Glide cracks continue to be actively releasing in popular terrain throughout our region including recent activity on Repeat Offender (photo below). Travel underneath existing glide cracks is a total gamble. The zone above and around the popular motorized up-track on Seattle Ridge continues to have our hackles up. This well traveled slope is hanging in the balance (pictured below). Although much of the snowpack has already avalanched along Seattle Ridge, there is still a lot of snow that could release. There was no overnight freeze in the 1000-2000′ elevation band and there is the possibility of rain today. These weather factors may increase glide activity.
Due to the dangerous and destructive power of even a small glide avalanche, we are recommending that people do not travel in avalanche terrain (including runout zones) on the motorized side of Turnagain Pass (West Side). Glide avalanche hazard also exists on the non-motorized side of Turnagain Pass. Travel underneath existing glide cracks is not recommended; if you were to be in the wrong place at the wrong time getting caught up in a glide avalanche would not be survivable.
Flat light and distance make it hard to see small cracks that have formed in the rocks directly above the up-track, looker right side of the photo.
A small glide release was observed on Repeat Offender last night with the DOT web camera just after 7pm. Before and after pictures below.
Below 2000’ we have seen multiple days without freezing temperatures and yesterday’s sun left the snowpack wet and saturated in the mid elevation zone. This combined with the possibility of rain will up the likelihood and potential for human triggered wet loose avalanches today. 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. Remember wet loose avalanches can be hard to escape once initiated and particularly hazardous if they push you into a terrain trap.
Skier triggered rollerballs were easy to initiate by 3pm in the mid elevation zone yesterday. This was on a small slope of about 35 degrees.
Today it will be important to be aware of terrain features that could harbor isolated instabilities in the Apline, above 2500′. Cornices remain large and warm daytime temperatures will be adding additional stress. Give them extra space and remember they have a tendency to break much further back than expected. On shaded aspects triggering an old wind slab will be especially dangerous in high consequence terrain. Ease into steep terrain with caution and be aware features (rocks and cliffs) where taking a fall would be undesired.
Yesterday skies were partly to mostly cloudy with periods of sunshine throughout the day. At Center Ridge Weather station (1880′) daytime temperatures remained warm with a high of 47F mid-day and overnight temperatures hovering just above freezing level (33F.) Ridgetop winds were light from the East and a trace of precipitation (0.1 €) was recorded overnight.
Light scattered showers are expected throughout the day with mostly cloudy skis. This will be in the form of rain below 2500′, around 0.1 € of (snow water equivalent.) Light Ridgetop winds, 5-15mph, will be from the East. Daytime highs for 1000′ will be in the mid 40F’s again and overnight lows in the mid 30F’s.
A similar pattern is expected again on Friday, but with a higher chance of rain/snow showers.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||39||rain||0.1||113|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||40||0||0||30|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||38||rain||0.01||98|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||32||SE||13||19|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan and Sunburst from the air||CNFAIC Staff|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|12/08/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/06/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Billy Finley|
|12/04/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||A.Johnston-Bloom/ W.Wagner/ R.Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/03/19||Turnagain||Observation: Hippy Bowl||Nick Langowski|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan, All elevations||Eric Roberts|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
|11/30/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Treeline Plateau/ Common Bowl/ Ridge||Eric Roberts|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #2||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
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|
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