The interface that we have found most likely to fail is around the early December freezing-drizzle crust. This layer is now buried 12-18 inches or deeper in wind loaded areas. See this observation for a pit profile. Every new bit of snow adds stress to those layers, but we haven’t had any large storms to overload the snowpack to widespread failure – meaning no large natural avalanche cycle. This leaves some areas on the brink of failure, waiting for a trigger to release that energy. A lot of people have noticed widespread whoomphing as the layers collapse when a person walks or rides on the snow. In a few cases the slope was steep enough to avalanche when that collapse happened.
A small amount of new snow today will add to the stress in the snowpack, but probably not enough to cause natural avalanches. The overall avalanche problem today will be similar to the last few days.
Photos from Tenderfoot, above Summit Lake from Friday.
A little bit of snow fell overnight. About 2 inches of new are on the ground as of 6am. A moderate east wind has been steady through the night, gusting to a peak of 27 at Sunburst.
Another 2 inches of snow is expected to fall through the day today. Temperatures are approaching freezing, and may pass that mark at lower elevations. A freezing rain advisory is in effect, mainly in the interior Kenai from Turnagain pass to Moose pass.
|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.