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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, April 23rd, 2016 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, April 24th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Aleph Johnston-Bloom
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger remains  CONSIDERABLE  below 2500′ due to glide avalanches that are releasing daily in popular recreation areas.  Avoid being under the runout of glide cracks.  In addition, human triggered and natural wet loose avalanches are possible in steep terrain due to saturated snow, purple rain and warm temperatures.  

In the Alpine the avalanche danger is generally LOW,  keep in mind  pockets of lingering wind slab on lee slopes and wet loose avalanche potential in steep terrain. As always steer clear of cornices.

*ATTENTION HIKERS:  Summer use areas crossing under avalanche terrain should be avoided due to the possibility of natural avalanche activity. Byron trail in Portage Valley and Crow Pass are two examples of trails with dangerous avalanche terrain above.

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Sat, April 23rd, 2016
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Considerable (3)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Considerable (3)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Glide Avalanches
    Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches are the release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. They are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

As mentioned in the advisories earlier this week, the glides have “migrated” across the road. Magnum and Cornbiscuit both had glide avalanches occur in West facing terrain in the last few days. New cracks continue to appear and existing cracks keep growing. With new glide avalanches being observed daily the travel advice remains the same… Avoid being under the runout of glide cracks. The small glide crack near the common skin track on Sunburst has grown and is above a terrain trap. 

 

 

Magnum and Cornbiscuit

.

Sunburst glide crack

 

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Wet Loose
    Wet Loose
Wet Loose
Wet Loose avalanches are the release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
More info at Avalanche.org

The rain/snow line today is forecasted to be 4100′. The precipitation amounts should be minimal but the overall wetting of the snowpack will rise in elevation with the warm temperatures. There was little to no freeze last night. 2-5″ of snow fell on Tuesday above 2000′ (more in the Girdwood Valley). Below 1800′ the snowpack is saturated and barely supportable.  All these ingredients combine for wet loose avalanche potential today. Below 2500′ triggering a wet loose avalanche is likely in very steep terrain. In the Alpine wet loose avalanches in the new snow may also be a consideration as the newer snow gets more and more saturated. Pay attention to how much snow is getting pushed while making a turn and watch for moving snow that may entrain surface snow as it gets moving. 

Additional Concern
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

At elevations above approximately 2,500′ (in the Alpine) the snowpack is generally stable. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

– Lingering wind slabs

– Wet loose avalanches

– Cornice falls 

 

Weather
Sat, April 23rd, 2016

Yesterday was overcast and there were rain showers throughout the day. Temperatures were in the low 40Fs at 1000′ and the low-mid 30Fs at 3000′. Winds were moderate and easterly.  

Today will be mostly cloudy with rain showers forecasted throughout the day. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 40Fs at 3000′. Easterly winds will be 10-25 mph.

Temperatures may cool a bit overnight but Sunday looks to be very similar to today. The overall pattern of cloudy skies and rain showers remains in place for the week to come.  

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 39   0   0   106  
Summit Lake (1400′)  41 0 0 20  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 37   0 .15   90  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′)  31  ENE 20    41
Seattle Ridge (2400′)  33 SE    15  33
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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, October 26th, 2020

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

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Turnagain Pass
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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.