|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
It has now been 5 days since the last loading event occurred. In that time we have seen a daily cycle of melting and freezing on sunlit aspects and generally mild temps. This pattern has helped 2-3’ slabs that formed last week to become less reactive. In some areas these slabs are resting on a thin layer of weak faceted snow. In areas where we have been able to find this combo, there still exists the possibility of triggering one of these slabs. This problem is variable across the landscape, as it is not something you will find on every slope. Digging in the snow can help you to understand the problem better, but could also be misleading.
How do we manage this uncertainty? By using effective terrain management techniques. Only expose one person at a time on suspect slopes, use islands of safety for spotting and re grouping, and identity escape routes.
Recent slab avalanche at 3,500′ W aspect. Debris pile visible left of center coming out of the shadow.
The more likely avalanche concern today will be wet loose avalanches. These will be generally low in volume and are easy to anticipate. Volume will increase on steep sustained slopes. As the days get longer, so does the amount of terrain that the sun affects increase. Steep slopes being impacted by direct sunshine will continue to shed shallow loose snow avalanches. Several natural wet loose avalanches that triggered shallow wet slabs were observed in the Girdwood Valley yesterday. More of the same is possible today.
Pay attention to the snow surface on sunlit aspects today. As your skis or board begin sinking more than several inches it will be important to begin dialing back slope angles.
Cornices grew significantly with last week’s storms. Direct sun and a lack of wind will help to weaken these features. As always give cornices a wide berth. Minimize time spent underneath and make sure you can see the profile before approaching any corniced ridges.
Yesterday brought abundant sunshine under clear skies. Temps were mild and winds were generally calm. No new precipitation was recorded.
Today looks to be a carbon copy of yesterday, with slightly warmer temps. Temperatures will reach into the low 40s F at 1,000′ and near 32 F along ridgetops. Winds will be calm and skies will be clear.
High pressure stretching from Southeast Alaska through Southcentral and into the interior will prevent a low pressure system centered over Bristol Bay from impacting the area. This pattern looks to break down by mid week as we return to warm and wet Southerly flow.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton
|Observation: Turnagain (below the uptrack)
|Alaska Avalanche School Moto Level 2
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Tincan Backdoor, Center Ridge
|AAS Level 1 / R Sullivan
|Avalanche: Tincan Trees
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Stephenson Forecaster
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Clayton Forecaster