Snowfall amounts over the past several days have varied across the forecast zone. The result is slabs ranging anywhere from 6-18” in the Alpine. On East, South and West aspects these slabs sit on a thin crust. Yesterday my partner and I found these slabs to be well bonded to these crusts. Traveling along areas that were being actively loaded by wind showed no signs of instability (collapsing or cracking). Despite these encouraging results, there has been enough loading (close to 1” H20 in the Girdwood Valley) to create instability today. It will be important to be on the lookout for upside down slabs in the Alpine. Most suspect will be steep slopes receiving direct sunlight.
New snow in the Alpine is generally well bonded to underlying surfaces. Caution is still advised in terrain approaching 40 degrees as new slabs need some time to adjust. photo:Wagner
While we should see mostly cloudy skies today, the sun could make an occasional appearance. If and when this happens, expect wet loose avalanches to quickly occur on terrain 40 degrees and over. Volume will be low to medium. Consequences will increase in line with the terrain. Sustained steep slopes will produce more dangerous, higher volume wet loose avalanches. If the sun pops out or the snow at your feet is wet and heavy (likely in the Treeline elevations) it will be time to back off of steep terrain.
Large unsupported masses of snow are looming over many starting zones in the Alpine. Practice good habits around cornices. On the way up pick routes that minimize time spent in the line of fire. On ridges and above starting zones keep your distance from the edge until you can see the base of the cornice and where it connects to the underlying terrain.
Southerly flow caused by a large complex Low pressure system in the Gulf has continued to dominate the weather pattern over the last several days. This has resulted in mild temps with showery precipitation and moderate winds. The Girdwood Valley picked up 6 € of dense snow (.9 € H20) and the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL picked up 2 €/.2 (snow/H20). Higher amounts fell on the North end of Turnagain Pass.
Today that Southerly flow will continue to bring light amounts of snow and rain with only 1-2 € of snow expected. Rain/snow line should climb as high as 1,500′. Winds will be in the 10-15 mph range out of the East and temperatures at 1,000′ will rise into the high 30s F.
The extended outlook is showing more of the same as we move into the work week. Circulation around the aforementioned system in the Gulf will bring multiple rounds of precip, clouds and mild temps through at least Wednesday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||30||2/rain||.2||60|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||33||0||0||10|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||33||6/rain||.9||37|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||27||n/a||15||31|
|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|
|01/09/21||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst meadow between Hemlocks||Anonymous|
|01/08/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Wagner / Schauer|
|01/07/21||Turnagain||Observation: Lower Cornbiscut||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1|
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.