Yesterday’s hampered visibility limited some information regarding new glide avalanche activity, however, we were able to get a look at Seattle Ridge and a few other areas along the Seward Highway. New avalanche activity seen yesterday:
New glide avalanches:
– Paths off of Pk 4940, across from the Granite Ck Campground (South facing, photo below)
– Penguin Ridge (South facing)
– Eddies (South facing)
*Note: no new glide releases were noted on Seattle Ridge
New wet avalanches:
– Wet loose avalanche above Bertha Creek Campground @ 3:30 yesterday
– Small wet loose slides and roller balls seen on Pete’s South, Southerly aspect
This current wet snowpack, combined with today’s weather (light rain, cloudy and possible sun), has us prepared for another round of glide activity. Our message remains the same: to avoid being under glide cracks and respective runout zones. To be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a glide releases could likely be deadly. Considering the motorized up-track is threatened by cracks, we are recommending that people do not travel on the up-track or in runout areas along Seattle Ridge. Glide avalanche hazard also exists on the non-motorized side of Turnagain Pass in certain zones, most pronounced on Southerly aspects.
Left photo: New glide releases on South facing Pk 4940. Right photo: Glide releases on Seattle Ridge and a melting out snowpack.
Close up view of the Seattle Ridge snowmachine up-track. Several cracks threaten the route along with remnants of a natural wet loose avalanche that occurred Thursday (4/14)
Yesterday temperatures rose to 32F at 2,500′ and light rain and cloud cover since has likely kept the mid-elevation surface wet and unsupportable. It was no surprise to hear of a natural wet loose avalanche witnessed on a SE facing slope above the Bertha Ck Campground. These wet loose slides will be a concern again today with our warm temperatures. Any periods of sunshine will also be a factor and increase the chances for natural activity. Natural wet loose avalanches are possible on all aspects at elevations below 2,500′ and human triggered wet loose sides are likely. In the Alpine, Human triggered wet sluffs are possible on slopes seeing warming by the sun.
*Remember wet loose avalanches can be hard to escape once initiated and particularly hazardous if they push you into a terrain trap.
At elevations above 2,500′ and in the Alpine the snowpack is generally stable. There are a few things to watch for if skies open enough for travel to the upper elevations:
– Lingering wind slabs that could be triggered in steep rocky terrain
– Cornice falls (we have yet to see cornices start falling in the Alpine but this could happen any day with our warm temps)
– Wet sluffs on steep solar aspects
Yesterday's weather consisted of mostly cloudy skies and occasional light precipitation. Past 24-hour accumulations were up to 0.2" of rain up to 2,500' with 1-2" of wet snow above this. Areas on the South side of Turnagain Pass and Girdwood Valley saw only a trace. Ridgetop winds have been moderate, averaging 10-15mph with gusts to the 20's from the East. Temperatures rose to the low 40'sF at 1,000' yesterday (32F at 2,500') before cooling off to the mid 30's at 1,000' (upper 20's at 2,500').
For today, partly cloudy skies and intermittent rain showers are possible (trace of snow above 2,200') adding only 0.1" of water. It's possibly the sun could come out later in the day. Ridgetop winds will be ~10mph from the East while temperatures stay warm (rising to 45F at 1,000' and 32F at 2,500').
Sunday looks to be a short break between low-pressure systems that are churing in the Gulf. We could see sunshine along with high clouds and light winds. Another bout of moist Southerly flow looks to move in on Monday.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||36||rain||0.2||111|
|Summit Lake (1400')||37||0||0||28|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||37||0||0.03||96|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400')||30||SE||12||24|
|05/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/30/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/27/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Ridge||Joe Kurtak|
|04/26/21||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Creighton/ Hoople|
|04/25/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Nick D'Alessio|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Airplane obs||Johnston-Bloom / DiJulia /Hilliard Forecaster|
|04/24/21||Turnagain||Observation: Corn biscuit||Heather Johnson|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Lynx Ck Drainage||W Wagner Forecaster|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Eeva Latosuo|
|04/23/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Turnagain pass||Joe Kurtak|
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.