Today at Treeline (the 1,000’ – 2,500’ elevation band) on all aspects, pay attention to and avoid glide cracks. These can lead to glide avalanches that are very unpredictable. Weather and other triggers such as humans or even explosives that we associate with other dangerous avalanche problems don’t seem to effect glides in the same way. There is no discernable pattern to predict a failure as they tend to fail naturally and on their own schedule. Warm temperatures can trigger them and so can cooling temperatures. Cracks can form and release in seconds or days later or sometimes a glide crack won’t release at all, and benignly just fill back in with snow.
Glide cracks are best to be given a wide berth. Limit your exposure time spent underneath and if skiing or riding in terrain with glide cracks, try and map them out before your travels so as not to end up directly on top of or inside one. Remember, when these do fail, they tend to be destructive, failing to the ground bringing the entirety of the snowpack with them.
Glide crack on Petes North. Photo: Sean Fallon
Cornices have grown considerably during the past few weeks. Not only do they have the potential to fall naturally, but also to be triggered by the weight of a person or snowmachine. They can also trigger an avalanche on the slope below when they fall. Travel under or on them should be avoided. Remember they have the tendency to break farther back from the ridge than expected.
Image from the National Avalanche Center
We saw substantial winds over the weekend (30 – 70 mph from the east) that actively stripped windward slopes and built stiff wind slabs in the alpine. These may be in the 1-3’ range today and are most likely to be triggered in steep, leeward terrain. Wind loaded slopes are visibly fat right now, be on the look out for shooting cracks, hollow feeling or sounding snow and stiff snow over softer snow. Remember a small pocket of wind slab in can be very hazardous in high consequence terrain.
Yesterday was mostly overcast with a few breaks in the clouds. There were light snow showers, highs were in the mid-20Fs to mid 30Fs. Winds were light and variable.
Today will be mostly cloudy with snow showers throughout the day. New snow accumulation of around 1-3 inches possible. Temperatures will be in the low 30Fs to mid-20Fs. Winds will be light and shift from east to north. Snow showers continue overnight with a drying trend into tomorrow.
Thursday is forecasted to be mostly sunny and slightly cooler with light northerly winds as we see a break in the active weather pattern that has been affecting the region.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||1||.1||86|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||25|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||31||1||.06||62|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||n/a||n/a||n/a|
*Sunburst anemometer stopped recording at 2 pm yesterday. Wind data is from 6am-2pm.
|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: 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.