A lot of that storm snow from Dec 31st and Jan 1st came in with substantial wind. Early in the storm we had several hours of gusts to 90mph or greater on Sunburst. This means the storm snow is unevenly distributed, and the major problem lies in areas where the snow got drifted rather than scoured by the wind.
Around Turnagain Pass the predominant wind direction was from the East. West slopes and crossloaded North and South are the primary concern.
Storm total amounts – starting Dec 31st
Turnagain Pass – 1.2″ H2O – 12″ snow
Alyeska mid – 1.64″ H2O – 14″ snow
Alyeska top – 2.74″ H2O
When venturing into untracked snow yesterday we noticed a number of collapses (whumphing). Deep shooting cracks were also evident. These collapses are almost certainly happening in older weak layers, in the snow that fell in November or December. The larger avalanches that happened yesterday had the greater volume because they are stripping deeper into the snowpack. Deeper and more destructive avalanches will be less likely today, but present a greater concern to the backcountry traveler if one is triggered.
Any collapsing felt today is a significant message and should be telling you to stay off nearby steep slopes.
The last 24 hours have brought calmer weather. Precipitation decreased significantly, but at least 3 inches of snow fell in the last 24 hours. Wind has steadily dropped from strong yesterday to mild this morning. Temperatures have also consistently decreased by a couple of degrees.
Mostly cloudy skies and snow showers are expected today. Minimal snow accumulation. Freezing rain is possible at the road elevation. Look for light wind and steady temperatures in the 20s.
|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.