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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, March 15th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, March 16th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Aleph Johnston-Bloom
The Bottom Line

A  LOW  avalanche danger remains in the backcountry  at all elevations. Although triggering an avalanche is unlikely, it is not impossible on steep wind loaded features and in extreme terrain. Pay attention to any recent wind loading and be aware of old hard wind slabs and loose dry avalanches(sluffs) in steep terrain, as well as large cornices. Glide cracks continue to open – limiting exposure under these is recommended.

Good travel habits are important, even during ‘green light conditions’. These include exposing only one person at a time on a slope, watching your partners closely and having an escape route planned in case the snow moves.  

Summit Lake, South of Johnson Pass and North in parts of the Girdwood Valley (around Crow Pass):  A reminder that the snowpack remains thinner in these areas with a poor structure. There is still a chance for triggering an avalanche deeper in the snowpack in these areas. Read the  Saturday Summit Summary  HERE.

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Wed, March 15th, 2017
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Northwest winds picked up in the afternoon gusting into the 40s on Seattle Ridge. Overall there is really not much soft snow to blow around. There was some flagging was observed as the settled surface snow (near surface facets) was blown into the atmosphere. If traveling in the Alpine today be on the lookout for freshly pillowed snow and watch for cracking. If there is any fresh wind slab it will be shallow, small pockets. We have seen 21 days without any precipitation and are hoping for a trace of snow today and looking forward to a shift in the overall pattern this weekend. Despite the snowpack conditions being mostly stable and the weak layers dormant, a hard wind slab 12-18” deep was triggered by a snowmachiner four days ago on a SE aspect of Seattle Ridge. This is a good example of a wind loaded terrain feature still harboring unstable snow and a good reminder that LOW danger does not mean NO danger. Kicking off even a small wind slab or loose snow avalanche in steep terrain may have high consequences. Things to keep in mind if you are headed to the mountains today:

Wind Slabs: Old and hard winds slabs are easy to find but for the most part they are locked into place. Smooth pillowed snow on steep unsupported features or in rocky areas will be the most suspect zones for someone to initiate an old wind slab. Pay attention to blowing snow today if the NW winds continue and pick up any soft snow.  Watch for shooting cracks indicating recently loaded slopes.

Loose Snow Avalanches (Sluffs): Dry sluffs on steep slopes are probable and have been fast moving this week.

Glide Avalanches: 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.

Cornices: 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 its unlikely, an avalanche breaking deeper in the pack isn’t completely out of the question in Johnson Pass, Lynx Creek and in parts of Girdwood Valley (especially around Crow Pass). 

Snowmachine triggered wind slab avalanche on Seattle Ridge on Saturday. This is terrain is the aspect that loads with NW winds. Look for signs of recent loading today. 

 

Weather
Wed, March 15th, 2017

Yesterday was mostly clear and sunny with some high clouds moving in during late afternoon. Temperatures were in the single digits in the alpine and got into the low 20Fs in valley bottoms. NW winds picked up in the afternoon and gusted into the 40s in the evening. Temperatures stayed in the single digits at upper elevations and dropped below 0F in some valley locations overnight.

The diurnal fluctuation is forecasted to continue today with temperatures again rising in the afternoon to the low 20Fs at low to mid elevations and teens at ridge tops and dropping again at night. The skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. There is a slight chance of trace of snow falling today. Winds will continue from the NW gusting into the 20s, potentially increasing in the afternoon.  

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny again with similar temperatures and NW winds. From the National Weather Service regarding the weather pattern shift this weekend,  The trajectory of the low moving  through the gulf, and associated impulses producing precipitation,  are difficult to pinpoint and will be watched closely during the  next few days.” Time for snow dances? Praying? What will make it snow? Stay tuned!  

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 10    0 0   59
Summit Lake (1400′)  8  0  0 28  
Alyeska Mid (1700′)  12  0  0 56  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 3   W    7 20  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 6  NW  15 42  
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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, December 02nd, 2019

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: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Closed.
Placer River
Closed
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Skookum Drainage
Closed
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Turnagain Pass
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Twentymile
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Seward District
Carter Lake
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Lost Lake Trail
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Primrose Trail
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Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed. Will be open for the 2019/20 season pending adequate snow cover.
Snug Harbor
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South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
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Summit Lake
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