|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
There has been no reports of human triggered avalanches since Monday. Overall temperatures have cooled throughout the week and winds were light yesterday. Observers have reported good stability and slope testers have been in steep terrain without incident. However, there have been a few large naturally cornice triggered avalanches in steep Alpine terrain. Avoid traveling on or underneath cornices. They may break much farther back than expected and could trigger a large avalanche on the slope below. Falling on to a slope with a refrigerator to school bus sized piece of snow would be bad news. There have been significant cornice cracks observed along ridgelines. You do not want to end up on the wrong side or take a dip into one of the wide ones on your snowmachine or skis.
In addition, watch for any lingering wind slabs on leeward slopes and loose snow sluffing. Both of these could be quite hazardous in steep, high consequence terrain.
As always practice safe travel techniques: ride slopes one at a time, park and regroup in safe areas, have escape routes planned and watch your partners.
Cornice crack on Magnum ridge. Photo: Amanda Goss
Glide cracks continue to appear, grow and release throughout the Treeline (1000′-2500′) elevation band. They are on all aspects and are still totally unpredictable. The best way to minimize the risk is to avoid travel underneath. There was a new crack observed on Lipps yesterday in skiable terrain.
Glide crack in Main Bowl (1st Bowl). February 9th.
The same glide crack on February 18th.
Yesterday was partly cloudy with light winds and temps in the mid 20Fs to low 30Fs.
Today will partly to mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers during the day. Temperatures will be in the mid 20Fs to mid 30Fs and winds will be Easterly 5-15 mph. Clouds will increase overnight and with 1-4″ of snow possible as the first front affects the area.
Tomorrow snow showers and winds will increase as the next storm really moves into the region. The National Weather Service is decribing this as a robust front. Stay tuned for more details as the jury is still out on the timing, temperatures and the form of precipitation it will bring.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton
|Observation: Turnagain (below the uptrack)
|Alaska Avalanche School Moto Level 2
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Tincan Backdoor, Center Ridge
|AAS Level 1 / R Sullivan
|Avalanche: Tincan Trees
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Stephenson Forecaster