|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
With little change in the weather and the days since avalanche activity increasing, the chances of triggering an avalanche are decreasing. The core Turnagain terrain is trending towards LOW hazard. However, we are still concerned about someone triggering a hard slab avalanche 2-4’ deep, especially in periphery areas like Girdwood and the South end of the pass towards Johnson and Lynx. The weak layers in the snowpack that formed in January will not just go away but over time can become “dormant”. The question is… are they? Without any big changes in the weather, these older layers (facets and buried surface hoar) are becoming more and more difficult to trigger and we are in a low probability, high consequence situation. The tricky part about this is, the pack appears to be stable but the chance remains for an unmanageable and destructive avalanche if a person hits just the wrong spot. No obvious signs of instability may be present before a slope releases and it may be the 10th skier or snowmachiner onto a slope that finds a trigger point. These trigger spots will be in thinner areas of the snowpack near rocks or in scoured areas along ridges. Although triggering a slab remotely is also becoming less likely with time, it is not out of the question with this snowpack structure.
If the sun does shine today be aware of warming later in the day on Southerly slopes.
Poor snowpack structure in Summit Lake. The concern is that the snowpack in the Southern end of the pass is very similar to this and a trigger spot may still be found.
It can be hard to remember that under all the hard wind affected snow and crusts there is a slab over buried weak layers.
Many cornices are quite large. Temperatures have been cool lately but as we head into warmer, sunnier weather remember this can help de-stabilize them. As always, give cornices plenty of space and limit exposure underneath them.
Yesterday was partly to mostly cloudy in the morning becoming overcast in the afternoon. There were a few snow showers. Temperatures were in the mid 20Fs to mid 30Fs. Winds were light and variable. Overnight skies were mostly cloudy and temperatures were in the 20Fs and winds remained light.
Today will be mostly to partly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Temperatures will be in the 20Fs to low 30Fs. Northwest winds will be light. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a continued chance of snow showers, temperatures in the 20Fs and light winds.
Tommorrow clouds decrease and skies clear for the weekend. As high pressure sets up there is an increased chance of outflow winds impacting the area. Clear and sunny looks to be the pattern into next week. Time to do some spring snow dances!
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: Seattle Ridge
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin