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 (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||34||0||.4||28|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||33||0||.1||5|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36*||0*||.5*||18*|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||29||VAR||16||84|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Schauer/ Wunnicke Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Rec Level 1 Roberts|
|01/12/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge/Center Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/11/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Trees||Schauer/ Roberts Forecaster|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1 Course Latosuo|
|01/10/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan trees||Anonymous|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
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.