|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
A widespread layer of surface hoar (that formed on November 15th/16th) is buried 10-20″ below the surface and continues to be reactive. Human triggered avalanches were reported again yesterday. That makes a full week of avalanches… persistent slab avalanches. Yesterday an observer noted being able to get out onto the slab and having it break above as them well as triggering a slope that already had multiple tracks on it. They also noted that it was hard to escape the fast moving slide. These are all reasons to have your guard up, not trust the snowpack and choose your terrain wisely. In addition, folks venturing to Magnum also triggered avalanches in terrain that has not seen traffic yet this season. There are still many slopes that could potentially slide in the Turnagain Pass area. Don’t let your quest to find fresh tracks lure you into a consequential avalanche. If you do go out today pay attention to the surface conditions. What will be buried by new snow? There is a new layer of surface hoar forming and the surface snow is also being weakened(faceting) due to the colder temperatures.
Again, things to keep in mind for the sunny day forecast:
The snowpack is still unstable, remote triggering is possible. Be on the lookout for shooting cracks.
Here is a little more information on Persistent Slabs and Travel Advice. This comes from the Utah Avalanche Center’s Avalanche Problem Toolbox, authors: Drew Hardesty and Wendy Wagner!
Skier triggered slide yesterday on Sunburst. Slope had previous tracks on it. Photo: Mike Records
There were two glide avalanches reported in the past two days and glide cracks are visible in the other pieces of terrain. Give these wide berth, minimize time spent underneath glide cracks and remember these are totally unpredicatable. They are not triggered by humans and are the entire snowpack releasing.
Sunburst glide avalanche and glide crack. This released sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Photo: David Evans
Yesterday was a clear sunny day in the mountains. Winds were light and temperatures were in the mid 20Fs. Overnight the temperatures dipped into the teens in valleys and winds remained light and variable.
Today will be similar with clear skies and temperatures in the 20Fs. WInds will pick up to 10-20mph from the NW. There will be increasing clouds overnight and a chance of snow showers.
Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with snow showers, 0-3″ possible. This system is forecasted to linger and bring snow to the region into next week.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton