In Turnagain Pass storm snow instabilities due to recent snow, rain and active wind loading are today’s primary concerns.
Wind Slabs – Today Easterly ridgetop winds are expected to be in the 30-40’s mph for the second day in a row with an additional 3-5” of new snow. This means avalanches will be composed of the new storm snow from the last two days and are not expected to break into layers deeper in the pack. Isolated windslabs 1-2’ deep are possible on windloaded features. This problem is manageable by avoiding slope angles over 35° where the snow is windloaded. Pay attention for stiff hollow snow, shooting cracks, and snow being transported off of ridge tops.
Wet Loose – A saturated snow pack was observed yesterday below 1500’ causing the snow to be loose and unconsolidated. This problem is stabilizing in places where temperatures cooled enough to form a crust. Should you encounter wet saturated snow, this is an additional reason to avoid gullies and steep channeled terrain. This problem is more developed in Girdwood where more over an 1″ of rain saturated the snowpack yesterday at lower elelvations.
Should a break in the weather today allow for easier travel remember to practice safe travel rituals.
Yesterday two very small natural windslabs were observerd on Southeast aspects near Johnson Pass. These crossloaded gully features are examples of terrain that could harbor tender windslabs today.
Glide cracks have been appearing throughout Turnagain Pass over the last week. Warm temperatures and rain have been adding stress to these very unpredictable hazards. Pay attention for large open cracks in the snow, ‘crevasse looking’ features that can release without any warning. Similar to managing a cornice, it is best to avoid traveling on or under slopes with glide cracks.
Cornice features have grown large over the last few weeks, and todays blowing snow may be adding stress to their unstable nature. They 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. As you approach ridgelines, ensure you aren’t accidently traveling on overhanging snow.
Yesterday 36F temps caused rain along Turnagain Pass (1000′), and by afternoon temps cooled to 32F with scatted snow showers in the afternoon. 4-8″ of new snow fell in the upper elevations. Rain/snow line was estimated to have reached 2000′ early yesterday morning. Easterly Ridgetop winds averaged in the 30’s mph with gusts in the 60’s mph.
Today Easterly ridgetop winds are expected to average in the 30-40’s mph. Gust could reach into the 60’s mph. Up to 5 € of snow is expected above 1100′ today and light rain at lower elevations. Temperature should hover around freezing 32F along road level at Turngain Pass.
Expect warm temperatures, snow and rain to continue through mid-week.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||4||0.4||85|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||33||1||0.1||25|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||10||1.22||66|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||28||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|05/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/30/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/27/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Creighton/ Hoople|
|04/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Nick D'Alessio|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Airplane obs||Johnston-Bloom / DiJulia /Hilliard Forecaster|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn biscuit||Heather Johnson|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Ck Drainage||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eeva Latosuo|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Turnagain pass||Joe Kurtak|
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.