Triggering a persistent slab avalanche up to 2′ deep remains possible across the region, and a sunny Saturday may increase the odds. Several weak layers including widespread buried surface hoar (from Jan. 21) sits roughly 1-2′ below the surface. New snow combined with periods of strong ridgetop winds have created both soft and hard slabs on a variety of aspects. Be extra cautious on solar aspects and if you see moist surface snow or point releases near rocks, these are obvious clues the sun is adding stress to these aspects. Unfortunately obvious signs of instability may not be present today and all aspects are suspect due to poor structure. Assessing the terrain and the potential outcome of an avalanche breaking deeper in the pack is key. If you find yourself in a crowded area, consider changing your objective or waiting for people to clear a slope before continuing.
Jan. 21st buried surface hoar is ~2′ below the surface and continues to show propagation potential in stability tests. Snow pit at 2700′ on Tincan on a West aspect.
A photo of some of the wind affected terrain near Squirrel Flats. Little snowpack information exists in Placer Valley/Skookum area. If you see or experience any avalanche activity please take a picture and send us an observation HERE
Triggering an isolated wind slab is possible on all aspects and will be more likely in steep terrain. Earlier in the week moderate to strong winds (from a variety of directions) loaded some slopes and scoured ridgelines. 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. Wind loaded convexities and cross-loaded gullies facing the sun are most suspect.
Recent natural wind slab from earlier in the week in Zero Bowl, NW aspect of Seattle Ridge.
Above 3,000′ in the Alpine, 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 places 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 a trigger spot in a shallow area.
Yesterday was mostly cloudy with light Westerly ridgetop winds and a brief period of moderate Westerly winds this morning. Temperatures in the upper elevations were in the high teens/low 20F’s and sea level temps bumped into the high 20F’s during the day and teens F’s overnight.
Sunny clear skies and light Westerly winds are expected today. Daily temperature swings should average in the upper 20F’s today and dip down into the teens (F) overnight. No precipitation is expected.
Sunday will range from party to mostly cloudy with daily temperature swings in the low 20F’s to low 30F’s. Light winds will shift from the West to an Easterly direction. A similar pattern is expected through Monday followed by the possibility of warming trend starting Tuesday. However at this point low confidence remains in the long term forecast.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||22||0||0||64|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||13||0||0||24|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||20||0||0||57|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||22||NW||5||17|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan and Sunburst from the air||CNFAIC Staff|
|12/10/19||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||Nancy Pfeiffer|
|12/08/19||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Ryan Van Luit Forecaster|
|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|
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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