|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.
The possibility of wet loose avalanche activity will increase throughout the day with rain saturating the snowpack in the Treeline zone. Rain (~0.76″) is expected up to 2000’ and could weaken the superficial surface crust. If the snow becomes unsupportable and your skis/snowmachine start sinking into punchy wet snow, this is an obvious sign the snow is loosing its strength. In the mid elevation where wet snow is falling on a slick bed surface, triggering a wet loose avalanche could be especially dangerous at the bottom of a terrain trap or on a large slope. Monitor the depth of this wet heavy snow, and stay off of slopes steeper than 35 degrees if the snow is wet and saturated.
Glide cracks continue to be actively releasing in popular terrain. On April 7th between 4:51pm and 5:07pm, Turnagain DOT web camera (currently not available online) photographed a very large glide above part of the uptrack. The debris covered many recent snow machine tracks traversing to & from the uptrack as well as recent high marks in this area. The good news is nothing bad happened, and no one was caught during a sunny afternoon at a popular time of day. The bad news is there are more cracks in this area that still threaten the uptrack.
Today increasing avalanche danger and poor visibility will make the decision ‘not to go’ into this area easier. Also be aware that rain and wet snow will be adding stress to glides today and we may see a spike in glide releases again over the next few days. Remember avoidance is key; if you were to be in the wrong place at the wrong time getting caught up in a glide avalanche would be unsurvivable.
Repeat Offender near the Seattle Ridge Uptrack. Photo taken at 10:30am on 4/9.
Yesterday blowing snow was observed in the alpine as Easterly winds started building from the East. These winds increased overnight averaging in the 30-40’s mph with gusts in the 60’s mph. Around three inches of new snow fell overnight and another 5-10” is expected above 2000’. Fresh and tender winds slabs will be forming on a slick bed surface and could be a thick as 1’-2’ deep on leeward terrain features and along ridges and gullies. Small test slopes and hand pits will be good ways to test the snow as you gain elevation. Monitor snow depths and look for any signs of unstable snow like shooting cracks or recent avalanches. Today it will be important to stick to mellow terrain by keeping slope angles below 35 degrees.
Cornices: Blowing snow will be adding stress to cornices today and natural activity is possible. Some cornices are gigantic this winter and skier or snowmachiner could be the tipping point should someone get too close. Remember they have a tendency to break much further back than one might expect. Give them extra space and avoid travel directly below cornices.
Yesterday an observer in the Taylor Pass/Pastoral area experienced building winds and blowing snow starting around 2pm yesterday. Photo by Liz Repetto.
Yesterday skies were clear in the morning becoming cloudy in the afternoon. Ridgetop winds started building mid day becoming strong by early evening, averaging in the 30-40’s mph overnight. Yesterday temperatures reached the mid 40F’s at 1000′. Overnight temperatures at Center Ridge Weather Station remained above freezing with a low of 32F at 1am. 1 € of new snow was recorded and .2 € of water.
An approaching front is bringing widespread showers and strong winds to Southcentral Alakska. Today 0.76 € of water is expected in the form of rain below 2000′, and 5-10 € of new snow could fall in the upper elevations. Strong Easterly winds will persist into the early afternoon becoming Moderate by early evening. Daytime temperatures at 1000′ are expected to reach the low 40F’s and remain above freezing overnight.
Overnight and into tomorrow an additional 0.9 € of water is expected and winds will remain Moderate from the East. Temperatures may start to cool slightly, with rain/snow line ~1500′.
|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: Silvertip Creek
|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