Triggering a persistent slab avalanche 2′ deep remains possible across the region, and winds today may add additional stress. Several weak layers including widespread buried surface hoar (from Jan. 21) sits roughly 1-2′ below the surface. A person skiing or on a snowmachine may tip the balance and initiate a larger slab avalanche. Triggering a smaller wind slab or a cornice may also activate this layer. The snowpack is now at a point where no signs of instability are likely to be present before one of these avalanches is triggered. Assessing the terrain and the potential outcome of an avalanche breaking deeper in the pack is key. Are there terrain traps below you? Cliffs? Are your partners watching and rescue ready?
Winds this weak have loaded some slopes and scoured others as seen yesterday on Seattle Ridge. Triggering a soft or hard persistent slab is possible with our current snowpack.
Triggering an isolated wind slab is possible today and will be more likely in places where wind is actively transporting snow into steep terrain. Today Northwest winds may be moving loose snow along some ridgetops and forming new wind slabs on leeward features. Earlier in weak ridgetop winds loaded some slopes and scoured ridge lines. Pay attention to where the snow feels stiff, looks pillowed, sounds or feels hollow and watch for shooting cracks. Hard wind slabs tend to break when you are out onto the slope and often fracture above you. Be aware of wind loading patterns in the terrain, especially cross-loaded gullies. Sometimes Northwest winds can funnel in from the South near Sunburst and on the Southern end of Turnagain Pass.
Small wind slab triggered in the last few days on a wind loaded gully, SE aspect of Seattle Ridge at about 2300′.
Deep Persistent Slab: Above 3,000′ in the Alpine zones, several old weak layers of facets and buried surface hoar sit near the ground and in the mid-pack. This structure is most pronounced in areas with a thin overall snow cover, such as the South end of Turnagain Pass and the Summit Lake area. As you plan your day, keep in mind that there are deeper persistent layers that could ‘wake up’ if you find the wrong spot.
Yesterday was clear and sunny with no precipitation. Westerly winds became Easterly 5-15mph early afternoon. Temperatures along ridgetops were in the high teens (F) increasing to the low 20F’s during the heat of the day. Temps at sea level bumped into the high 20F’s and back into the teens F’s overnight. Patches of valley fog were present near Turnagain Arm.
Mostly cloudy skies are forecasted for today. Temperatures should average in the 20F’s and dip down into the teens (F) overnight. Ridge top winds will start out light from the East, but will transition to the Northwest and increase to 15-20mph. No precipitation is expected.
Clear skies are in the forecast for Saturday wth similar temperatures. Moderate Northwest winds will continue tomorrow, becoming light by late afternoon. Increasing clouds and warmer temperatures are expected Sunday evening into Monday with a possibility of a few scattered showers.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||26||0||0||64|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||17||0||0||24|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||23||0||0||58|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||21||W–E||10||25|
|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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