The powerful storm that moved through last night has created a textbook avalanche scenario: Heavy snowfall (12-16+”) overnight with significant wind has rapidly loaded slopes. Although the new snow has fallen on a variety of preexisting surface conditions, the ‘rapid loading’ itself is the concern. Slab avalanches up to 2-3′ think are possible on windloaded slopes. These can release on their own, naturally, or are likely to be triggered by a person.
If you are headed out into the backcountry – steering clear of ALL avalanche terrain is advised. This includes runout zones. Keep in mind treed areas, such as Tincan and Eddies have avalanche terrain intermixed with safe terrain. Expert level snowpack and terrain assessment skills are needed to negotiate these areas safely.
A number of glide cracks still exist at mid-elevations on Turnagain pass, notably in areas like the Tincan trees. Travel under glide cracks should be avoided. Glide avalanches are very unpredictable and the recent warming temperatures could add to the potential for a glide to release.
A warm Southwesterly flow has dominated the weather for the past several days. Light to moderate rain began yesterday and reached up to 2,000′ in places before turning to snow overnight. The rain/snow line is currently hovering near 500′ where it is expected to remain for the day. See snowfall and water totals below. Winds have been strong out of East averaging 30-40mph.
For today, light snowfall is expected to add 2-4″ at the mid-elevations before tapering off and allowing skies to breakup. Tonight another system moves in from the Southwest, yet is a bit cooler that the last one. We are looking at rain/snow lines near 500-1000′ with snowfall amounts in the 6-12″ range by Friday evening. More on that tomorrow!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||10+||1.1||28|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||34||1||0.6||11|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||33||16||2.2||25|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||SE||20||53|
|01/31/23||Turnagain||Observation: Johnson Pass area||Megan Guinn / W Wagner Forecaster|
|01/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Backdoor||AAS-Level 1 1/27-1/30|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Brooke Edwards|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner|
|01/28/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Common||Tony Naciuk|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||John Sykes|
|01/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Creek||Megan Guinn / W Wagner|
|01/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||John Sykes Forecaster|
|01/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Schauer/ Guinn|
|01/21/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Elias Holt|
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.