Yesterday was again an active one for glides with new glide avalanches being observed throughout the day. As noted in the advisory yesterday it is getting harder to keep tabs on what is new and what is from the previous day. Luckily we have some terrific observers and photo records to help document the progression. In discussions with long time snow professionals they have all remarked that there is a very unusual glide problem this winter, with the past 10 days being one of most active cycles they can ever remember. Glide cracks 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, especially around Girdwood Valley and Portage.
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. Remember these are totally unpredictable, release naturally and could be deadly if you were to get caught-up in that amount of snow. It is the entire winter snowpack releasing at the ground.
Penguin Ridge glide avalanche progression from 7 pm on Monday, 9 am Tuesday and 1:30 pm Tuesday. Photos: Tim Glassett
It has been a quiet few days in the Alpine with no reported human triggered avalanches since the weekend. Today a weak storm system will be affecting the region. This is not forecasted to produce much precipitation or be particularly windy. If conditions change more rapidly than expected the hazard could rise. As new snow falls observe how well it bonds to the surfaces below. Practice safe travel protocol and avoid multiple skiers or riders in avalanche terrain simultaneously. Pay attention to your surroundings and adjacent parties. Remember you may find one of these avalanche problems listed below and choose your terrain wisely.
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 if we get windows of sunshine. The biggest threat with both of these is the potential to get knocked off your feet in steep, committing terrain.
Wind slabs – 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.
Yesterday was mostly overcast with a mixture of clouds and sun. Temperatures were in the mid 20Fs to high 30Fs and winds were light and easterly.
Today will be mostly cloudy with scattered rain and snow showers throughout the day. 1-5″ of snow is forecasted to fall above 1100′. Winds will be southerly 5-15 mph with locally higher gusts.
The cloudy skies and rain and snow showers are expected to continue until mid-day Friday with a small break and another system moving in for the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||32||1||.1||134|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||33||0||0||42|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||32||1||.06||107|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||ESE||11||20|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: south facing aspect on 3800ft bump just northeast of 4940||Anonymous|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit & Magnum||Allen Dahl|
|01/19/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddie’s||Kakiko Ramos-Leon|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eric Roberts|
|01/18/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: North end Tincan trees||Heather Johnson|
|01/17/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Allen Dahl|
|01/16/20||Turnagain||Observation: Lynx Creek||Wagner / Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/13/20||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|01/12/20||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum West face||Levi Oyster|
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.