We’ve seen 2 new glide cracks ‘pop’ in the last 24 hours, and several others in the past week. Though incredibly unpredictable as to when these cracks may avalanche, we have noticed that some cracks are growing in size and are showing their ugly faces once again, allowing us to map them out and plan travel accordingly. It’s an easy avalanche problem to mitigate; simply avoiding time spent exposed under these yawning cracks. Though the probability of tangling with a glide in motion is low, the consequences will be fatal if you are in the wrong spot at that moment when stress overcomes strength and a glide crack turns into a glide avalanche.
If you’re a daily reader of this advisory you’ll notice this is the 61st day in a row where we’ve made mention of glide avalanches, unfortunately there is no end in sight. It’s been an unusual season in this respect and as the old-timers say; unusual conditions breed unusual avalanches.
An unmistakable example of the avalanche problem we are dealing with reared it’s head yesterday morning, just outside of the motorized parking lot (East face of Seattle ridge). The crown on this full-depth glide avalanche is easily 10 feet deep.
Oblique view of the same glide as above, looking south toward Johnson Pass and Lynx creek.
Shallow wind slabs (6-10”) were proving reactive to skiers on Sunday after a bump in Easterly winds Saturday. With another slight bump yesterday (gusting to the mid-30’s mph on Sunburst), we could continue to see some shallow wind slab activity in the upper elevations. Key in to any cracking, wind-textured or stiffer surfaces to suss out a wind slab. No consequence test slopes will be a valuable tool today to get a better idea of reactivity and average depth of wind slab we’re dealing with.
Loose snow sluffing will warrant management today if skiing the steeps. Sluffs have been reported to be fast moving with the ability to entrain a significant amount of surface snow in big terrain. This will be more pronounced on cooler, shadier North aspects.
Listen to your Mother’s voice in your head and “stay away from the edge.” Take her advice and double it to give yourself a wider berth than you AND your Mother think necessary. Furthermore, be very wary of spending time beneath cornices. A group yesterday heard/ witnessed a large cornice failure off the S face of Kickstep during the heat of the day (2:30pm). These are becoming larger and weaker, ebbing closer to the point of failure as we move in to Spring.
Greybird was the word in Turnagain pass yesterday. Skies were overcast with just a trace of moisture falling. Temperatures averaged 32F at 1,000′ and winds were in the low teens gusting to the mid-30’s from the East on ridge tops.
Today looks to be almost a carbon-copy day of yesterday. High clouds are streaming in from a well-developed Low centered in the Gulf of Alaska. Temps will be in the mid-30’s at 1,000′, ridgetop winds are expected to be in the teens or less from the East and precipitation will be nominal through Turnagain Pass.
Tomorrow we may have a weak ridge move over the eastern Turnagain arm area promoting partly sunny skies before the our next chance of active weather on Thursday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||32||1||.1||136|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||34||0||0||43|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||0||.05||106|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||26||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||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: email@example.com
|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.