|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.
Rain and warm temps over the last week have weakened the snowpack up to 2,500’ in elevation. Wet loose avalanches will be easiest to trigger on slopes over 35 degrees today. This is a manageable problem, in that it is relatively easy to recognize when you are in this snowpack; your skis or board will sink well below the surface and the snow will be unsupportable. When you find yourself in this snowpack set up avoid steep terrain. This becomes more important if and when you are traveling above terrain traps, such as gullies, trees, cliff bands or creek bottoms. Getting swept into these kinds of features will amplify the consequences of being caught in a wet loose avalanche today.
Above 3,000’ mostly snow has fallen of late. Slabs generally around 1 foot in depth with deeper pockets (up to 2 feet) could be triggered on steep leeward slopes today. Assessing how well the new snow is bonding can be done with quick hand pits and will help in understanding the potential for a wind slab to release. Performing stability tests will give you more information in helping to anticipate the potential for triggering. These slabs will be somewhat difficult to trigger but have the potential to entrain additional snow once moving downhill, especially closer to the line where wet loose avalanches are a concern.
Glide avalanche activity seemed to take a break yesterday. Glides have been observed on many slopes around Turnagain Pass and are worth steering clear of. This is not a manageable problem, as glide avalanche release is very difficult to anticipate and the volume of these slabs is high enough to injure and bury a person. Avoidance of terrain showing glide cracks is recommended for the foreseeable future.
Temperatures have remained mild over the past 24 hours with freezing levels remaining around the 2,000′ mark. The rain/snow line has fluctuated between 2,500′ and 2,000′, with snow accumulation in the 3-4 € range. The Turnagain Pass DOT/RWIS station reported .6 € of H20 in the past 24 hours. Ridge top winds have been moderate out of the East at 25 mph.
Today expect more of the same, as a Low centered over Bristol bay will spin and draw moisture and warm air from the South. Rain will fall at sea level. The rain/snow line will be around 1,500′-2,000′. New snow amounts will be in the 2-3 € range above 2,000′. Winds will be out of the Southeast at 20-30 mph.
The extended outlook is calling for a continuation of above average temperatures and showery conditions through the weekend. Temps will cool slightly as cold air tries to nudge its way towards the area.
* Alyeska Mid station data is from 6am – 3pm due to station being down.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: Seattle Ridge
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin