|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.|
For anyone venturing to Turnagain Pass, it is clear there is not much snow below treeline and a lot of old avalanche activity above treeline. Although things have quieted down avalanche-wise, glide avalanches remain something to keep on your radar. These are simply unpredictable and destructive avalanches. The good thing is most of the time glides are preceded by a slowly opening crack and therefore easy to identify and avoid. Hence, be aware of glide cracks and avoid being under them.
Below is a photo of several glide cracks on the west nose of Eddies (popular ski/snowboard slope). This is just an example of how much glide activity is present right now. This photo is from 5 days ago and some have released but many are still in wait.
Matt Murphy photo from Nov 9th.
With persistent warm temperatures, including a spike on Thursday (chart below), the snowpack could be fairly wet near treeline. The clear skies are likely freezing the surface to some degree but there also could be areas where the snow remains soft. Triggering a wet loose slide into a terrain trap comes to mind as something to be aware of in soft saturated snow.
Check out the warm ridgetop temperatures at the Sunburst weather station (3812′) below. And, two days ago on Nov 11th the Girdwood Yard station in Old Girdwood recorded a record high temperature for November: 50F!
After a 10-day long bout of warm, wet and windy weather, the wet and windy parts have moved west but the warm remains. For the next week or so a complex set of low pressure systems will spin to our south and continue to pump warm air our way. Sunday and mid-week there may be some moisture associated with the southerly flow, but all in all, winter remains on the horizon.
|12/06/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||N Dumont|
|12/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Kakiko Ramos-Leon|
|12/04/23||Turnagain||Observation: Lynx Creek||Schauer / Keeler/ Predeger Forecaster|
|12/04/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst, 2400′ – 3100′ NW ridge common uptrack.||Arnav Verma|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge||Amy Holman|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Tony Naciuk|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: West ridge of Tincan Peak and Peak 4400||Kelli Spencer|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Lipps||Paul Schauer|
|12/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||Schauer / Keeler Forecaster|
|12/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan South Side||Anonymous|