|Travel Advice||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.|
Cornice fall may be one of the larger hazards today with sunshine acting to weaken these already tenuous bombs. Cornices right now are LARGE and UNPREDICTABLE– some bigger than semi-trucks and some with large cracks extending their full length. Yesterday melting snow and dripping water could be seen on cornice faces during the heat of the day along Magnum Ridge. Today the sun will continue to weaken cornices making human triggered (snowmachine or skier) and natural cornice fall more likely in the afternoon. Limiting time spent under these is key and giving them extra room along ridgelines will be necessary. Not only would it suck to trigger a cornice while on top of one, imagine what it would be like if people were also below it. Evaluate all ridgelines and slopes for potential cornice fall and be weary of existing skin tracks and up-routes. There are many areas where the “normal” route is in the line of fire.
Magnum Ridge Cornice – The estabilshed skin track is directly on top of 30-40′ cornice feature.
Same corniced ridge on Magnum. Note the long crack observed on February 18th before a 10 day storm added more weight and stress to this cornice. Photo by Amanda Goss.
Strong winds during a 10-day storm have created layers of wind-affected snow throughout Turnagain Pass. Observations over the last several days have been showing this problem to be stabilizing, however today’s warm temperatures and direct sun could be a catalyst for a human triggered wind slab. Triggering a wind slab is still possible on slopes steeper than 35 degrees especially on slopes with unsupported terrain features. Ease into steeper terrain with caution and avoid solar aspects if you find moist surface snow or see wet loose point releases in motion.
Glide cracks are moving and coming out of hiding after they were covered by wind and snow during the storm cycle. Although it has been several days since the last glide crack we know of released and avalanched, they are still on the move. Limiting time spent under cracks is crucial, as they will mow anything down in their path if one does release.
Very large glide crack on the SW shoulder of Cornbiscuit – view from the Seward Hwy. The entire SW face of Cornbiscuit has extensive glide cracks. Click HERE for more pictures from yesterday.
Yesterday skies were clear and sunny and temperatures reached mid-high 30’s F during the warmest part of the day, around 2pm. Calm winds switched directions mid day from an Easterly direction to a Westerly direction. Overnight skies remained clear and temperatures dropped into the teens to mid 20’s F.
Today Westerly winds are expected in increase slightly 10-15mph along ridgetops. Skies will remain sunny and day time temperatures are expected to spike mid day.
Tomorrow a pattern shift is expected with a possibility of scattered snow showers.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||27||0||0||140|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||22||0||0||42|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||28||0||0||105|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Sunburst (3812′)||28||NE becoming W||4||10|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||24||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|12/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Kakiko Ramos-Leon|
|12/04/23||Turnagain||Observation: Lynx Creek||Schauer / Keeler/ Predeger Forecaster|
|12/04/23||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst, 2400′ – 3100′ NW ridge common uptrack.||Arnav Verma|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge||Amy Holman|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Tony Naciuk|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: West ridge of Tincan Peak and Peak 4400||Kelli Spencer|
|12/03/23||Turnagain||Observation: Lipps||Paul Schauer|
|12/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||Schauer / Keeler Forecaster|
|12/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan South Side||Anonymous|
|12/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies up track||Luc Mehl|