If I had to pick one of our avalanche problems to talk about a primary concern, then wind slab would be the one. We have not seen any pockets with a tendency to pop under the weight of a person. Even in the places where stiff surface snow can be found, it has a stubborn, low tension nature.
In areas that are not exposed to wind, the snowpack is 15-30 inches of weak faceted snow. The cold and clear temperatures combined with shallow snow have formed a steep temperature gradient and changed the snow to big sugary crystals.
The snowpack is shallow… Exposed rocks and vegetation are abundant. That lack of coverage is probably the biggest safety concern for skiers and snowboarders in the backcountry right now.
It has been nearly a week since significant snowfall. Cold temperatures and clear skies gave way to a big change yesterday, but not the white stuff that we were hoping for. Temperatures at some ridgetop weather stations are above freezing this morning. A freezing rain advisory is in effect for Anchorage and the greater region, including Girdwood and the Kenai peninsula. Driving conditions deteriorated yesterday evening with a slick glaze of ice on the roads, and that freezing rain will continue today.
Freezing rain is expected to form a surface crust on our snowpack. This isn’t an avalanche concern for now, but may become a weak layer interface when the crust gets buried by later snow storms.
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Schauer/ Wunnicke Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Rec Level 1 Roberts|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
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.