The storm that dropped 12-18” of new snow on Turnagain Pass came down with very little wind and relatively cold temperatures. The rate of loading was slow enough to not create widespread natural activity. Over time this new light density snow has formed into more cohesive slabs. Yesterday we received numerous reports of low volume slab activity around Turnagain Pass. All activity observed and reported yesterday ran on a crust that formed earlier in December.
The crust that exists below this new snow is fairly uniform in its distribution (i.e. is similar on all aspects and elevations). The new snow is also uniform in its distribution. The interface between this crust and new slab has shown poor bonding in many areas. As such, all aspects above and below treeline are harboring soft slabs that will continue to be sensitive to human triggers. Throw in the occasional pocket of buried surface hoar into the mix and it becomes trickier to figure out where the most sensitive areas are. Your best bet for avoiding this problem today is to stick to lower angled terrain.
Soft slabs triggered remotely in steep terrain off of Seattle Ridge. (photo: Wagner)
Loose snow avalanches will begin to come into play a bit more today with cold temperatures helping to weaken the snow surface. Expect sluffs to run slowly and be low volume. Pay attention to sluffs in steeper terrain where terrain traps are present. While the volume will be low the chances for injury will go up if you are knocked over and carried into trees, over rocks or into gullies.
The mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm picked up a trace of new snow in the past 24 hours. Winds have been light out of the Northwest and temperatures have averaged in the single digits F. Ridge top temperatures early this morning are hovering around 0 degrees F.
Clear and cold is in store today as a ridge of high pressure has built into the area. Winds will be light out of the North and Northwest.
Weather conditions will remain similar over the next several days. The next chance for precipitation looks to be late Wednesday into Thursday.
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Ridge near Seattle Creek Weather Station||Nick Ohlrich|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Alpine||Eric Roberts|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies Spines||Dmitry Surnin|
|01/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Kyle Van Peursem|
|01/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center ridge||Simon Garrard|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s||Mike Records|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Triangle bowl||Cooper Street|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddie’s||Jose Ramos-Leon|
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.