|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.
It’s becoming difficult to keep track of new glide avalanches versus the old. Observers yesterday noticed at least six cracks (maybe more) that have avalanched in the previous 24 hours including one witnessed by a snowboarder from the top of Tincan common yesterday. Glide cracks continue to threaten a lot of prime ski and snowmachine terrain in the mid-elevations (1,000-3,000’). Keep in mind the debris from these can run into snow free areas and threaten some summer trails.
As long as glide cracks continue to open up, move and release, we will stress the importance of avoidance, which is THE ONLY WAY TO MANAGE THIS AVALANCHE PROBLEM.
A complex of glide cracks was first heard, then seen moving and buckling on the SW face of Eddies yesterday. photo: Ryan Lewthwaite
Big crowds (for Alaska anyway!) have been flocking to the Turnagain pass area as spring break for many, has aligned nicely with a good weather window. This makes it all the more urgent to practice safe travel protocol and avoid multiple skiers or riders in avalanche terrain simultaneously. Pay attention to your surroundings and adjacent parties. This holds especially true for snowmachiners where a rider can move over large distances in a very short time. Beyond the human risks, there are some other avalanche hazards to keep on the radar today.
Cornice fall: Very large cornice features loom over many ridgeline and have a tendency to break further back than expected. Give them lots of space, and limit exposure time under them.
Loose snow: Sluffs are fast moving and will be proportional to the slope you are on today. Big terrain will yield big sluffs, particularly on cooler, drier northerly aspects. On slopes with a southern tilt, wet loose avalanches could be initiated later in the day. The biggest threat with both of these is the potential to get knocked off your feet in steep, committing terrain.
Windslabs – On shaded aspects in very steep terrain it is still possible to find an old isolated wind slab. We saw several of these in the 8-12” range on Saturday and Sunday relegated to very steep (45 degrees or greater), unsupported terrain.
Mostly clear skies yesterday dominated the region for the 3rd day in a row with no new precipitation. Temperatures peaked in the upper 30’s at 1,000′. Winds were light to non-existent on the ridgetops before bumping up slightly overnight from the SE.
Today we can expect some clouds to move in with a chance for a few flurries this morning at 1,000′ but don’t expect much for accumulation. Temperatures should reach into the mid-30’s and winds will be light from the east in the 5-15 mph range on ridgetops.
A few more clouds may filter in to our area throughout the week but any precipitation appears to be on the lighter side.
|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′)
|Observation: Seattle Ridge
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin