The buried surface hoar remains a nagging concern in the snowpack. Don’t forget this layer is on all aspects and continues to show propagation potential in test pits above 2000’. The other important thing to note is the slab character is becoming denser with recent wind events, which means the slab could break above you once well onto the slope. During the past two weeks, many popular slopes have avalanched (removing the weak layer), and been covered again by recent snow. This makes it really hard to know the full extent of which slopes still have this weak layer set-up, especially in places that haven’t seen much traffic. Most of this activity has been on the popular Southwest slopes of Sunburst and Tincan and little is known about places less traveled. Yesterday digging on a section of terrain that hasn’t slid on Sunburst but has seen some skier traffic showed the surface hoar was still easy to distinguish in the snowpack and still reactive. The presence of the surface hoar should be part of your slope choices today and be something you keep in mind when we get our next loading event. Manage your terrain and use safe travel protocols.
Buried surface hoar in a snow pit at 3200′ on Sunburst, December 6th.
The winds yesterday calmed down by mid-day. Monday night into Tuesday morning they were strong enough to transport soft snow around, filling in tracks and depositing snow on the leeward side of terrain features. Today two types of wind slab are still possible and warrant caution if venturing into steep wind loaded terrain. Softer more tender pockets of wind slab may break from your skis/board while traveling. These may still be large enough to knock you off your feet or surprise you in the wrong place. In addition stiff old wind slabs from last weeks wind event may pop once you are farther out onto the slab and can be tricky because of the supportable character. Be wary of hard over soft snow, hollow sounds and steep slopes with obvious deposition in the start zone. These wind slabs have the potential to be deeper and harder to manage.
Cracking along ridgeline on Sunburst yesterday
Sunburst with wind effect and old tracks
Yesterday was partly to mostly cloudy with no precipitation. Temperatures were in the high teens to low 20s. Winds were mostly light but there were some gusts into the high 20s early in the day. Last night temperatures stayed in the 20s and winds were light.
Today will be mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers throughout the day and temperatures in the 20Fs. Winds will be light and easterly. Tonight will be similar with slightly cooler temperatures.
Tomorrow the chance for snow showers and clouds decreases in the afternoon and the sun might shine for a bit. There is a chance of snow showers again on Friday and then clear skies and colder temperatures return for the weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||22||0||0||20|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||19||0||0||4|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||22||0||0||10|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||20||ESE||5||18|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan and Sunburst from the air||CNFAIC Staff|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|12/08/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/06/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst||Billy Finley|
|12/04/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst||A.Johnston-Bloom/ W.Wagner/ R.Van Luit Forecaster|
|12/03/19||Turnagain||Observation: Hippy Bowl||Nick Langowski|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan, All elevations||Eric Roberts|
|12/01/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
|11/30/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan Treeline Plateau/ Common Bowl/ Ridge||Eric Roberts|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #2||Aleph Johnston-Bloom 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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