Several weak layers are sitting under new snow from the New Years storm. Slab depths range from 15” – 30” with deeper amounts in the alpine, on the Northern end of Turnagain Pass, and in Girdwood. This poor set-up plus good visibility is the perfect recipe for human triggered avalanches today. Please understand there are several different dragons lurking in the snowpack right now. 1) a widespread layer of buried surface hoar that is showing signs of being reactive. 2.) weak facets near the ground in slide paths that released during the early December storm cycle, for example the SW face of Sunburst 3.) weak snow (basal facets) near the ground in the upper elevation (above 3,000’).
Rain fell during the end of the New Year’s storm in the lower and mid elevation zones, which has now formed crusts in the top foot of the snow pack up to 2000’. Trigging an avalanche is more likely in upper portion of the Treeline zone where the snow quality quickly improves. Keep in mind today:
Additionaly, obvious signs of instability like “whumpfing” and shooting cracks may or may not be present. If winds increase above the forecasted 20mph, and you observe any blowing snow, this could form new wind slabs and add stress to the persistent slab problem.
Two different people traveling near our pit location at 2750′ experienced “whumpfing” due the buried surface hoar collapsing under the new snow.
In the Alpine, above 3,000’, weak sugary snow (basal facets) sits near the ground. The storms over the past few days have added additional load to slopes that already have a hard slab, 3-5+ feet thick. In the upper elevations, a human triggered, large and dangerous deep slab avalanches is still possible. This is a high consequence avalanche problem that is impossible to outsmart and can take a long time to heal. Keep this in mind if clear skies allow for travel into the Alpine. It is really important to remember that triggering an avalanche in the upper layers of the snowpack may then initiate a deep slab avalanche. Cautious route-finding is essential. This includes thinking about the remote trigger potential from below.
Yesterday skies were mostly cloudy in Turnagain Pass with clear skies in Girdwood. Temperatures along ridgetops were in the low 20’s (F) and upper teens yesterday and overnight. Temps at sea level were in the high 20F’s overnight. Winds were light and variable and no precipitation was recorded.
Clear skies are expected today along with temperatures in the 20F’s at ridgtops and low 30F’s at sea level. Periods of valley fog are possible. Easterly ridge top winds could range from 5-20mph and no precipitation is expected.
Snow showers are possible this weekend, but not a lot of accumulation is expected. Temperatures could range from the low 20F’s at ridge tops to mid 30F’s at sea level. Easterly winds may bump up to moderate at times, 10-25mph on Saturday.
*Seattle Ridge anemometer is rimed.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||23||0||0||43|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||13||0||0||16|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||23||0||0||37|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||19||*n/a||*n/a||*n/a|
|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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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