6-10” deep) that were easy to trigger in terrain greater than ~38 degrees. This problem was shown to be quite manageable yesterday as these slabs were all small and relatively predictable. Today is going to be an entirely different ball game as SE winds and new snow will build these slabs to ‘unmanageable’. Slabs are sitting on a variety of crusts and stiff wind board on south, east and west aspects; all exhibit attributes of a slick bed surfaces. To top it off, there do still exist pockets of facets acting as a weak layer from our prolonged mid-March sunny spell. It’ll be wise to pay particular attention to leeward facing slopes and cross-loaded gullies, as this is where you’ll find deeper, wind loaded pockets ripe for a trigger today. Pay attention to indicator slopes and/ or try and test the snow on smaller test slopes prior to committing to bigger or steeper terrain.
Shallow, easily triggerable wind slab yesterday.
With plenty of snow available for transport, moderate winds today and increasing temperatures on the horizon I think cornices warrant a brief discussion. It’s been several weeks since we’ve seen a cornice fall so what this tells me is that they are continuing to grow and ripen as we near April 1st. Cornices are nearly impossible to forecast for so what we can do is mitigate this hazard by reducing time spent below a cornices and travel well back from the roof of a cornice. There are some enormous cornices in the backcountry right now and inevitably many of them will fail in the last month or so of our season. Play it safe and avoid these backcountry bombs!
Temperatures warmed substantially yesterday from single digits to the low 20’s at 1000′ as we watched the approach of high clouds stream into south-central. Southeast winds in the 30-45 mph range look to be the biggest game changer today as a warm front advances through the Gulf of Alaska and into our region. Snowfall amounts throughout the day are expected to be in the 2-6 € range with temperatures in the low 30’s, meaning mostly snow at sea level. Overnight, winds and precip are expected to increase with the potential for another foot of snow by Friday morning.
Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 29th.
|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.