We’ve received great info from a Level 3 avalanche class that has been conducting fieldwork in both Turnagain pass and Summit Lake area over the last several days. Students yesterday found a generally strong snowpack with shallow, stubborn wind slabs on Seattle ridge (Sunny side) that would not propagate under a skier’s weight. Across the road where moderate westerly winds have not been so destructive the surface consisted of 2-4” of near surface facets capped by growing surface hoar yesterday. Below the surface data and a lack of avalanche activity continues to validate the high strength, low propagation potential in the Turnagain pass area.
In terms of moving through the mountains today, any pockets of instabilities observed should be relegated to the upper 3-6” of the snowpack and will likely be in the form of older, shallow wind slabs on leeward slopes. Look for these pockets of denser snow and be mindful of your terrain choices, weighing the consequences of popping off a shallow wind slab. This will be particularly important in steep, (greater than 40 degrees) upper elevations where you may be exposed to terrain traps below. If we receive more than 4” of snow today and winds kick up enough to actively transport snow, expect shallow wind slabs (5-10”) to be more reactive to human triggers.
With a few inches of snow in the forecast, any new wind slabs could also prove problematic to ice climbers exposed to funneled terrain in areas such as Portage Valley.
Glide avalanches are still littered throughout the forecast area and with a bit of a warm-up today we’ll be keeping an eye on any glide crack movement or release. Your best bet remains to limit your time spent underneath glide cracks, as they remain an unpredictable beast.
Glide cracks and glide avalanches (already released) litter the South and West aspects of Eddies.
photo: Jaime Andersen
Low snow coverage:
Below 2000’ low snow coverage is deceiving with only a few inches of new snow covering rocks, ice and vegetation. Take your time getting in and out of the alpine today.
Valley fog persisted throughout the day yesterday with mostly sunny skies above about 500′. Temperatures warmed slightly throughout the day to the low-20’s at ridgetop locations. Winds were light and variable, generally in the single digits through the daylight hours.
Today temperatures are expected to continue to climb to the mid-20’s at ridgetops with easterly winds in the 4-14mph range. A weak band of increased clouds and precipitation is trying to push into our region today and it’s likely we’ll see 1-3 € of snow in the eastern Turnagain arm region by nightfall.
By Friday afternoon skies are expected to clear with high pressure, sunshine and dry offshore flow dominating our weather through the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||23||0||0||31|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||15||0||0||6|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||18||0||0||22|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||20||variable||4||13|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|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|
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.