Upper elevation slopes that harbor dry and crust-free snow after Thanksgiving’s onslaught are the areas most suspect for triggering an avalanche. These slopes are also where most of us are looking to ride and sit at elevations over 2,500′. If you are headed out today (we may see clearing skies…?) there are two things to keep in mind:
1- A bump in wind from the Northeast last night may have created shallow wind slabs just off the ridgelines. These should be easy to identify by keeping an eye on the surface texture and looking for areas of stiff wind deposited snow. Quick hand pits can help assess the reactivity of any slabs found.
2- In general we have little information for terrain over 3,000′. What we do know is 2-4′ of ‘Thanksgiving’ snow sits on top a variety of old surfaces, one of these being a layer of small facets near the ground. With the lack of natural avalanche activity during last week’s storm cycle and snow pits showing stable snow at 3,000′, plus four days now since the end of the storm, all signs point to a stabilizing pack. However, caution is still warranted as an avalanche breaking in the facets near the ground would be large. Don’t forget your safe travel practices if venturing onto steep committing terrain, namely, only expose one person at a time and watch your partners carefully.
Terrain below 2,500′:
Rain that fell last week has now frozen and a crust exists under 2-6″ of new snow; dust-on-crust riding conditions. Freezing of the snowpack has stabilized these lower elevations. We did get a report yesterday of a large avalanche that was spotted in the Tincan Trees area – suspected start zone is above treeline and under the CFR ridgeline (2,500′). The slide is suspected to have occurred sometime late Sunday or early Monday. If you have any information about this avalanche please let us know!
Photo below of the CFR avalanche (credit: Ray Koleser).
Cloudy skies covered the region yesterday and instability showers dropped a few more inches of snow above 1,000′; light ‘freezing’ rain at sea level. Winds were light from the NE and temperatures remained mild.
Overnight, winds picked up slightly from the Northeast with averages in the 10-20mph range and a peak gust at Sunburst of 41mph. These have decreased this morning. Temperatures continue to be mild (ridgetop mid-20’s F), yet cooler air has just begun filtering in from the Northeast. We may see a few more instability showers again today intermixed with clearing skies.
Another shot for a few inches of snow will come tomorrow as a pulse of moisture is pushed in by a low-pressure system in the Gulf.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||2||0.2||24|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||10|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||2||0.1||17|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||24||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner Forecaster|
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: email@example.com
|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.