The touchy snowpack was that was observed over the weekend has calmed down as the new snow has settled and the snowpack is showing signs that it is adjusting. However, it is still very important to remember that the 12”-14” of new snow that accumulated incrementally fell onto suspect weak layers. A widespread layer of weak faceted snow remains our primary layer of concern and was the culprit in many skier triggered avalanches over the weekend. Monday, an observation from Sunburst showed propagation potential on a layer of buried surface hoar (buried Dec.15th) which is sitting on a wind hardened bed surface along some ridgelines. Slopes that were wind loaded due to the storm snow arriving with moderate to strong Easterly ridgetop winds have the most potential to be hazardous as the slabs are deeper and stiffer. Watch out for areas with hard over soft snow, wind pillows or drifts and be on the look out for obvious signs like cracking and whumpfing sounds. Steep unsupported slopes and areas with stiffer connected slab over the facets or buried surface hoar should be avoided. Triggering a dangerous slab avalanche is still possible with our current snowpack set-up.
Snow pit from Monday on Sunburst showing the December 15th layer of buried surface hoar. Photo: Heather Thamm
“Sluff” may also be fast moving on steep terrain features where the snow is loose and unconsolidated. Be aware of terrain features that could have high consequences if knocked off your feet.
Expect cornices to be sensitive and easy to break off. They also could trigger a slab avalanche below. If you choose to walk a ridgeline today, give these a wide berth and be aware of people below you.
A small piece of cornice fall pulled out the surface snow below yesterday in Zero Bowl.
Yesterday was partly cloudy with afternoon sunshine. Temperatures were in the high teens and low 20Fs and winds were calm. Overnight temperatures and winds were similar.
Today and tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Winds will be light and northerly and temperatures will be in the 20Fs during the day dropping into the low teens/single digits overnight.
There is cooling and clearing trend for the remainder of the week with a chance for snow returning for the Holiday weekend.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||22||0||0||28|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||10||0||0||9|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||24||0||0||17|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||21||SE||3||6|
|05/06/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face||Andy Duenow|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Wolverine||Mike Records|
|04/10/20||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder||Matt Yoder|
|04/09/20||Turnagain||Observation: Bench Peak||Mike Records|
|04/04/20||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Anonymous|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)||CNFAIC Staff|
|03/26/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Seattle Ridge||W Wagner Forecaster|
|03/25/20||Turnagain||Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′||J. Boisvert|
|03/24/20||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations||W Wagner 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: email@example.com
|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.