We close this season with the same primary avalanche concern that we have had for months….the glide avalanche. One new glide release was seen yesterday on the South face of Pete’s North ridge. There is no end in sight to these destructive slides on slopes below 3,000′ – until the snow is gone. The BIG question remains: what will happen to the Alpine? Will these upper elevations start ‘shedding’ and large avalanches occur? Or will they slowly melt out with mainly inevitable large cornices that fall? It depends on the weather. Rain has not reached the Alpine yet – if it does, we can expect this to weaken the pack promoting large wet slides. Direct sun will also weaken it, but a long stint of high pressure can season the pack and promote a slow melt out. Time will tell.
For now: Travel is NOT recommended on, or in the runout of, slopes with glide cracks or cornices above.
Photo below: New glide avalanche from yesterday on Pete’s North. It is tough to see the crown but the snowpack here is 10-12′ thick, so the crown is equally thick.
Photo below: Seattle Ridge up-track. Although no one is traveling here and motorized access is closed, man this is impressive carnage!! You can faintly see the old snowmachine tracks on the bottom left.
Intermittent rain showers below 2,000′ continue to add water to an already saturated snowpack (we are expecting 1.5-2″ of rain from now through Sunday). Despite the rotten, wet and mushy snow at these lower elevations, we have yet to see large wet sluffs gouge into deeper layers of the pack. Something to keep an eye out for.
Above 2,000′ where wet snow has been falling, shallow wet sluffs are occurring. These are mainly composed of the new snow as the photo below shows. There is 1-2′ of new snow at the high elevations from the past 3 days and another foot forecast by tomorrow, if the sun comes out, watch for wet sluffs and even slabs to release taking this thicker layer of new snow.
Photo below: Tincan Ridge and many shallow wet snow sluffs from the new 6″-ish of snow on Wednesday.
Dry and moist snow avalanches are possible at the highest elevations, above 3,500′. These are new snow instabilities and in the form of wind slabs and new snow sluffs. There is 5-7″ of snow forecast today with another 5-7″ tonight and another 5-10″ by tomorrow night. If this storm produces, wind slabs at these high elevations could be 2-3′ thick in places by Sunday.
Watch for CORNICES: These are large and falling every now and then. One piece of cornice fell on the South face of Sunburst yesterday – triggering a wet sluff below that ran to the valley bottom.
Rain showers continued yesterday at elevations below 2,000′ while snow has been falling at higher elevations. Over the past 24-hours we have seen ~.5″ of rain and 2-6″ of heavy snow above treeline. Over the past 3 days we have seen ~1.5″ of rain with up to 10-15″ of wet snow above 2,500′. Temperatures remain warm (40’sF at 1,000′ and ~30F at 2,500′). Ridgetop winds have been averaging 20-30mph from the East.
For this weekend another wet storm is moving in. We are expecting 1-1.5″ of rain up to 2,000′ by tomorrow morning and another .5-1″ on Sunday. Anywhere from 10-20″ of wet snow is possible at the higher elevations by Sunday night. Ridgetop winds are forecast to increase to the 30-40mph range from the East. Temperatures should remain mild, up to 40F at 1,000′ and 30F at 2,500′.
Looking into this coming week, we could see some sunshine Monday into Tuesday before continued showery weather sets back in.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||37||2||0.5||104|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||38||0||0||11|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||36||0||0.5||84|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||29||SE||20||36|
|01/20/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Johnston-Bloom / Roberts Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst and Tincan||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||CNFAIC Staff|
|01/19/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan 2900′ SW aspect below Hippy Bowl.||Kris Marshall|
|01/18/21||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass Road Obs.||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/16/21||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Trees||A Schauer Forecaster|
|01/15/21||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||Schauer/ Wunnicke Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Johnston-Bloom / Moderow Forecaster|
|01/13/21||Turnagain||Observation: Center Ridge Meadows||Alaska Avalanche School Rec Level 1 Roberts|
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.