We haven’t heard of any new avalanche activity since Sunday, when a substantial natural avalanche cycle occurred in addition to a second-hand report of snowmachine-triggered avalanche activity near Seattle ridge. This most recent cycle has a common theme in the fact that all of these avalanches have been quite large, propagating across entire slopes with faceted snow near the ground proving the common and persistent weak layer. Recent results from the snowpit show these weak layers have been slow to gain strength as Fitz’s video here points out. This is a great example of the persistent slab problem that has dominated our primary concern over much of the last three weeks.
As few people have been venturing into the backcountry since the Jan. 5th storm, our information is limited. What information we do have, points toward a snowpack hanging in the balance with a poor structure, moderate strength and high energy. In a nutshell this means that if a fracture is initiated on or below a slope steep enough to avalanche (> 35 degrees) there is good potential that the crack will propagate far and wide, creating a large and unmanageable avalanche. Likely trigger points include thin spots in the slab or near rocks and trees mid-slope.
Maintain astute situational awareness and be mindful of any obvious signs of instability if you travel into the backcountry today. Conservative terrain selection and proper travel protocol will be key.
In areas below treeline where the surface snow is still wet, exists a very poor snowpack structure with free water percolating throughout. Once overnight temperatures maintain below the freezing mark, this lower elevation snowpack will ‘lock-up’ and we’ll likely see Low danger in this elevation band.
Southeast flow continued yesterday ushering in warm temperatures and intermittent bands of rain through the eastern Turnagain arm region with no measurable snow accumulation to speak of. Winds have been light to moderate predominantly from the East and temperatures remained in the 20’s at ridgetop locations and mid-30’s at 1000 feet.
Today looks to be the start of a gradual cool down with temperatures moderating back to near normal values by the weekend. Cloudy skies and 28-33 degrees should usher in 2-3 € of snow above 1000 feet today with slightly warmer temperatures and a rain/ snow mix at sea level. Winds will be out of the East at 15-25 mph and look to decrease to single digits from the North by tonight.
|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: email@example.com
|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.