Glide avalanches, wet slab and wet loose avalanches continue to plague the backcountry in what we are affectionately calling the “Nuri Cycle”. It was Typhoon Nuri after all that pushed the jet stream South, only to bring back with it warm and moisture-laden air. Beginning Friday 11/7, rain falling on snow combined with warm temperatures destabilized the snowpack and avalanches began to fail at or near the ground. We have had many photos sent in to us – THANK YOU! Below are just a couple examples:
This is the West face of Orca from the old town of Girdwood (11/10).
Almost countless glide cracks and releases on Tincan’s Westerly face. The treed rollovers as well as above treeline slopes are good places to avoid for obvious reasons right now.
*Most of these avalanches are glide avalanches and glides have the tendency to avalanche when the snowpack starts to cool down and freeze – or even when it has been cool for several days. So, when the skies clear and the pack is hardening it DOES NOT mean that glide avalanches are through. This is very important to keep in mind when you venture out on the next clear day!
We have very little information for the upper alpine zones (above ~3,500′). There are no weather stations with snow data that high in elevation, but we do know it has been snowing! Hopefully the cracks on the glaciers are beginning to fill in and a base it being set for the year.
If you find yourself in the higher terrain be on the lookout for storm snow avalanches – most likely in the form of wind slabs. Some of these could be quite large as the easterly winds have been averaging in the 20’s and 30’s with gusts to 70mph. Watch for signs of recent avalanches, listen and feel for collapsing or cracking in the snow and feel for snow that is “punchy” (stronger/harder snow over weaker/softer snow). These are all signs of instability.
As the remnants of Nuri slowly exit we should see another round of rain tomorrow and clearing skies by Thursday or Friday. The temperatures look to remain unseasonably warm however. See below for a look at just how early November is shaping up. Notice the green line, which is snow depth, that has been decreasing as the rain snow line increases. The scale for snow depth is cut off but, as of today we are at 13″ total snow depth at the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL1880′ elevation – we were at 21″ just a few days ago. One thing is for certain, we could use some colder temperatures with all this precipitation!
We update these charts daily. You can find them on our “weather history” tab under the weather menu item on our website!
|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.