Not surprising but there is nothing new or exotic to report today. Sunshine, cold temperatures and light winds again greeted folks in the mountains yesterday and are forecasted again today with the exception of slightly warmer temperatures. Despite the weather and snowpack conditions being mostly stable, it is important to remember if you choose to venture into steep terrain, LOW danger doesn’t mean NO danger. Snow is complex and it often seems that once we let our guard down, something happens. So, keep up your safe travel habits and always watch for changes in the snowpack as well as weather. Below are the ‘Normal Caution’ concerns that underscore the current green conditions:
Glide cracks continue to slowly open above popular terrain on Seattle Ridge and in other areas of the advisory area. These could release at any time, watch for these cracks and avoid being under them, photo below.
Old and hard winds slabs are easy to find but for the most part they are locked into place. Steep rocky areas, where they are not supported from below, will be the most suspect zones for someone to pop one out. These areas are also where slabs are likely sitting on weak faceted snow. Even a small wind slab can have big consequences if a person is knocked over cliffs or down steep terrain. Watch for hard snow over weak loose snow as well as shooting cracks and whumphing noises.
Loose Snow Avalanches (Sluffs):
Watch your sluff. Dry sluffs on steep slopes are probable and are getting larger by the day. Although many steep South slopes have a sun crust, a slight change in aspect still sports soft snow and sluff concerns. As temperatures rise over the next few days wet loose activity on the southerly slopes, both natural and human triggered, may be possible.
Cornices should always be given a wide berth from above and limit exposure time traveling underneath.
Persistent Slabs and Deep Slabs:
There are various weak layers in our thin snowpack. Buried surface hoar sits 1-3+’ below the surface and faceted snow sits in the mid and base of the pack. These weak layers with varying degrees of strength are in a dormant stage due to plenty of time to adjust with a lack of changing weather. Although this means the layers are not producing avalanches, it doesn’t mean an outlier can’t occur which could cause a large avalanche breaking deeper in the pack.
Glide cracks along Seattle Ridge
Glide crack south of Repeat Offender
Yesterday brought another day of sunshine, calm winds and cold temperatures. There was a slight warming trend that will progress today with temperatures forecasted to climb into the low 20Fs. Winds will be light and northerly. Temperatures will dip down again tonight but not as low as the past week.
There is a chance a few clouds will sneak in overnight into tomorrow. In general the pattern we are in persists into early next week. Then… Fingers crossed… There is a chance for snow. Stay tuned.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||8||0||0||61|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||6||0||0||29|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||12||0||0||57|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||11||W||6||12|
|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|
|11/18/19||Turnagain||Observation: Turnagain Pass – Road obs||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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