|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.|
Glide cracks continue to avalanche daily and without warning throughout our region. Yesterday we spoke with two snowboarders who witnessed a glide release on the SW face of Tincan while they were on the Sunburst ridge. New glides avalanche debris was seen on the SE side of Seattle Ridge, S face of Max’s, and several new ones in the Twentymile drainage.
Glide cracks cover all aspects within the mid elevation band (between 1000-3000’) and remain a significant threat to popular terrain. As long as glide cracks continue to open up, move and release, we will stress the importance of avoiding them, 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.
A view of the SW aspect of Tincan where recent glide avalanches were observed yesterday from Sunburst. Click HERE to see more pictures of glide activity from the past week.
Penguin Ridge experienced a very active cycle this week. Keep in mind the debris can run into snow free areas and threaten some summer trails, especially around Girdwood Valley and Portage.
Yesterday 3” of new snow was observed above 2000’ and only a trace is expected today. Easterly ridgetop winds ranged from 10-20mph and a similar pattern is expected today. Should winds trend towards the later or exceed 20mph, there is enough snow available for transport the hazard could rise. Pay attention for blowing snow along ridgetops and how well this new snow is bonding the surfaces below. Be aware of how the sun is heating up the new snow on solar aspects and if you see any obvious signs of instability like shooting cracks or recent avalanches be prepared to change your plans. Remember LOW danger doesn’t mean NO danger, one of these avalanche problems is still possible in very steep terrain.
Wind slabs: Yesterday there were several short periods of sustained 10-20mph winds and we did find one very small pocket that produced a shallow shooting crack along the Sunburst Ridge. Be on the lookout for pillows of newly drifted snow and active wind loading – it is possible that steep terrain could harbor tender isolated wind slabs.
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.
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.
Yesterday skies were mostly sunny and mid elevation temperatures reached the low 40’s F. Ridgetop winds were light from the SW with a short period of moderate winds that switched to an Easterly direction mid-day. Overnight temps were in the 20’s F and no new precipitation was recorded.
Today isolated snow showers are only expected to bring a trace of new snow. Skies will be cloudy, but patches of blue sky are possible. Easterly ridgetop winds could range from 10-20mph today and temperatures may increase into the mid 30’s F mid-day.
Tomorrow a similar pattern is anticipated with the next possibility for snow fall Friday night into Saturday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||31||0||0||134|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||30||0||0||43|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||31||trace||0.02||108|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Sunburst (3812′)||24||SW – E||9||38|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||S – E||7||17|
|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|
|12/01/23||Avalanche: Sunburst||John Sykes Forecaster|