Today is expected to be a bit of an ‘in-between-storms’ type of day as we usher out yesterday’s windy and wet (Girdwood) weather and gear up for more active weather and a warm-up before the weekend. Winds were steady in the 25-40 mph range for much of yesterday with gusts in the 60’s mph on Sunburst. With substantial snow available for transport in the alpine, wind slabs 1-2’ deep will be possible to trigger. For skiers, quick hand shears or probing with your pole will be a good way to identify areas where strong (wind slab) over weak snow exists in the alpine. For snowmachiners, look for small, no-consequence test slopes to cut with your machine. Any shooting cracks or hollow-feeling snow is indicative of a reactive wind slab. Generally, these will be found on leeward terrain, with a southerly or westerly tilt today.
Cornices are notorious for catching people off guard and can break much further back than you might expect. Travel well away from the edge of a corniced ridge in order to give yourself that extra wide berth. Warming temperatures, direct sun and generally, any changing weather will continue to push these closer to failing naturally.
We’ve still got literally hundreds of glide cracks littering the mid-elevations in and around Turnagain Pass. Many of these may not release at all, but we continue to see large and destructive glide cracks avalanching in or adjacent to popular ski terrain. Completely unpredictable, it’s best to minimize your exposure to this volatile avalanche problem by avoiding time spent below glide cracks.
Recent glide release on Pete’s South. This avalanched sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning. The photo’s really don’t do it justice, this is a large and destructive avalanche!
Observations yesterday from the Lynx Creek drainage (South of Turnagain Pass) found a layer of buried surface hoar (BSH). Likely deposited during the high-pressure weekend of Jan.30/31, it’s now buried by a 2-3’ slab. Our one data point yesterday showed the BSH to be unreactive. That is the good news, but given the nature of persistent weak layers, I’m not comfortable going all-in quite yet. This is a similar structure to what Wendy and I found on Jan.31st, one drainage to the East… Buried surface hoar was unreactive in our pit, a mere quarter mile away from a very large and connected snowmachine-triggered avalanche from the previous day. Bottom line: Don’t trust a hoar.
Low clouds and incessant rain pounded the Girdwood and Portage Valleys most of the day while the lucky few continued their march toward Turnagain Pass and partly sunny skies! Temperatures were hovering around 32 degrees at the Pass with cloud cover in and out throughout the day with only about an inch of new snow. Ridetop winds were steady in the 25-40mph range, gusting in the 60’s. The Girdwood Valley received the lion share of precipitation yesterday measuring .85 € of water and about 9 € of snow at Alyeska mid-mountain (1700′).
Today we can expect partly cloudy skies with an overall clearing trend toward tonight. We may see a couple inches of new snow and light rain below about 1200′. Winds will be moderate from the East in the 15-25mph range.
This next round of storms will begin impacting our area from the South tomorrow/ tomorrow night. Unfortunately temps look to be unseasonably warm with this next shot of active weather.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||30||1||.1||109|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||31.5||1||.1||31|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||31.5||9||.85||95|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan and Sunburst from the air||CNFAIC Staff|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|12/08/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/06/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Billy Finley|
|12/04/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||A.Johnston-Bloom/ W.Wagner/ R.Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/03/19||Turnagain||Observation: Hippy Bowl||Nick Langowski|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan, All elevations||Eric Roberts|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
|11/30/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Treeline Plateau/ Common Bowl/ Ridge||Eric Roberts|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #2||Aleph Johnston-Bloom 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|
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