Observations from yesterday are pointing toward an overall snowpack that continues to adjust to this latest pulse of snow. The weak snow above the Thanksgiving rain crust continues to show signs that it is gaining strength and didn’t prove to be a concern in our snowpits yesterday. Keep in mind this set up though (see secondary concern below) and recognize that areas where wind loading has occurred, there will be more weight on this weak snow/ storm snow interface. Large triggers such as a snowmachine could prove enough to tickle out a fresh storm slab or wind slab 2-3’ deep.
Skiers pushing into steeper, upper elevation terrain (above 3500’) may also find fresh wind slabs in the 2-3’ range as we had a short but strong wind event on Sunday night. In areas protected from the wind and lower elevations, the surface is quite unconsolidated. Generally with more snow on the northern end of Turnagain pass, loose snow sluffs will prove to be fast moving and high volume today, particularly in steep terrain (greater than 40 degrees).
CNFAIC forecasters are elated to be able to utilize snowmachines again as a forecasting tool after last winters “snow drought” at trailhead locations. Here, Graham Predeger digs in to look at our current snowpack structure at 2400′ above 2nd Bowl (Jr’s bowl) on the backside of Seattle ridge.
We will continue to track the Thanksgiving rain crust/ facet combo (and buried surface hoar layer) until it is buried more than 3 feet deep AND proves dormant. Though not reactive recently, all the ingredients are present to bake that cake (2’+ storm slab/ weak snow/ stout bed surface). For the moment, look at this avalanche problem as an additional reminder to maintain safe travel protocols, and ensure you and everyone in your crew is carrying proper rescue equipment and knows how to use it.
Low-level fog persisted most of yesterday near sea level with broken clouds and partly sunny skies above about 500′. The snowfall shut off early yesterday morning with no new precipitation added during the daylight hours. Winds were calm (single digits) throughout the day and temps were in the 20’s from valley bottom to ridgetops.
Today, temperatures are starting out slightly inverted, promoting valley fog, though with a weak pulse of moisture arriving mid to late morning, that should usher in easterly winds in the 25-40mph range at ridgetops and act to mix the air a bit. We may see 1-3 € of snow falling from sea level and up, around the eastern Turnagain arm region with temperatures in the 20’s F at ridgetops and low to mid 30’s F at sea level.
More active weather is on tap through the workweek as another low pressure moves into the Gulf and begins to affect Kodiak as early as tomorrow.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||24||0||0||39|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||23||0||0||14|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||25||0||0||33|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||20||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s||Mike Records|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Triangle bowl||Cooper Street|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Eddies||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn Biscuit||Troy Tempel|
|01/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||Matti Silta|
|01/22/21||Turnagain||Observation: JOHNSON PASS||Anonymous|
|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|
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.