It’s like a lingering cold that just won’t go away…… glide cracks linger, and litter, the mid-elevation slopes around Turnagain Pass. They continue to slowly open and every once in a while one will release. The last known release was on Sharks Fin (South facing ~2,000′) either late Wednesday or early Thursday. Since these avalanche spontaneously at any time, it is best to avoid, or do your best to limit time under, glide cracks. With questionable visibility again today, it may be difficult to identify glide cracks.
Photo below: These are two glide avalanches that released one week ago on Seattle Ridge above the motorized parking lot. There are still three very prominent cracks that look to be on the verge of releasing next to these two.
With an overall generally stable snowpack we are dealing these days with ‘surface instabilities’. Shallow wind slabs in steep terrain are the most likely avalanche that could be triggered by snowmachiners, skiers or snowboarders today. Between 1 and 4″ of snow fell overnight and we have another 1-3″ of light snow in the forecast today. Add to this, moderate ridgetop Easterly winds and we have shallow wind slabs. These are most likely going to be right near ridgelines where the wind is blowing. I’m guessing there will be ridgelines that have very little wind and hence no wind slab issue and a LOW avalanche danger.
If the skies clear enough for travel to the Alpine zones, watch for recent wind drifted snow and stiffer snow over softer snow. Good ways to do this are getting off old snowmachine tracks, or off the skin track, and using your boot or pole to feel what the surface layers do. Does your boot or pole punch through to softer snow? Or, is there a progression from soft to stiffer snow? Remember too, this needs to be done in areas representative of where you are looking to ride and/or ski.
Yesterday’s weather consisted of overcast skies with light snow falling on the North side of the Pass (rain up to1,000′). Winds on the ridgetops were light to moderate from the East. Temperatures were mild….34F at 1,000′ and in the upper 20’s in the Alpine.
Overnight we picked up 2-3″ of new snow above 1,200′ with rain below. Less amounts on the South side of Turnagain Pass. For today, we should see intermittent snowfall above 1,200′ and rain below. Again precipitation intensity will be higher near the Arm and less over the inland areas. Skies should be cloudy with possible patches of blue here and there and temperatures near freezing. Ridgetop winds should be in the 10-15mph range with stronger gusts.
Sunday is looking to be similar with intermittent precipitation, mild temperatures and possible breaks in cloud cover.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||2||0.2||86|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||27|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||2.5||0.37||69|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||27||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|01/26/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pastoral||Allen Dahl|
|01/26/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees and north side Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol|
|01/25/20||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/25/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Eric Roberts/ Kakiko|
|01/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunny Side of Seattle||Peter Wadsworth|
|01/23/20||Turnagain||Observation: TIncan||Eric Roberts|
|01/23/20||Turnagain||Observation: Goldpan||Allen Dahl|
|01/22/20||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Adrian Beebee|
|01/22/20||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/22/20||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||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: 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.