After driving through Turnagain Pass yesterday and observing the state of Seattle Ridge and the uptrack, travel in avalanche terrain (including runout zones) on the motorized (West Side) is not recommended. The snowpack below 2500′ is saturated; there is natural wet loose activity and a very active glide avalanche cycle going on. Unfortunately there really isn’t a way to negotiate a route to the ridge without being in danger. Seattle Ridge is literally falling apart. Essentially the hazard is HIGH on this side of the pass. Until we get a very hard freeze, the glide avalanche cycle completely ends or all the snow in the starting zones that threaten the uptrack avalanches, traveling here is like playing Russian Roulette.
Glide avalanche hazard also exists on the non-motorized slide. Travel underneath existing glide cracks is not recommended. In addition, be on the lookout for new glide cracks forming.
Natural wet loose avalanche activity was observed yesterday and may continue today. Overnight there has been a slight cooling trend with mid elevation temperatures dipping below freezing. This may cause a superficial freeze and thin crust. However if the sun comes out, more rain falls or the temperatures climb, human triggered wet loose avalanches will continue to be likely in steep terrain below 2500′ and natural wet loose avalanches will be possible.
If the snow feels punchy, unsupportable or slushy and you find yourself sinking in on your skis or snowmachine it is time to get off the slope.
In the Alpine new snow and wind have likely formed wind slabs on steep leeward slopes. Yesterday there was evidence of blowing snow and wind effect. The fresh wind slabs may be quite tender along ridgelines and on unsupported terrain. There is potential for a little more snow today and easterly winds. Look for cracking and remember warm temperatures and sun can make these slabs even more touchy.
Cornices: This hazard continues to loom along ridgelines in the Alpine and may be triggered by the weight of a skier or a snowmachiner. These may also fall naturally with additional snow/wind loading or rapid warming. Remember these break farther back than expected and travel on or underneath should be avoided.
Wind plumes on Sunburst yesterday. photo: Joe Kurtak
Yesterday was mostly cloudy to partly sunny with rain/snow showers and gusty easterly winds. Temperatures were in the mid 20Fs to mid 40Fs depending on elevation.
Today will be mostly to partly cloudy with rain/snow showers and a possibility of sun. Temperatures will be in the mid 20Fs to low 40Fs. Winds will be easterly 10-25 mph.
For Tuesday there looks to be a break in the showery weather with clearing skies as a ridge of high pressure moves over the region. There is another low moving into the Gulf that will most likely put us back into the moist pattern of scattered showers later in the week.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||35||0||0*||114|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||37||0||0||32|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||34||0||.5||100|
*Center Ridge maybe under reporting, data has been wonky for the past two weeks
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||29||SE||20*||38|
*Seattle Ridge did not record winds from 5 am-10 am yesterday.
|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|
|01/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Allen Dahl|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge, Minus 3 Bowl||J Davis|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Goldpan||Billy Finley|
|01/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Treeline on Magnum and Sunburst||Alaska Avalanche School Pro 1|
|01/08/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||Matti Silta|
|01/07/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Allen Dahl|
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.