Remember LOW hazard doesn’t mean NO hazard! Yesterday lots of slope tester were observed and there were no human triggered avalanches reported. With a stable weather pattern dominating our region and very little changes affecting the snowpack we are in a Normal Caution phase for avalanche issues. These include:
1- Triggering an outlier avalanche. This would most likely be an ‘unsupported slab’ that sits above a cliff or steep rocky terrain. More on this below in ‘Additional Concerns.’
2- Triggering an old wind slab – Avoid hard stiff snow sitting in steep rocky terrain where a small isolated wind slab could have high consiquences.
3- Triggering a cornice fall. Cornices maybe be small right now, but similar to wind slabs they could take you down somewhere you don’t want to go. Give cornices a wide berth.
4- Sluffs on steep slopes. Small sluffs were observed yesterday, and as the surface snow becomes weaker under clear skies the potential for bigger stuff will increase.
Thin snow cover, limited access and high volumes of people will add another degree of challenge for making safe decisions. Before commiting to a route in steep avalanche terrain ensure that you are only exposing one person at a time. In places where you can not see the entire slope this may not be possible. Be prepared to change your objectives if an area becomes too crowded to manage.
An example of the crowds from yesterday, 15 people on the skin track on a SW aspect of Magnum.
Even with LOW avalanche danger it is still important to remember the weak layer 1-2′ below the surface i.e. the notorious Nov 16th buried surface hoar. Although we have not seen an avalanche release in this layer since last Saturday and the slab character has been changing due to the cold temperatures, there are many slopes away from the ‘popular’ zones that have yet to be tested. These are the areas most suspect over the weekend. Finding the spot that harbors this weak layer, still has a slab, and hasn’t been skied or slid already still could be dangerous… Triggering is unlikely but not impossible!
Yesterday skies were clear with thick valley fog rolling in/out of Turnagain Arm. Temperatures were near zero (F) at lower elevations and in the alpine temperatures average around 15F. Winds were light and variable and no precipitation was recorded.
Today looks very similar with slightly warmer temperatures, 15F-25F with a slight temperature inversion in the alpine. Winds are expected to remain light from the NW and no precipitation is expected.
Cold arctic air sitting over mainland, Alaska will continues to dominate our weather pattern over the next few days. The next chance for a pattern change/possibility of precipitation will be later in the week.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||15||0||0||21|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||3||0||0||4|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||16||0||0||10|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||18||Var.||4||20|
|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|
|11/29/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunburst Ob #1||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/27/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Aleph Johnston-Bloom Forecaster|
|11/25/19||Turnagain||Observation: Sunnyside||Graham Predeger 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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