It has been 4 days since any avalanche activity has been reported. This most recent activity involved deep slab avalanches pulling out on layers buried 3-5 feet below the surface. While the likelihood of triggering this type of avalanche is waning, the consequences remain high. Slabs up to 5 feet in depth have the potential to pull out across entire slopes and do a significant amount of damage.
What’s tricky with this avalanche problem is that you will not encounter it everywhere. The slab that built up last week is now strong and able to hold a lot of weight. Because of this it is possible to get onto steep terrain without incident. Now is not the time to let your guard down. We know that some areas still harbor weak reactive snow below the March slab. (See VIDEO and OBSERVATION for a more detailed desrciption)
Areas where you would be more likely to trigger a deep slab are in rocky areas, transition zones between wind scoured and wind loaded, steep terrain, and slopes with an overall shallower snowpack. Avoiding these areas is the best way to tip toe around this problem.
Photo below: Deepest part of the crown face (8′) of the Widow Maker avalanche (March 15); a prime example of a deep slab avalanche
Click HERE for a detailed write up of this avalanche.
Cornices have become sufficiently large over the course of the winter. It is difficult to predict when these monsters will release themselves. Strong solar radiation and an absence of wind are two factors that can encourage cornices to drop onto slopes. Avoiding being on or under cornices is a good habit to get into. Know where the cornice begins and the underlying terrain ends. If you are traveling below cornices, spread your group out and only expose one person at a time.
The sun will be strong today on mainly South through West facing terrain. Daytime heating will last into the evening hours, given that sunset is now after 8pm. Low volume loose snow avalanches will not be a concern on their own. In steep terrain above terrain traps it will be important to be on the lookout for wet loose avalanches, as they have the potential to knock you off your feet and into trees, gullies or over cliffs.
In the past 24 hours no new precipitation has fallen. Temperatures at the Sunburst station (3,812′) have averaged 19 degrees F. Winds there have been light, averaging 7mph out of the Northwest with a max gust of 23.
A pleasant day in the mountains is on tap. Expect clear skies, winds out of the North at 15mph and temperatures at 1,000′ reaching into the high 30s F.
A large area of high pressure is establishing itself over most of the state. This will bring clear and dry conditions over the next several days.
|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.