Triggering a wind slab today in steep leeward terrain is possible today. Winds over the past few days have deposited additional snow, continuing to cross load and top load terrain features. Look for pillowed snow, listen for hollow sounds and pay attention to stiff snow under your skis, snowboards or snowmachines. Investigate if the stiff snow is overlaying soft snow. Watch for shooting cracks and remember even a small pocket of wind slab in steep terrain can have high consequences. Wind slabs are notorious for letting you travel out onto them and then breaking above you. Evaluate carefully before committing to steep terrain from above or below.
****In some parts of the advisory area 5-7′ of settled and wind effected storm snow is sitting on a layer of old faceted snow on top of the Thanksgiving Rain Crust. This still needs to be a consideration as you travel into the backcountry today. This Deep Slab concern is a low probability, very high consequence set-up. As always it is important to use safe travel practices: ride slopes one at a time, have an escape route planned, regroup and/or park in safe areas and watch your travel partners. Do not overload slopes with multiple skiers, boarders or snowmachines.
Wind transporting snow on Turnagain Pass.
Very large cornice features have formed throughout the region as a result of a two-week storm that deposited ~9’ of snow and was accompanied by very high winds. Cornices have the potential to fall naturally or be triggered by the weight of a person or machine and can be very dangerous. Travel under or on them should be avoided. They have the tendency to break farther back from the ridge than expected and can trigger an avalanche on the slope below by adding a lot of weight quickly. As you approach ridgelines and the entrances to backcountry bowls make sure you aren’t accidently traveling on overhanging snow. A snowmachine took a dip into the cornice crack near the top of the Seattle Creek uptrack.
A large crack was found on the Magnum ridge above the cornice.
Glide cracks are continuing to appear throughout Turnagain Pass. They may lead to Glide Avalanches which are incredibly difficult to predict and will be deep and destructive if they do release. Travel under glide cracks should be avoided. In addition the cracks can be quite deep and falling into one could be very hazardous. They are sometimes mistaken for old avalanche crowns. The characteristic “brown frown” shape can help you identify the glide cracks in the terrain.
Glide cracks on Seattle Ridge just north of the common uptrack.
Yesterday was mostly overcast. There were a few breaks in the clouds alternating with periods of very light rain/snow showers. Temps were in the 30Fs at 1000′ and in the 20Fs at 3000′. Winds were mostly light from the ENE with a few gusts in the 30s.
Today will be mostly cloudy with light rain and snow showers, 0-2″ of snow. Snow line is forecasted to be around 1800′. Easterly winds will increase throughout the day into tonight as the storm moves into the region. Precipitation is forecasted to be heavier tonight into tomorrow morning. Snow line may increase to 2000′.
This showery pattern will persist through the weekend as the plume of warm moist air is pushed into the area by the low in the Gulf.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||0||0||81|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||26|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||0||0||58|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||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.