|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.|
As stated in the bottom line, the main concern if you venture into the backcountry will be early season/low snow cover hazards. Rocks, stumps, alders, etc. Below is a run down of snow depths vs. elevation:
1,000′ (Turnagain Pass road elevation): 0-3 inches
2,000′ (Treeline): 18″ to 2 feet
2,500′ (Top of Treeline): 2 feet
3,200′ (Above Treeline – Alpine): 3 feet
The good news is a very stout crust exists in the middle of the pack with strong melt-freeze snow below, which is covering up many of the smaller rocks (Photo above). More details from CNFAIC’s field day yesterday are HERE and HERE.
In high elevation extreme terrain, off ridgelines and peaks, there is the possibility of finding and triggering a wind slab. Watch for rounded stiff wind deposited snow that feels hollow. Also, be aware of what is below – cliffs/rocks – in the event even a small slab is triggered.
Loose Snow sluffs:
On steep slopes, 40 degrees and above, watch for sluffing in the settled snow from 11/22. Sluffs are expected to be low volume.
Yesterday we saw broken cloud cover and valley fog obscure much of the mountainous terrain. Winds were light from the Northwest and temperatures were in the mid 20’s F above treeline.
Today, we can expect partly sunny skies with high clouds streaming in from the West. Ridgetop winds are expected to be light and variable. Temperatures have cooled off overnight and are expected to be in the teens near treeline and the low 20’sF on the ridgetops.
Tomorrow, Black Friday, we should see an increase in cloud cover, and possibly a flake or two, as rotating lows in the Bering move west and the associated frontal system begins to spill into Southcentral. This will continue to move our way and give us a chance for snow (to sea level!) Saturday and into Sunday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||23||0||0||18|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||24||0||0||0|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||24||0||0||9|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||19||var||4||11|
|11/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Ridge||Schauer/ Stiassny Forecaster|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender||Anonymous|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Ben Sullender|
|11/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/21/23||Observation: Spokane Creek||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl||Schauer/ Cullen/ Jonas Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Other Regions||Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Andy Moderow|