It’s SNOWING!! Or at least trying to snow. Since Halloween night Turnagain Pass has picked up around 5″ of new snow at the SNOTEL site (1880′ elev.) for a total depth of 10″. At the road the Pass has seen 2-3″ of wet snow. Mid-mountain at Alyeska picked up around 6″ since Halloween with a total depth close to a foot. As for how much more we will get out of this system – it’s uncertain – possibly another 2-6″ today into Monday.
We will be posting intermittent updates during the first half of November. Advisories will begin in mid-November.
Below is the AK DOT snow stake at the RWIS weather station on Turnagain Pass. This is a new webcam that takes many different images including looking up at Seattle, Tincan, Eddies ridgelines and more. The link to the main RWIS site at the PASS is HERE. Bookmark it!!
Only a few inches of wet/crusty snow near the road on Turnagain Pass (early morning Nov 2nd).
Early Season Reminders:
As the saying goes: “If there is enough snow to ride, there is enough snow to slide“. What qualifies as ‘enough snow’ is likely quite different for many of us but nonetheless, it’s time to start thinking about avalanches.
Things to watch for if you are headed out into the backcountry:
- New snow avalanches. These can come in the form of wind slabs where the wind has loaded leeward aspects, soft slab avalanches in areas out of the wind and loose snow avalanches (sluffs).
- Watch for poor bonding between the new snow and old snow – amplifying the avalanche concerns stated above. More specifically, the new snow is falling on 6-10″ of older October snow at the upper elevations. This older snow was reported to be quite weak and faceted in many areas during the last days of October and can provide a weak foundation for the new snow.
- Send us a photo or two and let us know what you are seeing!! You can do that HERE or by clicking the €˜submit an observation’ tab on the menu bar. For example: How much snow? Has the wind distributed it? Help us begin to map out the snowpack!
Now is THE time to start checking your avalanche RESCUE gear.
- Do you have fresh batteries for your beacon? Are the battery terminals clean or corroded?
- Is the cable in your probe still strong or is it frayed and ready to break upon assembly?
- Is your shovel solid? (Last season, after 9 years, my tried-and-true shovel finally began to weaken and bend where the handle meets the blade €¦no good.)
- Air bag? Is it assembled properly and your canister filled?
- Last but not least, do you have a plan for practicing with your gear? Take some time away from battling alders and rocks and bury a few beacons for your friends (aka potential lifesaving partners)!!
November 7th: Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop. A gathering of snow professionals for a day of learning, presentation, discussion and networking. All are welcome! See akavalancheworkshop.org for more details.
November 8th – 10th: Alaska Winter Weather Forecasting Course. An amazing, and intense, mountain weather course taught by a former Alaska avalanche forecaster and current mountain meteorologist Jim Woodmencey! http://alaskaavalanche.com/
November 13th: Woohoo! Join the Friends of the CNFAIC and forecasters for our 6th Annual CNFAIC Fundraiser featuring Luc Mehl! Details HERE.
November 18th: FREE Avalanche Awareness talk at REI – 6:00-7:30pm
November 20th: Winter Project World Premiere!! Bear Tooth Theather and Pub.
What’s going on with the weather?
General weather: HERE
Developmental Eastern Turnagain Arm Forecast: HERE (Bookmark this page if you have not done so already)
What it looks like up at Turnagain Pass: AKDOT’s webcams!
Treeline snow depth on Center Ridge: SNOTEL site (as of Friday Oct. 24th there is 6 inches of settled snow from Oct. 20th’s 12 inches).