Although a skiff of snow is expected for the Anchorage area today, we continue to be snow-starved of late. The last significant precipitation to hit the Turnagain Pass region was 12 days ago now and with cold temperatures and generally light winds, the snowpack has adjusted into mostly strong and stable snow. However, there are a couple surface instabilities and other hazards to watch for if you are headed out for a day in the backcountry.
– Wind slabs
Over the weekend, Northwest winds blew enough in specific channeled terrain to build stiff and touchy wind slabs; Turnagain Pass itself, however, largely escaped the winds. We found several older wind slabs in the mid-elevation band in the Girdwood Valley yesterday. Keep an eye out for stiff hollow feeling snow and cracking and/or collapsing. These hard wind slabs can be triggered from below – so if found, managing your terrain to move around them will be key.
– Loose snow avalanches
The top several inches of the snowpack is becoming weaker and looser by the day with our cold weather. Triggering sluffs on steep terrain (> 40 degrees) should be expected and easily managed, as long as you are aware of them.
Other hazards found in the mountains:
– Low snow cover
At elevations below 2,000′ beware of hooking alders, hitting rocks, slipping on ice, etc.
– Glide avalanches
Glide cracks continue to litter the landscape and despite the cold temperatures, are still slowly opening. We have not heard of, or seen, a glide release for almost a week now. If you happen to see one – you’ll know because the bed surface will be very dark – let us know!
During the past 24-hours we have seen partly cloudy skies and a slow rise in temperature. At all elevations temperature has risen from the single digits to the low teens. Ridgetop winds, that were in the 10mph range form the East yesterday, are light and variable this morning. The last precipitation was 2″ of low density snow three days ago.
We should see a nice day in the backcountry today with mostly clear skies and temperatures hovering between 10 and 20F at all elevations. Ridgetop winds are forecast to be light and variable.
Tomorrow, cloud cover looks to increase associated with a large area of low pressure that is spinning South of the Aleutians. However, the entrenched high pressure over mainland Alaska will keep most of the low from reaching our neighborhood. Yet, models are hinting at a chance we might see an embedded disturbance bring snow later this week. Stay tuned.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||12||0||0||31|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||7||0||0||7|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||7||0||0||22|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||11||SW||7||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.