Yesterday my partner and I found generally stable snow in the higher elevations. We found evidence of extensive avalanche activity that had occurred during and immediately after the most recent storm on Tuesday Dec 9th. Looking under the snow surface showed us mostly strong snow with one exception. We were able to see some propagation potential along a weak layer 18″ below the surface. Because of this result and only minimal information since the storm, it will be wise to treat steep upper elevation slopes with a healthy dose of respect. While the weak layer in question in our snowpit is one that typically stabilizes quickly, I’m not ready to jump into this type of terrain without gathering more information from below the surface. The general trend today will continue to be towards better stability. The likelihood of triggering an avalanche is on the low end of the scale, BUT there are stiff older wind slabs that are sitting on weaker snow. These older wind slabs will be difficult to recognize, as they are blanketed by low density powder.
Venturing into steeper terrain in the upper elevations will require advanced snowpack assessment skills and the ability to detect old wind slabs hiding underneath 8-10″ of light powder. You can also hedge your bets by sticking to terrain 35 degrees or less in the alpine today.
As mentioned above, early season hazards and a stout & slick rain crust in the mid elevations are legitimate concerns and require careful travel in order to avoid injury.
Yesterday we observed one glide avalanche on the East face of Pyramid that had moved 10-20 feet downhill over the past day. While glide avalanches are not a widespread issue currently, it is worth keeping them in mind. Both Eddies and Tincan have numerous older glide cracks that have not moved over the past couple of weeks. The nature of glide avalanches makes it very difficult to know when they might release. With this in mind, it is best to steer clear of glide cracks and to keep track of where they are.
Earlier this week rain, snow, warm temps and moderate winds created unstable conditions throughout the area. Since Tuesday Dec 9th, the weather has quieted down and allowed the snowpack to adjust.
Temperatures over the last 24 hours have cooled into the low 20s F. Ridgetop winds have been light and there has been no new precipitation.
Today expect a continuation of this quiet weather. Skies will be mostly clear with some fog in the valleys. Temperatures will be in the low 30s F at 1,000′ and in the mid 20s F at ridgetop levels. Winds will be light out of the North at 5-15 mph. No new precipitation will fall today.
The extended outlook is showing a chance for snow and possibly rain at the lower elevations as we head into the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||0||0||18|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||22||0||0||4|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||29||0||0||11.8|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||28||var||8||23|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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.