Still one of the greater hazards if venturing into the backcountry on skis today is the ingress/ egress to get on snow and then back to your vehicle at the day’s end. Ice, alder, open water and a general lack of snow below 1,500’ all add up to be the greatest challenge you are likely to encounter in the backcountry today. Avalanche problems that call for increased awareness and attention today include:
Cornices have grown quite large along some well-traveled ridges in Turnagain pass right now. Do not trust these backcountry bombs. Stay well back from corniced ridges and make sure your partners are doing the same. Every year, cornices catch both professionals and novices’ off-guard as these have a tendency to break much further back on a ridge than you may expect.
Glide cracks are still proving active across the advisory area either further opening up or releasing entirely causing large, destructive avalanches. Similar to cornices, do not trust a glide crack. Though moving at a glacial pace, these are totally unpredictable and can release suddenly and without a real trigger. It’ll be important to continue to limit your time spent underneath any known glide cracks today and for the remainder of the season.
Glide crack below Eddie’s ridge is suspected to have released at some point over the last 3-days without any real trigger. Notice the dark bed surface in the center of the frame, just above the shadow line. photo: Wendy Wagner
Any winds above about 20mph will have the potential to build shallow wind slabs today as the surface snow in the upper elevations is ripe for transport. Pay attention to the surface, if you see any snow being transported from wind, shallow slabs (6” – 8”) are forming on leeward slopes.
Sunny skies dominated the forecast area again yesterday above a shallow layer of valley fog. The forecasted North winds never really showed up as ridgetop winds averaged in the single digits all day. Temperatures stayed cool with low 20’s F at ridgetops, cooling off to the mid-teens later in the day at 1,000′ as an inversion began to set up.
Today expect more of the same in terms of clear skies above low-level fog. Temperatures are inverted this morning with 10 degress F at 1,000′ and 20 degrees F at the top of Sunburst (3800′). Winds are expected to be light out of the North in the 7 €“ 15mph range.
I am pleased to report that he National Weather Service is issuing a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT for €œWinter arriving in Southcentral Alaska €. Confidence is increasing that there will be a significant change in the weather pattern in the form of accumulating snow and dropping temperatures Thursday night and into Friday!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||19||0||0||30|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||14||0||0||6|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||20||0||0||19|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||18.4||N/A Wind||sensor||is rimed.|
|04/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Triangle, Seattle creek||Will Morrison|
|04/18/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass Road Obs||Andy Moderow|
|04/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge, approximately 300 yards south of the up track||Brent Byrne|
|04/17/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Road obs||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wendy Wagner Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Turnagain Pass, non-motorized side seen from Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff Forecaster|
|04/16/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Lance breeding|
|04/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Schauer/ Rothman Forecaster|
|04/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs||A Schauer Forecaster|
|04/12/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Latosuo 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.