In terrain above 3,500’, the last storm cycle laid down mostly snow (as opposed to rain). Terrain above this elevation is harboring old wind slabs up to a foot in depth. These slabs are resting on weak interfaces. It is on steep upper elevation leeward slopes where you are most likely to encounter unstable snow today. The likelihood of triggering an old wind slab is on the lower end of the scale but cannot be ruled out. If you were to trigger an old wind slab today and get knocked over or lose control, it would be very difficult to stop yourself. It is for this reason that it is worth avoiding steep (over 40 degree) upper elevation terrain.
Slabs 3-6 feet thick are sitting on weak snow near the ground in the upper elevations. It is less likely to trigger a deep slab today in comparison to a more shallow old wind slab. However, the possibility remains for triggering a slab that can pull out snow to the ground. Unlike the persistent (old) wind slab concern, deep slabs have the potential to move large volumes of snow and be unsurvivable. Avoiding likely trigger points, especially areas where slabs are thinner, will lower the likelihood of triggering a deep slab avalanche today.
In case you’re just tuning in, we have a very thick crust in the forecast area. This “bulletproof” crust exists on all aspects up to 3,500’ in elevation, and is over 2 feet thick in places. Travel in steep terrain warrants extra caution, as arresting a fall is very challenging at this time.
Expect all of these issues to remain until a shift in the weather pattern takes place and surface conditions change.
In the past 24 hours temperatures at the Sunburst Station at 3,812′ have averaged 21 F. Winds there have averaged 5 mph out of a variety of directions with gust to 21 mph. It has now been 8 days since any precipitation has fallen.
Today expect clear skies. Temps will be in the low to mid 20s F at ridge tops. Winds will be light, in the 5 to 10 mph range out of the North.
The long term outlook shows more of the same. An uptick in winds for tomorrow and a general cooling trend will continue as high pressure dominates much of the state.
|01/31/23||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass area||Megan Guinn / W Wagner Forecaster|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
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.