A long dry spell back in late January created a layer of weak faceted snow that has now been buried by several storms. These storms produced several slabs that now average 2 feet in thickness in the Alpine. The combination of slab over weak layer can be found consistently above 2,500’. The two areas that are most unstable are:
Steep terrain between 2,500-3,000’. The slab/weak layer combo is sitting on a firm crust in this elevation band. The slab is thinner in this lower half of the Alpine, making it easier to impact the weak layer. Parties continue to report collapsing in this elevation band and test results point to continued unstable snow in this zone.
Steep terrain with a Southerly component. A stout sun crust formed over 10 days ago in this terrain and has slabs in the 1 foot range sitting on it. We have seen sporadic natural activity in this type of terrain recently and mainly on the periphery of the forecast area.
While it has been 7 days since the last loading event, the nature of a persistent weak layer is that is can remain active for a long time. If you’re considering getting into committing terrain keep in mind that you may find the most unstable snow well below starting zones. Because of this it will be important to pick lower angle terrain (35 degrees or less) and slopes that provide escape options along the way.
A few inches of new snow will fall by the evening hours in the higher elevations. Very shallow slabs in the 6” range will form and be sensitive to human triggers in steep (40 degrees and over) terrain. This is not a significant hazard but is worth keeping in mind if you are travelling above terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or trees.
The past 24 hours brought mild temperatures and increasing cloudiness to the area. Winds were light out of the East and no new precipitation fell.
Today expect cloudy skies with light snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation will be light, in the 1-2 € range. Temperatures will be mild with ridgetops climbing into the high 20s F and a rain/snow line around 1,000′. Ridgetop winds will be out of the East at 5-10 mph.
The thin band of moisture that will deliver a quick shot of snow will be replaced by high pressure by Sunday morning. A large low pressure system will move across the Bering Sea and connect with a low in the North Pacific in the early part of next week, bringing the next chance for precipitation on Tues night.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||33||0||0||40|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||29||0||0||6|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||27||0||0||23|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||31||NW||13||28|
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|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|
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.