What a long strange trip it’s been without any measurable precipitation… 22 days for those that are counting! Surface conditions are made up primarily of thin crusts, hard wind board on ridges and near surface facets (recycled powder) in favored areas sheltered from the recent winds. Avalanche concerns to keep in mind today if venturing out:
Wind Slabs: Some fresher wind slabs likely formed during Tuesday’s wind event and could be tender, though likely small in size. Watch for shooting cracks indicating recently loaded slopes and fresher wind slabs. Older, stiffer wind slabs such as the one triggered on Seattle ridge last weekend will be less likely to trigger by a skier or snowmachiner today. Smooth pillowed snow on steep unsupported features or in rocky areas will be the most suspect of areas for someone to initiate an old wind slab.
Loose Snow Avalanches (Sluffs): Dry sluffs on steep slopes are probable and have been fast moving this week. Keep terrain choices and potential consequences in mind when managing sluffs.
Glide Avalanches: Glide cracks continue to slowly open above popular terrain on Seattle Ridge and in other zones across the advisory area. These may release at any time. Minimize exposure time spent under visible cracks.
Cornices: Cornices should always be given an extra wide berth if travelling along a corniced ridge. Like glide cracks, minimize your exposure time spent under these backcountry bombs.
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. Given plenty of time and a lack of changing weather, these weak layers (with varying degrees of strength) are in a ‘dormant stage’. Although unlikely, an avalanche breaking deeper in the pack isn’t completely out of the question in areas such as Johnson Pass, Lynx Creek and in parts of Girdwood Valley (especially around Crow Pass). A cornice fall or glide crack release could also be a large enough trigger to wake up one of these persistent slabs.
Wind-buffed Magnum ridge with a sizeable cornice still in-tact over PMS bowl. photo: Conrad Chapman
Thin sun-crust capping chained Facets at 2,400′ yesterday on Magnum. photo: Conrad Chapman
High clouds making for a grey-bird day were a welcome €˜change’ for many a backcountry enthusiasts in south-central Alaska yesterday. Unfortunately those clouds weren’t of the precip-producing type. Temps continue to be unseasonably cool with a high topping out in the single digits at 1880′ on Center ridge. Winds were light to moderate from the NW at ridgetop levels.
High clouds today will give way to mostly sunny skies by this afternoon. Expect light winds from the NNE today as the worst of the blow appear to be over (at least for now). Temps will again start out cool but should warm a bit more today to the low 20’s F at 1,000′. No measurable precip is expected.
Expect mostly clear skies, light winds and cool overnight temps recovering to the 20’s F thru the weekend. We’ve got some “chances of snow” materializing in the longer term forecast by early next week. Stay tuned!
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||6||0||0||59|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||9||0||0||29|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||9||0||0||56|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||3||N||6||20|
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|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.