Yesterday’s unexpected sunny weather and warm daytime temps appear to have accelerated yesterday’s glide activity. Numerous glides released between Turnagain Pass and Girdwood Valley including 3 that were captured by the DOT webcam on Repeat Offender during the heat of the day (2:30pm to 6:30pm.) The fact that we have been experience multiple nights without freezing temperatures in the 1000’-2000’ is concerning. This current snowpack combined with today’s weather (rain and possible sun) has us prepared for another round of glide activity.
Today we will continue to push our message to avoid all slopes with existing glide cracks, including all runout zones. Due to the dangerous and destructive power of even a small glide avalanche, we are recommending that people do not travel in avalanche terrain on the motorized side of Turnagain Pass (this include the up-track). Glide avalanche hazard also exists on the non-motorized side of Turnagain Pass. If you were to be in the wrong place at the wrong time getting caught up in a glide avalanche would not be survivable.
Glide activity yesterday on Repeat Offender, Seattle Ridge, as observed by the DOT web cam.
Close up view of the Seattle Ridge up-track. Notice all of the glide cracks in this area and a natural wet loose avalanche that occured mid day yesterday (4/14)
Yesterday numerous natural wet loose avalanches were observed on Southeast aspects due to intense solar heating. This wet loose activity started around 3pm when temperatures spiked and continued into early evening paralleling yesterday’s glide cycle. Yesterday’s sunny weather was a good reminder of how vulnerable the snowpack is right now in this mid elevation band, where a superficial crust quickly lost its strength.
Below 2000’ overnight temps have remained just above freezing and we have already seen 0.3” of rain in Turnagain Pass and Girdwood Valley. Today we should expect rain and sun, both of which will add stress to the snowpack. If the snow is unsupportable and your skis/snowmachine start sinking into punchy wet snow, this is an obvious sign the snow is loosing its strength. Today it is important to stay off steep slopes below 2500’.
In the Alpine it will be important to be aware of terrain features that could harbor newly formed wind slabs. On leeward aspects and on shaded aspects where the snow is drier, triggering a wind slab (6-10″ thick) will be possible. Evaluate snow and terrain features carefully and be on the look out for shooting cracks or blowing snow.
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.
Yesterday skies were mostly sunny and daytime temperatures reached the mid 50F’s near sea level. At Center Ridge Weather station (1880′) daytime temperatures reached a high of 50F at 2pm and overnight temperatures hovered just above freezing. Easterly Ridgetop winds were, 10-25mph. Overnight 0.3″ of rain was recorded.
Scattered rain and snow showers are expected throughout the day with mostly cloudy skis, but periods of sun are always possible. Rain/snow line will be around 2500′ with an addition 0.2 € of (snow water equivalent) expected today. Ridgetop winds, averaging 10-20mph, will be from the East. Daytime high temperatures for 1000′ are expected to be around 45F and overnight lows in the mid 30F’s.
Similar temperatures and showery conditions are expected through the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||38||rain||.3||112|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||40||0||0||29|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||38||rain||.3||97|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||31||E||11||26|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner 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: email@example.com
|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.