We have moved into a time period where buried weak layers have become very difficult to trigger. Time and settling of the snowpack has allowed layers of buried surface hoar and facets (1-3 feet deep) to adjust and become less reactive.
The makeup, or structure of the snowpack is such that should an avalanche occur there is still potential for entire slopes to release. Testing of these layers over the past few weeks has shown this potential.
Slabs that built up on top of these layers have become very strong. These slabs can withstand a lot of weight and force. This is another contributing factor to the low likelihood of triggering an avalanche.
Areas where you could trigger an avalanche today include slopes over 40 degrees, convexities and slopes with a shallow snowpack. The Girdwood Valley and Summit Lake areas have, in general thinner snowpacks than Turnagain Pass. Thin spots can still be found throughout the forecast area and are worth avoiding. Given the current hardness of slabs it is important to keep in mind that slabs can break above you and be very difficult to ride or ski off.
If venturing onto steep terrain practice good travel habits:
Expose only one person at a time
Utilize islands of safety for spotting and re-grouping
Identify escape routes in the event of a slab releasing
Communicate route decisions and plans within your group effectively
Be aware of groups above and below you and avoid exposing those groups to avalanche hazard
Yesterday was another day of clear and calm conditions. No new precipitation fell. Winds were light coming out of the Eastern half of the compass. Temperatures were on the cold side, with ridgetops in the teens-20’s F and some valley locations remaining in the single digits F under an inversion.
Today will be more of the same. Temperatures at ridegtops will be in the 20s F and some valleys will remain in the single digits. Winds will be light out of the East at 5-10mph.
The ridge of high pressure that is currently parked over much of mainland Alaska looks to begin breaking down by Wednesday night. Clouds, warming temps and precipitation will move in as we near the weekend.
*Sunburst data is 3pm-6am due to temporary station malfunction
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||21||0||0||33|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||3||0||0||6|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||21||0||0||25|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||19||E||9||20|
|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.