Yesterday’s sunshine, calm winds and rapidly warming daytime temperatures triggered numerous wet loose avalanches on predominantly South and West aspects. We should expect a similar pattern today as partly cloudy skies and light winds are forecast. Yep, we are in a classic springtime melt-freeze cycle with a generally solid snowpack in the morning giving way to wet loose avalanches later in the day. The rule of thumb is, once the surface snow/crust becomes saturated to your boot tops (with skis/boards off) it’s time to head to a cooler aspect. There is still plenty of cold and dry snow, but it is at the upper elevations on Northerly aspects.
*If the winds stay light today, don’t be fooled if there is some cloud cover; thin clouds can create a type of ‘green house’ effect and warm all aspects, including North.
Photo on the left is from the North side of Tincan where a very large wet slide occurred sometime in the past 3 days. This slide is off a Northerly aspect and debris was reported to be 10-15′ deep. (Photo credit: Hunter McConnel). Photo on the Right are your classic wet loose avalanches in steep South facing terrain (Photo: Graham Predeger).
We know of one large slab avalanche, possibly a large wind slab, that released naturally in the past 48 hours. This avalanche (pictured below) is on a Westerly aspect across Turnagain Arm from around Seward Highway’s Mile Post 94, just East of Mount Alpenglow. The take home here is, although unlikely, triggering an old slab is not out of the question with our transitioning snowpack from winter to summer.
Fresh wind slabs may build at the upper elevations later today if we see an increase in South and East winds. Although there is plenty of loose snow available for transport, these are expected to be isolated and shallow and confined to Northerly aspects.
*The avalanche pictured is a reminder that even during times of low danger, we need to keep our safe travel habits alive and not become complacent; the main two being, exposing only one person a time and watching our buddies.
Recent slab off a West aspect across Turnagain Arm. (Photo credit: Graham Predeger)
It was a brilliant day in the backcountry yesterday with sunny skies and light and variable winds. Temperatures at the upper elevations reached 32F and at 1,000′ the low 40’s F.
Another nice day is on tap today, however temperatures are not expected to get quite that warm (upper 20’s on the ridgetops and upper 30’s at 1,000′). Winds should pick up slightly to the 10mph zone from the East and South. We could see some high clouds filter in and out associated with a large low pressure over the Aleutians.
For the weekend, it looks like partly cloudy skies continue with light to moderate East winds. The low pressure over the Aleutians looks to track to our South with the moisture missing Southcentral.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||37||0||0||72|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||14|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36||0||0||45|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||28||n/a||8||22|
|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.