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Thu, April 3rd, 2014 - 7:00AM
Fri, April 4th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is  LOW.  Cornice features and loose snow sluffs are the only real possibilities for getting snow to move today.

There will be a weather pattern change tonight, check our forecast tomorrow for the latest changes.

Thu, April 3rd, 2014
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Stability continues to be excellent today.  It’s rare that we have so many tracks in so many places across our region.  All of the commonly traveled steep lines have been skied or ridden in the last few weeks.  

One of the bigger challenges right now seems to be finding areas without tracks or with soft snow.  Sunny southerly aspects have a stout breakable crust at the surface.  Daytime temperatures are still not warm enough to soften up those faces and make for good corn conditions.  Shaded north faces are holding faceted “recycled” powder, which can be quite good if you can find areas without old tracks.  

Avalanche related hazards today will include – 

Cornices.  Give overhanging cornice features space as they may break back farther than expected.

Sluffing in steep terrain – 

That loose snow on shaded north faces will sluff out in low volume.  It doesn’t have a lot of mass to it, but it must be skied strategically to avoid getting pushed off your feet in high consequence terrain.  Check out this article for sluff management tips.

Additional Concern
  • Announcement

Thinking about the future – tomorrow and the weekend…  

There is a good rule of thumb – After long periods without precipitation, the surface becomes a poor interface for the next snow load.

Our current snow surface consists of glazed crusts on south faces, surface hoar, and faceted snow on north faces.  All of these components can be the next layer of concern when we get our next snow load.  

Thu, April 3rd, 2014

Today is expected to start off sunny and calm.  Temperatures will reach into the high 30s this afternoon.  Tonight we will see the first tangible change in the weather pattern in nearly 3 weeks.  Enjoy the sun today while we still have it!

Increasing clouds tonight will bring a chance of rain and snow for Friday and the weekend.  Temperatures are expected to be above freezing during daylight hours, so rain rather than snow is possible.

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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.