Ah, the pesky northwest winds. These rolled in Wednesday night and blew much of the 3-6″ of new light snow either back to the atmosphere (sublimation) or into hard and stiff wind slabs. As can be seen in the picture below, the snow surface is a mixed bag of wind effect above treeline.
Photo: Seattle Ridge ~2,500ft
There were a few natural wind slab avalanches seen that likely released Wednesday night along with the onset of the wind. These were fairly small in size and on easterly aspects above 3000ft. The largest slab seen was on a SE facing slope around 3500ft – photo below. This is a classic catchment zone for the predominant NW flow.
For anyone getting out into the Alpine today, watch for areas of recent wind deposited snow and cracking around you. The slabs we found yesterday were scattered near ridgelines and stiff and stubborn – meaning hard to crack and release. However, in steep terrain these could pose a real issue by letting a person get out onto the slab before it releases. Even small slabs can be a problem if they knock you off your feet and down a steep rocky chute for example. Yet, most of us are waiting for more snow before getting into these places.
Cold, clear and windy describes both yesterday’s weather conditions and as well as today’s. Over the past 24 hours temperatures continue to hover in the single digits in most locations while they are dipping down to the minus single digits above 3,000ft. We should not see much of a warm up, if any, in temperature throughout the day. The frigid Northwest winds have not backed off a whole lot and are forecast to continue to blow in the 10-15 mph range with gusts in the 30’s. It should be a bright sunny day however!
Our next shot of snow is on the distant horizon. There is a system forecast to move through for the middle of next week. As to what track it takes and how much snow we might get, it is still too far out to tell.
|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: 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.